Real estate board ratifies home sales deal
[RIGHT]24/10/2010 9:24:40 PM [/RIGHT]
****Canadians selling their homes may soon have the option to pick only the services they want to pay for when using a real estate agent, thanks to a deal between the industry and the Competition Bureau.
*CTV.ca News Staff *
On Sunday, 101 delegates from the country’s local real estate boards ratified the deal during a vote in St. John’s N.L.
The central plank of the deal is that the CREA will now allow agents to simply offer posting services on the national sales website, mls.ca, for a fee.
The vote comes after months of work on the part of the Canadian Real Estate Association and the federal competition regulator. The CREA represents about 100,000 realtors across the country.
“I am pleased that CREA members have voted in favour of this agreement,” said commissioner Melanie Aitken on Sunday in a media release.
The Competition Bureau has been pushing for such an agreement on behalf of many consumers who want the bare-bones service.
The new deal will last for a decade, and hefty fines could be imposed on violators.
“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,” said CREA president Georges Pahud.
Still, it could take some time before homeowners begin to see real savings, as the real estate industry has entrenched practices which won’t change overnight.
Currently, selling agents and realtors split the common sales commission of five per cent, and many agents may stick to their current business model, said real estate expert Mike Shanks.
The CREA agreed to make changes to its practices last March, but the organization wanted a clause which would have allowed local boards to veto the decision.
Shanks, from the by-owner home sales website PropertyGuys.com, said the ruling is good news for consumers.
He said that sellers who want to have their homes listed on the mls.ca national sales database will be able to pay an agent a few hundred dollars to do so.
Shanks said the usual commission for an average Canadian home is now $15,000.
“This is great news for us,” he said.