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Canadian Real Estate Association Ratifies Competition Consent Agreement

The Canadian Real Estate Association Ratifies Competition Consent Agreement

This just posted on the CREA website today after voting completed just this morning
St. John's NL " October 24, 2010 " The

President

of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), Georges

Pahud, today

welcomed the decision of delegates to its Special General

Meeting to

approve CREA's consent agreement with the Commissioner of

Competition

regarding the case before the Competition Tribunal.

We

are pleased that after careful consideration and reflection, real

estate Boards and Associations from across Canada have endorsed the

agreement, says Pahud.

The

agreement was approved by CREA's Board of Directors and the

Commissioner of Competition on September 30th and was in escrow pending

today's vote. It confirms CREA's commitment to a competitive real

estate

services market.

The

Commissioner and CREA have agreed that its rules as well as those

of

its members should not deny or discriminate against REALTORS® wishing to offer mere posting services. CREA does not believe that such

rules exist today, but if they do, they must be repealed or Boards

will

lose their license to operate under the MLS® trademarks. Board MLS® Systems remain a member to member service designed to provide accurate

and timely information critical to the delivery of professional real

estate services to Canadians.

This

10-year agreement brings a close to a long process of

negotiation with

the Competition Bureau and will allow CREA and REALTORS® to

do what they do best " help people with the biggest financial

decision

of their lives, buying and selling a home in these challenging

economic

times, says Pahud.

CREA believes the agreement reflects both current practices and intent regarding posting to Board MLS® Systems. Buying and selling homes is an incredibly competitive business, with 100,000 REALTORS® working through thousands of brokerages. Business models are diverse and CREA members offer a variety of services.

I am of the opinion that this new agreement will not change the way we have done business in the past nor that it will have any impact on the future. Commissions in Canada have always been negotiable, there has never been a set commission that any agent was adhered to charge. Realtors are in a sense self employed and get to pick their own business plan which includes being responsible for setting their own commissions for the services rendered. This has always bee the case and the new agreement changes nothing in essence.

The good news here is for the public because as the media brought attention into this heated debate, there have been a few new start up companies offering a menu list of services for home sellers. Maybe the home sellers were not aware  that commissions were always negotiable. But just because they are does not mean that one agent will work for less than another. Marketing a home to the right audience takes more than just MLS , a sign, and a few ads in the local paper. Marketing a home is about presentation as well as negotiation when the offer comes in.

My concern is for those sellers who take a menu item which does not include negotiation and come up against a buyer who has an experienced agent working on their behalf. The seller cannot begin to negotiate against an experienced agent who has sold hundreds to thousands of homes, a seller is just not equipped for that type of situation and they will likely not be able to negotiate as good as price as they would have they had an agent handle the offer. Not to mention, will they understand all the terms and conditions in the contract. A buyer's agent  that is working for the buyer, should not have  to ensure the seller understands the contract they are signing, so I hope those sellers who go down the discount Calgary real estate service route realize the pros as well as the cons involved and take them seriously

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