Monday, November 1, 2010

Changes to the MLS® System Now Offer Sellers More Choice

As noted in my prior posting, forthcoming changes have been adopted and approved by the Canadian Real Estate Association and the Competition Bureau regarding the listing of properties for sale on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®.)
Media reports have greatly exaggerated or misinterpreted the impact of these changes which appears to have confused both consumers and REALTORS® alike.  In essence, the most significant of these newly adopted changes is that should a seller so desire, a REALTOR® may for a modest fee or even at no charge, simply list a person's property for sale placing the listing on the national MLS® system, period!  In doing so, the REALTOR® will provide no other service(s) typically performed by a REALTOR® with respect to completing a real estate transaction. With no additional services being provided by the REALTOR®, no additional monies or "commission" will be payable other than the original listing fee should a sale take place unless agreed to by the seller.
  These changes now permit REALTORS® to offer perhaps a choice of services "cafeteria style" with the intent of giving consumers more choices and the opportunity to save money should they choose to handle all or some of the selling activities on their own.
  Contrary to some beliefs, sellers do not have direct access to the MLS® system meaning that the MLS® system is still a REALTOR® to REALTOR® service.  In order to protect consumers, REALTORS® will still be required to provide and verify all relevant information regarding a property that is being posted to MLS® such as its room sizes, the annual taxes, amenities, features and any other material information pertaining to a given property.  REALTORS® and home owners for that matter are also required to disclose any known defects regarding a property that may impact a buyer's decision to purchase. REALTORS® are in fact required by provincial law and through a Code of Ethics to be responsible for the accuracy of all information given to consumers and REALTORS® are also required by law to maintain errors and omissions insurance to cover themselves in the event a mistake is make.
  Should a seller wish only to have the their property listing "posted" on the MLS® for a fee, the seller will be responsible for any and all other activities related to the sale process. This may included supplying their own signage, property photos, holding their own Open Houses, incurring all advertising costs and lastly they will negotiate their own sale either with a buyer directly or with the buyer's REALTOR® should they have one to which they will pay a commission of some sort.
Should they elect not to do so, REALTORS® are not obligated to post a listing for a fee. "Posting" fees like commissions are not set and are completely negotiable between the seller and the REALTOR® providing that service.  At the end of the day commissions will be negotiable as they have always been.  Sellers merely have the option of selecting a REALTOR® that will handle as much or as little of the selling process as the seller(s) wants and are willing to pay for.
The ultimate change with these new rules is that sellers can as desired handle as much or as little of the selling process on their own.  Through the ongoing involvement of REALTORS®, MLS® listings will still be subject to the high standards of listing accuracy that have always been in place making the Canadian MLS® system the envy of many other regions in the world.  For further clarification of these new rules and how they affect you, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to answer your questions or respond to comments.

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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4



Email:
rickcrouch@propertycollingwood.com



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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.