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FSBO coming to an MLS near you

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Real Estate Professional | 19 Mar 2015, 09:42 AM Agree 0
One major for-sale-by-owner company has registered as a licensed brokerage in a key province, and will begin listing properties on the MLS.
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 10:04 AM Agree 1
    A commission-free listing on OUR MLS system? That doesn't make sense. Commission-free companies should group together and offer their own forum, not use the one we paid to develop and pay to maintain! Outraged.
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 10:13 AM Agree 1
    And are these owners that sell for themselves ready to be sued if they misrepresented their home when selling? It's just not as easy as putting up a For Sale sign in the front yard! And many times putting buyers and sellers directly does not result in a sale because we all know that sellers most times have personal attachment to those homes and think it's worth more than the market warrants!
  • Martin | 19 Mar 2015, 10:14 AM Agree 1
    If we as Brokers or Agents "own" the MLS system (it is created, maintained, expanded, developed, improved by only us...) then why don't we have the right to charge those using it? So if we are just over 100,000 Agents in the country, all of whom have help fund and/or create the MLS system, why don't we charge $1 each to anyone wanting to use our system. This way 5, 6 or 7 percent commission will be a deal ! Or they can pay the $100,000 and be a FSBO, screw up their sale, undersell their property, lose buyers etc all on their own :) Game over.
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 10:20 AM Agree 1
    It is also my right to represent myself in court, change my own car engine, reshingle my home, etc., but I hire professionals for these things because this is not what I have an expertise in and would be wasting my time...
  • Fuciu | 19 Mar 2015, 10:23 AM Agree 1
    Think about it. Why would a buyer look at a FSBO? They think they are paying less because the Seller is passing the savings onto them. Why would a Seller want to try selling their own property? They think they can save the commission. FSBO sellers and buyers are kidding themselves with their assumptions. That's why FSBO's have never captured much of market share. I'd rather have a realtor represent me with a knowledge base of the market, contract law, negotiation skills etc. Remember you don't pay a realtor unless the property sells. A 'good' a Realtor will make their clients, Buyer or Seller, much more than they could possibly save or make on their own. They key is to spend time finding a 'good and effective' Realtor. I've Been in top 1% of agents for 35 years. Seen it all. Good luck to all.
  • Ron | 19 Mar 2015, 10:25 AM Agree 0
    I have not seen one realtor poney up and address why commissions remain at 5 - 6% for the same service as 10 - 20 years ago when real estate values were a fraction of what they are today. To be fair, if realtors all charged 2.5 - 3% today there would be no need for FSBO since this is good value for the money.
  • John | 19 Mar 2015, 10:37 AM Agree 1
    If it wasn't for the capitulation by CREA our national body a few years ago, if they had of stood their ground and fought this, rather than giving up we wouldnt be in the situation we are in now.
    Thanks CREA!!
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 10:51 AM Agree 1
    This is truly beyond outrageous. In Ontario FSBO-type companies like these ones mentioned here are already listed on Toronto MLS. As a seasoned Realtor it blows my mind every time I hear how Sellers should not "pay outrageous commissions" for professional services.
    Really? My last Seller wasn't going to accept an offer below 'x' and I was able to net them $35K more than what they hoped for in their wildest dreams. Funny how any other profession is allowed to earn a living doing what they do best yet Realtors are the scum of the earth, never mind we are trained, skilled professionals who help Sellers and Buyers navigate the complexities of selling a home for the most amount of money in the least amount of time and with the least amount of inconvenience plus make sure the deal actually closes, no one gets sued and that everybody get what they want. In my case, I get paid for my services like any other professional, which allows me to feed and clothe my family and in turn keep the economy rolling as a consumer of other people's services or products. Paying a professional service fee to someone who actually performs and delivers on that service is the cost of doing business and furthermore, my Seller is getting a whooping 95% of the sale amount, the companies that made it happen only keep 5% divided among two brokerages and then further reduced by brokerage fees, income taxes, board fees, business expenses, referral fees, and the cost of marketing the home... for which we don't ask for a retainer like any other profession (lawyers, dentists, staging companies,) does and receives. Nooooo.... we Realtors get to spend our own hard earned after tax income to front the cost of a property's advertising, staging, flyers, open houses, you name it, in the hope we at the very least can break even or not incur a loss.
    Please help me here: what other profession pays for the expenses of doing business upfront, like we do, what other profession is THIS insane, and does this without any guarantee that we will get a paycheque?
    How CREA/OREA/TREB allow this in-your-face dilution of the MLS system by allowing FSBO companies to post on OUR site, supported by members who pay all kinds of dues and fees to keep it going is beyond me. Why are they spending thousands of dollars advertising "How Realtors help" and other BS about how much value we bring to the table only to allow these FSBO companies in through the back door? I also hate the word "help". I don't "help", for me the word "help" always implies the service is FREE which is another subtle way the message being sent is "Realtors "help" is definitely not worth 2.5% of the sale price! I provide professional advice and recommend an action plan that will get them what they want. It's like saying that the brain surgery you had last month was just the surgeon "helping" you!
    Yeah, 25 years later in a profession that is constantly attacked, denigrated, insulted, mocked, trivialized and diminished by the very consumers whose assets we protect and help increase in value by recommending upgrades, staging, repairs and by putting skills and experience to work to negotiate the highest price and terms... I wonder if we are inherently masochists to consider real estate as a "profession"?
  • Realtor Who Poneys Up | 19 Mar 2015, 10:57 AM Agree 1
    @Ron - your poney is here. There's lots of discount realtors out there who will work for nothing 3%, after paying fee's to OREA, CREA, TREB, E&O, Brokerage and marketing what's left over is for the agent. Divide that by the number of hours (unpaid until closing) that the agents must work to find, educate, sell and close the property and you have their hourly wage. Add on top of that all the liability and regulations that come with it and it's not the 'sweet deal' many see it to be. There is high risk to being a realtor which is why the reward should be commensurate.

