Cliff Peskin

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June 12, 2010

Innovative startups are rushing to capitalize on the Competition Bureau’s challenge to MLS, according to Tony Wong in the Toronto Star.

One company is offering to post homes to the MLS for a penny another promotes lawyers as a cheaper alternative to realtors and a third company encourages agents to bid on listings to see who might offer the best prices and services.

It should be noted, however, that none of these startups appear to be gaining much traction. The one-cent listing service is still waiting for its first customer, and iBidBroker, the company encouraging agents to bid on listings, doesn’t seem to have much site traffic.

The United States is probably the best crystal ball for what lies in store for the real estate industry in Canada. The US has seen not just innovative real estate startups but ‘Successful’ innovative startups in real estate such as
Redfin and ZipRealty.

If I were to give my best prediction I’d say the Competition Bureau’s challenge to CREA will put downwards pressure on commissions but nothing dramatic will change until MLS starts sharing its data or is no longer the only genuine source of online resale listings.

For as long as CREA controls the data they’ll control the pricing – just my hunch.

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