Realtors deny anti-competition allegations

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Real Estate

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) says allegations levelled at it by the federal Competition Bureau are "fundamentally misconceived."

The association's rebuttal came in its official defence to allegations that CREA rules squelch competition at the expense of consumers.

TORONTO -

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) says allegations levelled at it by the federal Competition Bureau are "fundamentally misconceived."

The association's rebuttal came in its official defence to allegations that CREA rules squelch competition at the expense of consumers.

CREA denies that consumers must purchase a bundle of services from realtors in order to sell their house using the popular Multiple Listing Service.

CREA also says the bureau's allegations have mischaracterized the very competitive environment confronting real-estate agents.

It says realtors already offer a wide range of business models, including discounted services, flat-fee arrangements and fee-for-service arrangements.

The Competition Bureau rejected amendments made by CREA Monday to clarify its rules, saying the changes don't guarantee more choice for consumers.

The case will be decided by a quasi-judicial body called the Competition Tribunal, which released CREA's response to the allegations on its website Friday.

Organizations: Canadian Real Estate Association, Competition Bureau, Multiple Listing Service Competition Tribunal

Geographic location: TORONTO

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Recent comments

  • g-man
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    just say my house was worth 500,000.00.the commision on that amount 6% would be about 30,000.thats what i call a lottery job.time for the commisions to come down.i saw bill sheppard(home sales agent) licking his chops on cbc the other night over a house worth about 350,000.00.time to put a stop to these draconion commision fees.these fees were instituted when houses wernt worth alot.thanks to the oil boom,we now still pay the outrageous commision of 6% fee.

  • Gary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Harv and gman - you guys are funny!!

    What do you guys do for a living?

  • Julian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I'll pay a real estate agent minimum wage plus any advertising costs ok'd by me, just like any other good NL employer. Nah, I'd rather do it myself, especially if I want it done right. Know the house, know the price, use your own lawyer. Simple. There's no secret - it's all hype.

  • Brett
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    It's one thing to get a listing on MLS - that's no problem - the issue I see is that there's no legal obligation for you to pay the Buying agent their commission for bringing a sale to you.

    Unless you have a contract with the Buying agent - you can step around them and solicit their client to buy from you directly, and not pay their commission.

    This is separate from the MLS system which (in my mind) individuals should be able to list houses on privately, or pay for access to all information on there.

    Totally different from the selling/buying process.

    My understanding is that you have to sign a contract with each buyers agent representing someone prior to the sale of the house to guarantee the person with a client their comission.

    This could conceivably be done at the first offer stage. Ie. I have a client who wants to make a bid - or a client I want to bring around - so we sign a contract stipulating that if I have a sale - you can't reneg on an agreed upon commission.

    Personally I think if there were one tenth of the real estate agents out there that there currently are - we'd be better off. It wouldn't be as much of a lottery - and you'd really be paying for the agents client base.

    A lot of agents are accused of letting MLS do the work for them. It's not always the case - but there's a lack of transparency on the Selling Agents side (my opinion) to help the seller determine the value.

  • Harv
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Using the terms DISCOUNT and REAL ESTATE in the same paragraph is a joke. Can there be an easier job with such massive payoffs for doing almost nothing ? They want a big part of your house to agree to sell it. Who invented this real estate nonsense, the mafia ?

  • g-man
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    just say my house was worth 500,000.00.the commision on that amount 6% would be about 30,000.thats what i call a lottery job.time for the commisions to come down.i saw bill sheppard(home sales agent) licking his chops on cbc the other night over a house worth about 350,000.00.time to put a stop to these draconion commision fees.these fees were instituted when houses wernt worth alot.thanks to the oil boom,we now still pay the outrageous commision of 6% fee.

  • Gary
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Harv and gman - you guys are funny!!

    What do you guys do for a living?

  • Julian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    I'll pay a real estate agent minimum wage plus any advertising costs ok'd by me, just like any other good NL employer. Nah, I'd rather do it myself, especially if I want it done right. Know the house, know the price, use your own lawyer. Simple. There's no secret - it's all hype.

  • Brett
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    It's one thing to get a listing on MLS - that's no problem - the issue I see is that there's no legal obligation for you to pay the Buying agent their commission for bringing a sale to you.

    Unless you have a contract with the Buying agent - you can step around them and solicit their client to buy from you directly, and not pay their commission.

    This is separate from the MLS system which (in my mind) individuals should be able to list houses on privately, or pay for access to all information on there.

    Totally different from the selling/buying process.

    My understanding is that you have to sign a contract with each buyers agent representing someone prior to the sale of the house to guarantee the person with a client their comission.

    This could conceivably be done at the first offer stage. Ie. I have a client who wants to make a bid - or a client I want to bring around - so we sign a contract stipulating that if I have a sale - you can't reneg on an agreed upon commission.

    Personally I think if there were one tenth of the real estate agents out there that there currently are - we'd be better off. It wouldn't be as much of a lottery - and you'd really be paying for the agents client base.

    A lot of agents are accused of letting MLS do the work for them. It's not always the case - but there's a lack of transparency on the Selling Agents side (my opinion) to help the seller determine the value.

  • Harv
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Using the terms DISCOUNT and REAL ESTATE in the same paragraph is a joke. Can there be an easier job with such massive payoffs for doing almost nothing ? They want a big part of your house to agree to sell it. Who invented this real estate nonsense, the mafia ?