    Ron, did your wages stay the same as they were 10-20 years ago? Do you pay the same price for anything today at the same price as you did 10-20 years ago? The answer is NOPE but for some reason you feel the person putting themselves out there and looking after your largest investment should be paid a price comparable to what is was 20 years ago is no reasonable. It's not a monopoly, you can always find an agent willing to slit their own throat to get your business but the question is....who do you want to represent you, the agent who bends over at the drop of a hat or the one who's willing to fight tooth and nail?

    To be fair...cut your salary to what it was 20 years ago if you expect everyone else to do the same.

    Have a nice day
  • Matt | 19 Mar 2015, 10:59 AM Agree 1
    Ron, I charge what I charge because the service I provide is far more than what was available and utilized years ago, like you mention. Professional photographers, videographers, programmers...I could go on, but I save it for my listing presentation, and the market to which I market to. My clients understand my fee system, and rarely, if ever, complain or try to get a discount.
  • Robin Telfer | 19 Mar 2015, 10:59 AM Agree 1
    The marketplace is changing. If there are legitimate, legal ways available for homeowners to list their homes on an established MLS system, let them do so. Let the marketplace determine the relative course of action. Buyer Brokerage contracts are now available. Give the Buyer the option to pursue the FSBO if they want to. All Commissions are negotiable. Just make sure in advance that the transaction in the end will cost more to both parties involved which defeats the purpose of the Seller trying to net a more favorable final settlement for the sale of their home. Commissions should be set at the highest standard possible for this transaction. As REALTORS we should start thinking outside the box and legally transform FSBO scenarios to our economic advantage instead of advocating fear and trepidation.
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 11:03 AM Agree 1
    Everybody in the real estate business can give com. free service if they want to, by charging the same price they charge, for a mere listing . I don't see the big deal. You have to educate your people of what there getting with that service call com . free and that you can give the same and having you (licensed )as a guidance throughout the process is the advantage that your client would have. You have to fight fire with fire. People will realize that our service is a more inform & professional approach than any Com. Free service out there and will appreciate our knowledge & ethical behavior throughout the process. I firmly believe that after your client deals with the public and other agents, they will eventually respect our fee for service more. Members of the M.L.S system is the only advantage that we have built throughout the years, the government is not helping our cause, they don't realize the economic impact that our industry have in this country. True people should have a choice, however because we as agents need to pay for license, insurance, pay & keep up with courses , pay M.L.S dues , CREA dues, OREA dues & ethically responsible, we should also have a choice also of who gets on our system.
  • Angela | 19 Mar 2015, 11:09 AM Agree 1
    Our Associations and Boards should endeavor to protect us, we have been paying substantial funds to them for years.
    By doing so they protect the Public as well.
    It is everyone's duty in our Industry to inform the Public the way our industry operates in order for them to be able to make the right decision
    when it comes to buying or selling their home including commercial properties .
    By doing so we the Realtors, are equally protected.
    A perfect example,..... many years back, a renown Car Dealership had engaged me to buy the neighbouring commercial property. Both Buyer and Seller knew each other well and yet they employed a third party, a professional Realtor to secure a satisfactory transaction.
    Commission at 7%, no one had questioned it.
    Same principal applies to Residential sales as well.
  • Notabitworried | 19 Mar 2015, 11:15 AM Agree 0
    Same old song. This outrageous commissions and FSBOs on MLS topics must rank as the highest most played broken record. Relax. You and I know that most FSBOs fail to sell their home with or without help. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) about seven percent of FSBOs succeed, and out of those, three percent knew the buyer ahead of time. Relax. This is old old news and it won't make any difference. Trust me, been there, seen it ALL before, done that.
  • Charles S. | 19 Mar 2015, 11:18 AM Agree 1
    CREA and the Regional boards have far outlived their usefulness. They are a group of bloated pork choppers that simply provide lip service and bend over whenever threatened. They act as if they are a utility company and Realtors must bend to their will. Hell, forget just letting FSBO companies post, just simply open up the MLS system like Craigslist or Kijiji. This is where it is heading, so why not! I say it is high time for a cleaning of the house. FIRE CREA AND THE REGIONAL BOARDS! The Realtor's should take control back!!
  • Monte Gannon | 19 Mar 2015, 11:20 AM Agree 1
    Sure, they post the listing. Then try and book a showing What a joke. The owner has to be there and they are usually at work. They have no lockboxes or any other access. They take their property off the market by having no showings for weeks at a time which we are not allowed to do. The properties generally are overpriced in spite of them not paying commissions (also a joke- they pay upfront to the 'broker" - and then have to negotiate the commissions with buyer's representatives - since most of them are sold by Realtors anyway). Many negotiate several deals on their own with unqualified buyers and then AT the end of the day, when they don't sell, (and if they do it is about twice as long on MLS as the average), they end up hiring a Realtor, and that is after having spent money on the listing up front with these guys, put hours of their time into showings to "Looky loos" and are frustrated with the process. These so called FSBO ad agencies actually just make a good realtor look even better! We take on these listings after the sellers are sick of the FSBO agencies.
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 11:25 AM Agree 1
    You read my mind! This is an injustice not only to our profession and colleagues, but to our clients as well. Liability is at the very core of the services we provide. Even the most educated home owner is not familiar with many aspects of our industry, for which we receive in-depth training and education. Allowing these FSBO companies to be grouped under the same MLS umbrella with which we operate will not only further complicate the consumer's understanding of our business, but when complications arise (and they will), our industry will suffer in the public's perception of what we do, and how well we do it. Realtors have worked very hard for years to improve our public image, and have paid heavily in many different respects to improve public perception and increase the value of the consumer/Realtor relationship. We built this industry from the ground up and continue to strive to enhance the many aspects of it. To allow FSBO companies to 'join' our MLS family simply for the dollar value in a transaction is unacceptable.
  • Allison | 19 Mar 2015, 11:27 AM Agree 1
    It's a service. Some people change their own oil or cut their own hair. You get what you pay for. Nothing mandatory about getting help or employing a service. There's a reason 85% of the market still subscribes to getting help.

