The agreement between the Competition Bureau, a Federal watchdog unit, and the Canadian Real Estate Association has created a good deal of confusion for the public, and disarray within the real estate industry as a whole.
The public, mistakenly, thinks that they can put their home on the MLS.ca website themselves. Not! They still require a real estate Brokerage who is part of a local real estate board, to put their listing on MLS.ca to take advantage of the huge volume of traffic that MLS.ca attracts. Enter the fray, and along comes several Brokerages who will do a "mere posting" of a property on MLS.ca for a small fee. Usually, the home remains on one of the many private-for-sale websites (For Sale By Owner of FSBO sites). What the public does not know is that they, indeed, ARE listed with a Brokerage, and real estate sales people are not permitted to approach them to list their homes for sale, which was a good source of business for real estate sales people previously. What the public also does not realize is that the real estate industry seems less interested in working to sell these listings because the sales person has to do twice the work that they would if there was another real estate sales rep on the other side of the transaction, with plenty of liability to go around. Brokerages who permit Mere Postings also do not offer any other services to the sellers, and they also abdicate their Agency responsibilities so the seller has very little assistance and must rely on his or her lawyer for protection. What happens when an out of town buyer arrives in town over a weekend? Can the seller reach their lawyer for assistance with reviewing an offer? The buyer's agent should not be advising the seller on how to handle any offers. What really happens is that the buyer finds another property to purchase!
I believe that the Competition Bureau has shot itself in the foot here, because although the initial idea was to protect the public and allow more competition, it seems only to have created a longer selling time for these Mere Posting listings, which in the long run, damages the seller. The Competition Bureau should have stayed out of our industry......how about going after the gasoline companies who increase and decrease their prices at will, but seemingly all at the same time. Now that's something the Competition Bureau can get their teeth into!