HOT TOPIC: CREA VS. THE COMPETITION BUREAU

HOT TOPIC: CREA VS. THE COMPETITION BUREAU

 

I thought I would give you a little update as what has happened roughly in the past weeks regarding CREA & The Competition Bureau. Basically it started a few years ago when a company wanted to post houses on MLS, and offer their clients no service but just postings. CREA at that time said that they could not do that.This is how this whole competition complaint started.These companies wanted to just post a number to the sellers and wash their hands of the deal.

If you know any Realtor out there you will know that we must go through extensive training in ethics, paperwork, law and so on. The reason that we go through this training is to prevent law suits and to make sure that we and others are not abusing the system. It is also to make sure that we know how to properly sell houses. THE NUMBER ONE THING WE LEARN IS TO PUT THE SERVICE THE CUSTOMER. CREA’s thinking or so I am to understand is that they would not allow companies just simply post listings because there needs to be more fiduciary duties associated with selling a house. (I’m sure there is more to it)

So began this journey through the court system and millions have been spent on this matter. The competition bureau’s side is that there is no competitors and the Realtors are saying that there is plenty of competition and that we don’t set rates nor do we force anyone to use our service. There are websites dedicated to selling your own home and the technology is there to do it yourself.

Well there is more background to all of this but I’m trying to give you the bare bones of it. So basically we have all come to an agreement. The agreement is that to use MLS you must use an agent. The agent is still liable for the information that goes on there, that has not changed. The difference now is that the agent can post a link to your personal information, and a contact number so the buyer can contact the seller, not the selling agent. A broker can charge a dollar to take a listing and not force you to use any service other than posting the information you want on the MLS listing. Everything else is pretty much the same. There have been some clarifications of our rules that did not exist before. I will not get into that, I know you are busy.

What this is doing to the industry? Well it will force some agents to work for the first time in a long time. It will force some agents to catch up. It will force some agents to retire and it will force some agents going into the industry to think about the industry they have just entered. It will make competition a lot harder because now all Realtors are competing with Internet companies. These changes will make some new agents think about taking listings for $50, because when they get sued for $50000, they will have to reconsider the risk they are taking. Some homeowners who misrepresent themselves will get sued and RECO will have to re examine the new changes and rules. I believe the courts will be flooded with cases in the next 2-5 years, until they make some more changes.

I believe that these changes in any industry are inevitable. Change is part of life. It causes us to get better and step up our service. I personally think the people who want great agents who help them find a house will continue to do so. The people who are do it your sellers will just have another venue to do so. It doesn’t matter to me anyway, they wouldn’t have used me. I’d rather put my full attention to the people who understand what they pay for. “As much as life changes it stays the same.” (I heard that somewhere in the past I’m sure I’m quoting someone)

I thought I would give you a little update as what has happened roughly in the past weeks regarding CREA & The Competition Bureau. Basically it started a few years ago when a company wanted to post houses on MLS, and offer their clients no service but just postings. CREA at that time said that they could not do that.This is how this whole competition complaint started.These companies wanted to just post a number to the sellers and wash their hands of the deal.

If you know any Realtor out there you will know that we must go through extensive training in ethics, paperwork, law and so on. The reason that we go through this training is to prevent law suits and to make sure that we and others are not abusing the system. It is also to make sure that we know how to properly sell houses. THE NUMBER ONE THING WE LEARN IS TO PUT THE SERVICE THE CUSTOMER. CREA’s thinking or so I am to understand is that they would not allow companies just simply post listings because there needs to be more fiduciary duties associated with selling a house. (I’m sure there is more to it)

So began this journey through the court system and millions have been spent on this matter. The competition bureau’s side is that there is no competitors and the Realtors are saying that there is plenty of competition and that we don’t set rates nor do we force anyone to use our service. There are websites dedicated to selling your own home and the technology is there to do it yourself.

Well there is more background to all of this but I’m trying to give you the bare bones of it. So basically we have all come to an agreement. The agreement is that to use MLS you must use an agent. The agent is still liable for the information that goes on there, that has not changed. The difference now is that the agent can post a link to your personal information, and a contact number so the buyer can contact the seller, not the selling agent. A broker can charge a dollar to take a listing and not force you to use any service other than posting the information you want on the MLS listing. Everything else is pretty much the same. There have been some clarifications of our rules that did not exist before. I will not get into that, I know you are busy.

What this is doing to the industry? Well it will force some agents to work for the first time in a long time. It will force some agents to catch up. It will force some agents to retire and it will force some agents going into the industry to think about the industry they have just entered. It will make competition a lot harder because now all Realtors are competing with Internet companies. These changes will make some new agents think about taking listings for $50, because when they get sued for $50000, they will have to reconsider the risk they are taking. Some homeowners who misrepresent themselves will get sued and RECO will have to re examine the new changes and rules. I believe the courts will be flooded with cases in the next 2-5 years, until they make some more changes.

I believe that these changes in any industry are inevitable. Change is part of life. It causes us to get better and step up our service. I personally think the people who want great agents who help them find a house will continue to do so. The people who are do it your sellers will just have another venue to do so. It doesn’t matter to me anyway, they wouldn’t have used me. I’d rather put my full attention to the people who understand what they pay for. “As much as life changes it stays the same.” (I heard that somewhere in the past I’m sure I’m quoting someone)

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