    I am a Realtor and I like showing and selling FSBO and Common Sense Free listings. I've stolen some of those houses for my clients and had unrepresented vendors agree to terms a Realtor would have never let them sign up for. All legal, all legit, just taking advantage of their inexperience and ego. Truth is they have no idea what they are missing, never will and they get so excited they can't pay attention, they don't read things. Then, once you are done with the offer they usually call for help with multitude of things they don't know about moving, costs, obligations. Same answer every time - I don't work for you - call your lawyer. See if he / she gives a crap. I know they don't. They are having dinner with their family or off on a weekend getaway. Only your Realtor is going to answer your panic call packed with questions and you don't want one.

    Common Sense Free Network will hook you up with telephone agents who will "help" you with paperwork - also my favourite. These are some seriously freshly licensed agents, also pretty fun to play with and interesting to watch the vendor struggle through the process.

    We had a 1% outfit for a while where I work. Like every discount brokerage they had to close up shop. Couldn't afford to do biz, couldn't attract any agents with a clue, personality or work ethic. Again, you get what you pay for. I can't disagree that 5 and 6% should be adjusted but I haven't seen a 6% listing in my market in forever and we are headed towards 4% which I think is fair. If you want to go lower than that we should have business hours. No one would do what they do on call everyday for less.

    Go ahead, put your own house up for sale. Chances are one of us will actually sell it any ways. We just won't have any obligation to look out for your best interest. We will do what's good for our buyers and in doing so we will be doing a great job.

    Lastly, I will say it. Not all Realtors are worth it. I got into this biz because my Realtor sucked so hard I wanted to knock him out. I think a lot of people have had a similar experience and it's tainted our industry. I also thought people deserved better. They deserved great service and attention to detail.

