Proposed changes to Canadian MLS

InmanNews headline story in today’s morning update is about the proposed changed to the Canadian MLS rules, specifically related to limited service or ‘entry-only’ (the house is put on MLS for a fee and then no further service is provided at all to the seller) brokerages.

“The proposed amendments to the MLS rules presented at the CREA Special Assembly … were developed to protect the trademark, and for no other reason,” said Alan Tennant, CREA’s president, in a statement. “Some reports have suggested the proposed rules would mean higher fees for consumers, or the elimination of some real estate broker business models. The MLS rules and the proposed amendments do not restrict or determine the fees or commissions that Realtors may charge. They are also flexible enough to permit a wide range of business models for real estate.”

Among some of the proposed changes were rules governing what listings could be submitted to the MLS:

A dispatch by CREA to all member boards advised about the types of listings that could not be posted in an MLS system under the proposed rules.

Among the examples of listings that could not be posted in the MLS if the rule changes were adopted: Those listings that do not make an offer of compensation to a cooperating broker, that indicate that a seller may offer compensation to a cooperating broker, that allow sellers the right to sell the property themselves, that indicate that there is no agency relationships between the listing Realtor and the seller, that instruct cooperating brokers to contact the seller directly, that do not involve the listing Realtor receiving and presenting all offers and providing professional advice on them, and that do not involve the Realtor’s independent verification of the accuracy of information provided by the seller.

The Competition Bureau is concerned; in a strongly worded letter sent to CREA, they state “even if the proposed amendments are not passed, the bureau will continue to have concerns about CREA’s existing rules, as well as those of local boards, that serve to exclude entry-only and limited-service listings from MLS or otherwise restrict the ability of consumers to obtain the variety of relationships that they want with a broker. The bureau will continue to examine issues related to MLS as they arise to ensure that CREA and local boards do not restrict competition unless reasonably required to achieve legitimate ends.”
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Benjamin Bach is a Real Estate Consultant with Keller Williams Golden Triangle Realty in Kitchener Waterloo dedicated to building wealth for his clients through smart Real Estate investments, and helping people achieve success. If you are interested in how you can start your Real Estate portfolio, or have any questions and buying or selling a home, you can email Benjamin (benjamin AT benjaminbach.com) or reach him at 519 772 4376.

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