Deceptive Advertising

[size=3]Social Media Sites Targeted by Competition Bureau in International Sweep

OTTAWA, September 24, 2010 — The Competition Bureau announced today that it is participating, with members of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), in a joint Internet sweep to expose fraudulent and deceptive advertising on social networking sites.
More than 16 million Canadians are active users of social media sites. Marketers and advertisers have targeted these platforms. The international sweep is designed to identify unscrupulous fraudsters who may use social media sites to target those most likely to fall victim to their scams.
Here are some tips on how to avoid getting caught up in an Internet scam:

  • Be vigilant when evaluating ads, sending money or giving credit card or account details.

  • Know who you are dealing with. Be aware of any unsolicited phone calls, emails, text messages or letters from unknown sources.

  • Search for the company, the individuals, the product or the offer on the Internet and verify any contact and company details.

  • Trustworthy businesses will rarely contact you, particularly by email, phone or text message, to ask for personal details, banking or financial information.

  • Keep in mind that wiring money is like sending cash – the sender has no protection against loss.

  • Beware of ads that promise too much – if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is!
    Consumers should also take measures to protect themselves in the online environment. It is important to install reputable computer security software and keep it up to date. Use a spam filter and a firewall to avoid malicious software damaging your computer and stealing your personal information. Consumers should also avoid clicking on links to Web sites contained in unsolicited emails or online messages.
    Consumers who believe that they have been a victim of deceptive practices on the Internet can register their complaint at (ÉT-7TDNA5)

Competition Bureau Reaches Agreement in Principle in Real Estate Case

OTTAWA, September 30, 2010 — The Competition Bureau announced today that it has reached an agreement in principle with the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), which, if ratified by CREA’s members, will ensure that real estate agents have the flexibility to provide innovative service and pricing options to customers.
“This agreement is welcome news for Canadians”, said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition. “If ratified, the agreement will ensure that consumers have the ability to choose which services they want from a real estate agent when selling their home, and to pay for only those services. It also provides much-needed flexibility for real estate agents by ensuring that they have the ability to offer the variety of services and prices that meet the needs of consumers.”
In February, the Commissioner of Competition challenged, before the Competition Tribunal, anti-competitive rules imposed by CREA on real estate agents who list residential properties using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. The Bureau launched its challenge after three years of discussions and several months of intensive negotiations with CREA. The Bureau agreed to resume negotiations in September after being approached by CREA’s representatives.
Under the agreement, CREA will eliminate its ability to adopt anti-competitive rules that discriminate against real estate agents who are hired by consumers only to list or merely “post” a residential property on the MLS.
“Since challenging CREA’s rules, the Bureau’s goal has always been to achieve a long-term solution that would strengthen competition in the residential real estate brokerage services market,” added Commissioner Aitken, “This resolution, if ratified by CREA’s membership, achieves this goal.”
After the agreement is ratified, a copy of the legally binding consent agreement will be posted on the Competition Tribunal Web site. The agreement will remain in force for 10 years.
The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

Roy,people selling have always had chooses,they can sell it privately,list it with property guys,discount agents or make there own deal with a real estate agent.
I fail to see were the seller is restricted in selling there home

Realtors pay fees to use this site.Are the fisbo’s committed to paying montly fee.I think not.It just another boondoggle.

Harry,… the public where restriced from listing it on the MLS .
They will be soon be able to use the MLS .
Hang on from what I see there could be big changes in Fees for agents and the cost will go down to the public.
Now If our Canadian associations would talk to each other I feel we also could become involved and have the Real-Estate no longer involved in who does the inspection .

All Realtors charge a fixed percentage fee to sell the property. Nothing wrong with that. Where the problem arises is when they all charge the same per cent. If they all charge the same where is the competition. There is no way they are all the same. We all know some are better salesmen then others so the fees should reflect these differences. They should offer difference services tailored to the needs of the client. Again the fees should be different.

I’ve been saying that for years but the large majority of successful inspectors have a group of realtors who have them on their list of at least three (local requirement)recommended HI’s they can present to the buyer if asked for a HI recommmendation. When I was a CAHPI member, anytime I have said that this practice should be restricted by HI laws/RE rules, fear pervaded the room. They didn’t even want to talk about it in private, let alone discuss it in a CAHPI meeting…“It’s not our business as to who can and can’t recommend us!!”

Well folks, I submitted one recommendation to the BC pre-licensing consultation phase…“RE used house salepersons should not be allowed to recommend HI’s”. From what I understand there is a clause about this in BC regs but it’s not being enforced…SAD! SAD! SAD!