    Interview several Realtors if you are considering using one to sell your home. Don't feel obligated because someone gave you a pen or some stationary. Find someone who cares about what they do. Find someone your age you can relate to. Don't go for the agent who makes the most money or works on a huge team. They won't care about you. Find someone who works hard and isn't trying to be famous. Someone who takes the time you need, doesn't make you feel rushed and like your a small potato. If you take the time to find the right Realtor you won't be disappointed. Ask your friend and family who they recommend and make sure you get some great references.

  • Mike | 19 Mar 2015, 11:37 AM Agree 1
    I'm not a Realtor, just an investor, and have much respect for the hard working ones out there, especially my own! I've seen and experienced first-hand great service by mine and they are absolutely worth their commission! I've also done a lot of reading and research on "organized real estate" (ie. TREB, OREA, CREA). Unfortunately, this lack of respect, animosity, and so-called "high commissions" negativity towards the industry has been brought on by the organizations themselves. They allow the individuals to quickly get their license after 3 courses (...I know! 3 more after that in 2 years and "continuing education" !), pay thousands of dollars in fees every year (not including their marketing, brokerage, and other expenses, etc). That "organized real estate" process has become a business itself, regardless if they are non-profit! Then after all of that, they allow these FSBO companies to piggy-back off the money, sweat, investment, etc of their membership. Why don't these FSBO companies just have their own marketing platform? Let them spend the money and years and years to develop their own system(s)! Then see what the public thinks about it! (Admittedly, an over-confident family member of mine tried one of these FSBO sites, with no luck and wasted money! That's another story!) I don't think we would we be having these discussions, as much as we do, if there was a more traditional and systematic education entry to getting the real-estate license (ie. two-three year college diploma)??? Because the people who complain about commissions would have more respect for the industry when they see the educational background and the time it took to get the license! Not to mention, there wouldn't be such an "oversaturation" of Realtors in the market. Yes, some people will always complain! Those are the same ones that complain about life in general and about other professions' pay (ie. doctors, accountants, lawyers, athletes, consultants).
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 11:46 AM Agree 1
    Well said! After 28 years of providing excellent service to my clients, paying for our MLS systems. I am not ashamed to charge for services.
  • Edward | 19 Mar 2015, 11:46 AM Agree 1
    The statement about commission being 5%- 6% is misleading in may areas. I recently visited a friend in the North York area who stated commission in her area was typically 3.5% with 1% for the Selling office and 2.5% for the Buying office. In my area the norm is 4% with the split being 2% and 2% however we do deal with country property and I personally wont take a listing below 5% in the country due to the added cost of servicing the listing.

    FSBO companies will have a Seller believe that they are saving money by not paying the commission however if I were buying a FSBO home I would want to negotiate the price minus the commission so where is the savings? why not use a realtor. We all know (or should) that a property, properly exposed to the open market for a reasonable period of time is the only way to determine the true market value of any property.

    People say I'm lucky... and often complain about how much I/we make, (yes I have made a very good living for many years) at the expense of my family and personal life, while many people are dipping their toes in the lake on the weekend or sitting back relaxing through the week I am out working, many times until nearly midnight and almost every weekend.

    I have been abused by many clients over the years from apartment building owners who after selling their building expect me to look after providing keys to the new Buyer and removing old equipment at my expense or my favorite... After listing the house (at the Seller's price) and repeatedly asking them to reduce the price because it is too high, they don't listen, then when the listing is up, they go with another agent who lists the home at the price I told them in the first place and it sells right away. I have wasted many, many hours with the dreamers and lookie loos who have taken me away from my family time and wasted thousands of dollars on people who will not listen to a seasoned Broker.

    I am constantly hit up for donations and have given and given to many charities, sponsored children's soccer teams and freely given my time to different organizations. I own several rental properties which in turn provide quality housing to three single women (two with children) who would otherwise have it more difficult. Who looks after the maintenance... me, your local Real Estate Broker. I believe in giving back to our community. I pay an exurbanite amount in taxes, more than many people make and have large expenses thus providing jobs for people and helping those less fortunate who are on social assistance.

    Yes I make a good living but without people like me giving back to the community there would be less people employed, less children's organized activities and fewer places to live in our community which has a 1.2% vacancy rate. High income earners are good for your community.

    People look at the commission structure wrong, your house is worth "X" amount and the commission is added in on top and ultimately paid for by the Buyer. When Selling on your own both the Seller and Buyer should take this into account and reduce the price of the home to reflect the fact they are not using a Sales person.

