The bureau and the Canadian Real Estate Assocation (CREA) reached a tentative agreement that will allow sellers to hire an agent to post their property on the all-important Multiple Listing Service and then conduct the rest of the sale on their own, if they choose.
Sounds like fantastic news for people who want to sell their own homes, but it could result in a lot of botched deals and, essentially, the transfer of commission fees from agents to lawyers who have to clean up deals-gone-wrong.
But they haven’t been entirely ratified– yet. CREA will have to vote by the end of the month, and if they vote in favour, then the rules will be instated immediately for a 10 year period.
According to the Globe and Mail, the commissioner of the Competition Bureau stated:
“Consumers are going to have the ability to choose what services they want from a real estate agent, and pay only for those services, and at the same time, it gives much-needed flexibility for the agents to offer the variety of services and prices that meet the needs of consumers.”
So, on the face of it, it seems like a really great thing. But we’ll have to see whether or not it works out that way. This would be a major change for the way real estate transactions are conducted in this country. And both agents, and consumers, are going to suffer from growing pains.