A New Era in the Canadian Real Estate Market

By shaye • August 8th, 2010

The Canadian real estate market has changed as of March 22/2010. A new set of rules, as voted upon by Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) members, has been established for the nation’s Multiple Listings Service (MLS).The MLS, which has been operating in Canada for more than 50 years, is a data base of real estate property listings and the platform from which approximately 90% of all Canadian real estate transactions originate. The service was developed by CREA, and until recently only allowed listing submissions from certified Realtors that were under full contract with a seller to provide all aspects of the home sale.

The new rules have been brought in as a result of a lengthy inquiry by the Competition Bureau and will have a significant impact on the manner in which real estate is marketed in Canada. The Competition Bureau argues that the traditional MLS model was monopolistic in nature and did not provide consumers with enough options when it

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came to selling their homes.

Until now the only way to have your home listed on the popular MLS service was to hire a Realtor to represent you. For a commission the Realtor will provide you with many services, including the submission of your property on the MLS, and several other online real estate data bases. This system has worked quite well for years; however, with the advent of the internet and the increasing popularity of ‘for sale by owner’ (FSBO) homes, the Competition Bureau has stepped in to try to create a more level playing field.

The sharp increase in housing prices, and the subsequent boost in commissions, has led many to question the worth of a Realtor’s services when trying to sell their home. While the Realtor’s commission rates have not changed, the value of homes is much higher, meaning the Realtor will gross considerably more revenue for essentially doing the same job. This reasoning has been a motivating factor for the increase FSBO properties and discounted real estate brokerages.

The new guidelines will allow Realtors to sell individual services, including MLS submissions, as opposed to the creation of a complete listing contract. This will benefit sellers as they will be able to use an FSBO approach to selling their homes and also gain the exposure from being on the MLS. The new system will also benefit Realtors who, in many cases have seen a decrease in business due to the economic slowdown, and will now be able to piece out their services to clients that wish to go the FSBO route; thus creating a new revenue stream for them.

For information about Calgary condominiums & Lofts, visit JoeSamson.com. The site is an excellent resource for searching Calgary homes for sale.

 

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