  • Rick Reddekopp | 19 Mar 2015, 11:53 AM Agree 0
    This should not be allowed. If this continues, it will cripple the system and many people will be out of work at all levels from the commissions, boards, support agencies and brokerages. The rules will go by the wayside and it will become a free for all. Buyer Beware.
  • Up to here! | 19 Mar 2015, 12:02 PM Agree 0
    Do you see the legal profession offering all their professional tools to cut-rate legal imposters? I guess their association is head and shoulders above ours. I've really had enough of giving away our resouces to those who would distroy this industry.
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 12:19 PM Agree 0
    Why do we pay fees and belong to Reco and OREA and CREA and have to follow strick rules of engagement and a fsbo now has access to our system and represent themselves as Real estate agents and just wondering how Reco is going to deal with FSBO that doesn't follow rules of engagement. Very disappointed in where our industry is headed.
  • andrew | 19 Mar 2015, 12:25 PM Agree 0
    why not charge a user fee and anyone logging in pays for every page they see and then realtors will not have to pay to maintain or upgrade the system and maybe even get reimbursements or remunerations for the system, the FIBO can pay use for our system and we can watch TV
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 12:36 PM Agree 0
    I think you answered your own question. Real estate was a fraction of the price, meaning professionals need to earn more today to put a roof over their own family's heads. Price of fuel, office lease space, insurance costs, network expenses etc etc have all gone up.
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 12:42 PM Agree 0
    As a realtor I have had many clients deal with CommFree. Once they post your home on MLS. You are on your own. Who keeps track of the market for you and updates you when the neighbour's house sells for more than yours was listed for. Real estate is similar to the stock market, if you don't have an experienced person monitoring the market for you, and updating you, FSBO will end up selling for less.
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 12:43 PM Agree 0
    We have many ..."Full service Realtors "... across this great country of ours .. make some noise if we want it changed , don't sit on your hands waiting for someone else ..
  • Informed Choices are Good Choices | 19 Mar 2015, 12:52 PM Agree 0
    It's like the Old Adage "Any Lawyer that represents himself, has a Fool for a Client"!
    WE have spent years acquiring skills on marketing, advertising, evaluating comparables and learning through Experience what To do and what Not to do to achieve the best results for our Clients, whether they be Buyers or Sellers.
    The Consumer Protection agency should be protecting the Public by ensuring they are not entering into this arena, filled with pitfalls without the very best Information.
    CMHC has demanded that a Purchaser qualify, under very stringent criterias, that they can afford the amount of a Purchase BUT NOT THE PURCHASE ITSELF, how ludicrous is that??
    They want the Consumer to be responsible in not taking on too much debt but not be concerned with the fact that the wrong Purchase could result in costs that would put the Purchase way out of your financial capabilities, whether it be by overpaying, not being aware of the condition of the property, not being aware of other considerations of area or future development that could impact values unknown or to ensure that they are well informed of all the unforeseen pitfalls or expenses that could be much worse than a mortgage slightly beyond the Consumer's grasp.
    Don't forget every Seller (with few exceptions) are Buyers at the same time, they need this information as well.
    In my experience, most Sellers that have gone FSBO still want the services of an experienced agent to protect them in their acquisition process!
    They want to be protected (at the new Sellers expense) and want the information and experience a Professional Sales person offers and the Protection of our contracts, clauses and comparables. They are Half Right!!
    Even the Banks want an appraisal or the MLS listing information sheets forwarded to them (Realtor generated) to ensure their portion of the Purchase is protected, Who in the FSBO scenario looks out over your equity position in the Largest investment most people will ever make.
    Perhaps the Competition Bureau's people and the Consumer Protection Agency should have their people call one another.
    Competition is welcomed, everyone should have Choices but they should be informed Choices not fly by the seat of your pants and hope it all works out. IT WON"T, without guidance!!
    If you were making health decisions would you want the best advise and guidance or would you just grab the butcher knife and do it yourself!! Misinformation can also be deadly.
    The Law Society must love all this FSBO and 'Mere Posting' confusion!!!