Can anyone in BC fill me in on this item??

The competition bureau should look into gas stations instead of agents,there is absolutly no competition here,one gas bar raises its price,all the rest do the same in minutes,they announce price increases on the radio,before it happens.
Please someone,explain that there is a choice consumers have, in this case,there is none

Roy,why should the public be able to list on the MLS system,they do not pay for it.

From what I gather, the anti-competition challenge came from the “fixed low/cut fee” realtors (down here we have “The Property Guys” and “Assist To Sell” plus a few local small single location realtors) that help the vendor sell their own homes. The full service, higher commission % big firms that pay for and probably run/own the MLS would not let the small low/cut fee companies use the MLS, even if they wanted to pay. It appears now that they will able to use MLS for a fee.

I don’t think this will allow the individual vendor to list…or at least not for free, if at all! There’s always KIJIJI, signs, classifieds, posters, Craig’s List, etc, etc, etc. It’s a free country!

Harry I do not think I said they should ,I just post some information for you and others to see. Thanks Roy Cooke

"Now If our Canadian associations would talk to each other I feel we also could become involved and have the Real-Estate no longer involved in who does the inspection ". Roy Cooke

I agree… this seems to be the most controversial of all home inspection topics. The very idea that agents are the primary source of home inspector referrals is a clear and obvious conflict of interest in my opinion. Yet most home buyers never seem to give this a thought. They simply hire the agent’s favorite inspector, without asking if this is the best one available.

This is an example of what happens when the Realtor recommends an inspector.
Take a look. Right off the top they say the buyer went with the Realtors Inspector recommendation.

Do realtors ever recommend you Vern?? Are you saying that if a client called you and said “so and so” recommended you from realestate company you would turn down the client/sale ?

Would you call the agent or Broker and tell them to stop recommending you ?
I’m curious to hear what you would do.
Ever wanted to sell your house but didn’t want to pay a real estate commission?
Ever longed to see your home on the Multiple Listing Service — a starting point for about 90% of Canadian real estate sales — but didn’t want an agent’s help?
Soon, you’ll likely be able to do just that. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has reached a tentative agreement with the federal Competition Bureau to allow sellers to hire an agent for one part of the process only — the MLS listing. It’ll likely cost you a few hundred dollars instead of thousands.
You’d have to do the rest of the work yourself — stuff like setting the price, organizing appointments for potential buyers, running open houses and getting the deal closed. But it’s your house. Who knows it better than you do?
It’s certainly tempting to do it yourself when the average house price in Canada is $350,000 ($427,000 in Toronto) and the usual 5% real estate commission tops $17,000.
Instead, if CREA members approve on Oct. 24, you could pay an agent a flat fee to put your listing on MLS and then say goodbye. Most potential buyers today find properties by going straight to on the Internet.
But you might want to rethink DIY. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
To rework an old saying, a homeowner who acts as his own agent has a fool for a client.
My husband and I have bought many houses in the last 35 years and one thing we’ve learned — a good agent is worth his/her weight in gold. In the search for a new house this year, we’ve run into do-it-yourselfers a few times.
One aging couple put the sign on the lawn — but then didn’t want to talk details like the asking price and wouldn’t arrange timely showings. A few weeks went by and a new sign went up: Royal Lepage.
Another elderly couple held open houses every weekend for months. It was a nice bungalow but without an agent, they had no one to tell them how to fluff it for potential buyers — tear out that neon turquoise carpet for instance — or to suggest a more realistic price. They gave up.
Hints on preparation
A good agent has the patience of a saint, extensive market knowledge and a willingness to work all hours to get your house sold. He’ll show clients dozens of houses to find the right one. He’ll give you hints on preparing your house and provide potential buyers with lots of information. Our agent has taken us through so many houses, I lost count months ago.
Bad agents, on the other hand, will treat you as if they’re doing you a favour just looking at your pathetic little hovel. One we met told us he charges a whopping 5 1/2% “because I’m worth it.” We didn’t list with him.
In Toronto — the land of three-day sales and multiple offers — it’s easy to think your agent isn’t earning his commission. But almost anywhere else in Ontario, where the market is slow this year and hard times have discouraged buyers, agents have worked hard for every sale.
So I think the good ones can rest easy — flat rate MLS listings are unlikely to hurt them. Bad agents? Maybe they’d better start thinking about other careers.