  • Lynn | 19 Mar 2015, 12:55 PM Agree 0
    I totally agree with this comment! A commission-free listing on OUR MLS system? That doesn't make sense. Commission-free companies should group together and offer their own forum, not use the one we paid to develop and pay to maintain! OUTRAGED!!!!!!!.
  • AJ | 19 Mar 2015, 01:12 PM Agree 0
    This is getting ridiculous. If realtors and the boards they belong to own and pay to maintain the mls them why does the public have free access to it? I think we as realtors need to start taking a stand against the boards to fight harder to protect "our" intellectual property. That's not to say, that fsbo's shouldn't be permitted to sell their own property, but they shouldn't be able to list it on the websites that we each pay thousands to maintain annualy.
  • Elaine Smallwood | 19 Mar 2015, 01:21 PM Agree 0
    After 25 years of selling in every type of market with high interest rates, down markets, up markets, and with just about every type of situation that can happen in residential sales....who wouldn't want my expertise in helping them sell? The problem is the sellers don't seem to know what they don't know. There are so many pitfalls that can happen during the process of selling that realtors have to have the knowledge and understanding to deal with. How do home sellers expect to deal with those pitfalls on their own? Home sellers roll the dice when they try to do it on their own. Yes they may sell--but selling is not the only issue. Why can't we make sellers understand that we are professionals that actually bring a lot to the table. Do we make it look to easy? More fore sale by owner companies are going to make the lawyers rich.
  • | 19 Mar 2015, 01:48 PM Agree 0
    It's an election year, all of our members should contact there MP and ask them where they stand for our industry on this issue . There is no better time to get some action for our cause. You can make your decision on who to vote for after you get your response.
    If we wait for CREA & OREA and other voices to speak for us we will never get nowhere. Its time we take action ourselves as M.L.S. members and redeem our rights as Real estate Professionals.
  • Greg | 19 Mar 2015, 01:56 PM Agree 0
    For sale by owner & any companies like Comfree has no right invading the mls system. We pay for our license, board dues, all courses to upgrade ourselves, total professionial agents for both buyer & seller. WE pay to have a real estate board system including the mls system & it just should not be allowed to invade our business of work at virtually no cost. These companies are putting both our buyers & sellers at risk and they do not even know it. It is just an outrage!!!
  • Chris | 19 Mar 2015, 02:28 PM Agree 0
    I just showed a property whose owner disclosed a prior problem with a leaky roof. The roof rot had simply been shingled over and poorly at that. My client asked the owner why she didn't go after the previous owner. She said she had but the seller's lawyer said "Too bad. You don't have a case". I asked her who the brokerage was....she said ComFree or PropertyGuys. She couldn't remember. It was clear the sellers took advantage of this situation. I told her that we, as realtors, are held to a very high standard and she might have been better served by that model. In fairness, the house inspector missed the defect also.
  • Broker Steve | 19 Mar 2015, 03:03 PM Agree 0
    So, lets see if I've got this straight. When I wanted to register with a brokerage, I had to become a member of OREA, CREA, and my local board paying all the accompanying dues and fees.
    The rules are clear for salespeople and brokers. Each registered individual must join and pay.
    I'm now wondering if these discount and commission free brokerages will be required to register every employee trading in R.E. to do the same or will they all be using the same single membership? If this is happening what a bargain!

    How can/will the industry guard against this?

  • Rich | 19 Mar 2015, 03:16 PM Agree 0
    ComFree has made a mess of our MLS system in Alberta!! The sellers are not educated in correctly pricing their homes or the selling process ...what so ever! I have contacted Comfree sellers and they havent given any thought to whether they want to cooperate with realtors or even given thought to whether they would pay a buyers commission! We are suppossed to be a co-op whereby we agree to show each listings. In the end, you get what you pay for! The Competition Bureau screwed up thinking this was in the best interests of the public. At the end of the day, Realtors must provide the services to support the commission they charge.
  • Allison | 19 Mar 2015, 03:34 PM Agree 0
    Irony: The government stepped in decades ago to say anyone who represents buyers or sellers should be registered so that there is accountability in the real estate profession. The job was so serious it needed to be regulated so people wouldn't be taken advantage of. That's the reason we have licenses.

    Now that we are in a forced association adhering to a strict code of ethical guidelines and mandatory this and that out the wazzoo it's called a monopoly. Build it up and tear it down.
  • WOW!!! | 19 Mar 2015, 04:03 PM Agree 0
    The issue here is not "high commissions"! It's CREA, OREA, and the local boards (ie. TREB) not doing enough! They are just focusing on numbers (ie. 100,000 Realtors) and fees!

    These FSBO companies and their wonderful (sarcasm!) "business model" focuses on the monthly fees they charge. The longer the home stays on the market, the more they get paid! Yet, they are using the MLS system that we are paying for and have built, with not even one tenth of the liability and responsibilities that we adhere to!

    So to summarize:

    Our beloved TREB, OREA, and CREA collect the millions and millions of dollars annually. Employ hundreds and hundreds of "support" staff (whatever that means!). I don't even want to know how much the pay structure of the executives and other personnel are! And for what? To allow CommFree and others to jump on my back to use the same tools I'm paying for! And no top of that, to NOT do much in terms of fixing the public perception that is out there! Way to go "Organized Real Estate"! Your definitely here for me! You make me proud!
  • John | 19 Mar 2015, 04:04 PM Agree 0
    As stated earlier in my post "If it wasn't for the capitulation by CREA our national body a few years ago, if they had of stood their ground and fought this, rather than giving up we wouldnt be in the situation we are in now."
    Thanks CREA!!
  • Seriously!!! | 19 Mar 2015, 04:27 PM Agree 0
    To the few people in the "public" that complain about Realtor commissions/pay, and our members of parliament:

    I'm wondering if you put this kind of passion, excitement, and time into complaining about institutions (or as some call it, "industries") like our Senate. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of our taxes go into those six figure salaries, pensions, full benefits, and expenses paid-for, for a bunch of close to retirement people saying "yes" to laws/legislations that have already been decided and passed in parliament! And let's not forget the outrageous spending, fraud, napping, and setting up an investigation/committee to look into all of that! Hmmmm! That makes a lot of sense!

    Yet we complain about hard working and high tax paying individuals that provide an actual professional service that contributes to the economy!

  • Ted | 19 Mar 2015, 04:32 PM Agree 0
    I agree! Not that CREA, OREA, and TREB care about what I think! But, they need to take more responsibility and actions!

    ... but we all know they won't!

  • | 19 Mar 2015, 05:08 PM Agree 0
    these comfree guys don"t know what they are talking about. they just put their clients property for sale charge them money and dissapear. It is fast way of pocketing money and then go to next. in the meantime the seller has no experience in Real Estate and left with no representation and process of selling the home. there are legal ramifications for sellers if they misrepresent the buyers. there are contracts, consideration and lot more involved. the most important are clauses which protect the buyers and sellers depending who you represent in the is like servicing the car thoroughly or just wash it and say it is ready. there is a lot of difference between the two.
  • Old Timer | 19 Mar 2015, 05:30 PM Agree 0
    Over the past few decades I have seen a number of new 'sales systems' come and go. Mostly go! In the spirit of entrepreneurship I have nothing against property owners trying to sell their own property with an expected savings of the commission. That goes for companies that make things available to them to do so at very little cost. My only concern would be the liability. With more and more people going 'sue crazy' awards of $5000-100,000 are not uncommon. Realtors have E & O insurance to cover such a possibility. More and more the Courts are expecting full disclosure and accountability from Sellers and, of course, person who represent Sellers. As long as Realtors and these 'MLS mere posting' companies make their clients fully aware of the pitfalls of 'going it on your own', after fully explaining this, it is possible the listing company could be not held accountable and the full brunt of the judgement would fall on the property owner. As far as charging these new business plan companies to use the MLS system. This won't happen because all licensed real estate companies that meet the qualifications of the real estate councils in each Province and who belong to a Board enjoy the same right to use the MLS system.
  • Ken | 19 Mar 2015, 07:26 PM Agree 0
    Whats the real Story. FSBO sites are now charging the public around $4,000 to put their property on the mls system and then they are never to be heard from again.
    They encourage the seller to pay nothing until they have a signed offer in hand and then they should negotiate the commission.
    (Who goes to work every day just in case they might get paid something at the end? No Seller that I am aware of.)
    Then after the property does not sell which is about 80% of the time, the seller now pays a Realtor full commission to pay for a full service Brokerage. Not much savings to be had at this game. Maybe the FSBO sites should tell the public the REAL Truth!
  • Moe | 19 Mar 2015, 09:02 PM Agree 0
    After all that’s been said, it is obvious that most of us are not satisfied with OREA, CREA, RECO, and our local associations. Such organizations were constructed to control and govern us, not one of these organizations is built to protect us.
    I think it’s about time to abolish the existing structure of this industry, and establish a new one that will safeguard our jobs.
    Our profession has been attacked and is deteriorating because of this weak structure. If we are serious about protecting our livelihood we have to start now. The floor is open for all opinions. We can start with a small committee to collect all these opinions and ideas and come up with a new structure, and or, contract a consultant office to help create a new structure for the industry. A structure that will protect us.
    I think it is about time to take this matter into our own hands.
  • | 20 Mar 2015, 01:50 AM Agree 0
    The best way for us agents is to stop paying our fees and have our own system all big companies together and leave the board we don't need them if they are not working for us period.
  • Ganesh | 20 Mar 2015, 10:43 AM Agree 0
    You have spoken on behalf of thousands of realtors who feel that TREB, OREA, CREA are not doing enough to protect our interest by allowing FSBO listings on our MLS. A very well summarized description of our professional services as compared to others, that puts things into perspective.
  • Agreed! | 20 Mar 2015, 12:10 PM Agree 0
    Moe and Ganesh, and the many other comments before you,

    Well said! It's the reality! It's very very sad and frustrating to see TREB, OREA, and CREA sit back, collect fees, and NOT protect their membership, and only pretend to! (...although, I don't even think they "pretend"! It's just not there!)

  • | 20 Mar 2015, 12:45 PM Agree 0
    It is unfortunate that there are people that want to undermine our reputation. Realtors adhere to strict guidelines, education and expense. We pay for the MLS; we should be entitled to decide who can and cannot post on our system. I am tired of Comfree trying to make us look as if we overcharge our clients. How many homes have Comfree sold in relation to Realtors???? Think about it folks. Do you want a Realtor that works for you or do you want to pay a company to sell your own home where you have to do the showings and open houses. Let the Realtors do the work.
    Sylvia R
  • Worth It | 20 Mar 2015, 03:58 PM Agree 0
    Common Sense Free is a brokerage. They pay fees too. Sellers are agreeing in writing to their limited services and Common Sense Free plays within the guidelines. What we need to see is that although it seemed like a bright idea in the 90s to put all of this information online and available to the public now it is working against us. People assume the online ad is it. That it is the extent of what we do. It's not true. That is all a mere poster does. Period.

    In today's world information is something people are entitled to. You can't just take away online information but get rid of the MLS and the major players (Royal LePage, Remax etc.) will have the brand power to drive people into their websites and all these discounters and Common Sense Free will evapourate naturally. We can't take away the information, we just don't need to be pooling it with the bottom feeders any more. Let the little guys fend for themselves.

    I find most FSBOs have had a terrible experience with a Realtor and they don't want to pay another one. The point about stepping up required education is a great one. They have already pulled in the reigns on CRAs. Now that is post grad study for a University Grad. As it should be. Get rid of the car salesmen and let the brains take over.

  • | 20 Mar 2015, 09:36 PM Agree 0
    All brokers and agent should make their union. that's the only way to save the MLS system
  • e. harold | 20 Mar 2015, 10:32 PM Agree 0
    Commission Free is NOT Cost Free !!! - Com-Free will take your money; give you a shit load of useless papers you Do Not understand and wish you Luck - Your Property will be put on MLS for a onetime fee and YOU Do the Work - Agents who have a bona fide License will shy away until you NEED to sell - Then they may help you BUT they Do Not work for o $$$ - But if the status of your listing is not known to them Daily by way of a updated listing by a reputable Agent, you will need LUCK - Would you like to have your heart operated on by a medical student; Alone
    Com-Free is very low knowledge in Real Estate - It's your Choice - Choose wisely - Choose a Real Realtor !
  • | 21 Mar 2015, 01:48 AM Agree 0
    Unfortunately finding a good honest realtor is really difficult .
  • Geoff | 21 Mar 2015, 02:15 AM Agree 0
    I agree to all of your comments and frustration with what you had to mention in your comments. Well said .................
    CREA and the local boards and the board of Directors caved into the Competition Bureau at the first hurdle without even a Legal challenge.
    From what legal advise was given at the time within CREA and not to contest the competition bureau is beyond me. That's the past this is the present.
    My question now after 15 years in the Business.

    Q, Why do we need the Local boards ?
    Q. What are the benefits to us apart from data ?

    For an establishment who ignore the frustrated voice of the membership and the board of directors who do not represent the views of the membership.

    My suggestion to the solution is quite simple and I'm advocating on the premises of the Province of Alberta. Ontario, B.C., Manitoba and the rest can do the same.

    Here in Calgary there are 6 Companies who control 95 % of the Market share and continues to do so.

    In order : Create a Super Mobile Board as follows .............
    A complete separate MLS Site within the top Companies listings and Data.
    The (6) companies ( ReMax, Royal Le Page, C- 21, CIR, Sutton Group & Sothebys ) share Real Estate Information with Realtor to Realtor shared information as what we practice today.

    Adhere to Ethics and Business practices to RECA ( local provincial Government agency ) Rules & Regulations to Organized Real Estate.
    Advocate strict policy : Immediate life time ban for any guilty practices in Fraud or any guilty serious offences. ( no more minor slap on the wrists to the ones found guilty )

    An easy to navigate and functional web site to the general public who only gain access to this New functional MLS system with a code when a signed buyer brokerage is submitted. Access to free information only applies for the duration of the buyer brokerage service agreement.
    Membership to the Super board ( mobile ) pays for the costs, staff and Tech Support.

    No FSBO, Commission free, Armpit Realty etc companies would be not given any membership to the new MLS system.

    The local boards for a membership are no longer viable in the 21 st century and the board of directors are only in for their own personal gain. It just shows when there is a AGM or special Meetings there is only a 2 % membership who attend here in Calgary.

    Break away from CREB and AREA ( Alberta Real Estate Association )

    Forms we use today continue as we do with RECA or government agency.

    What we need a co-operative membership for Realtors who work together with shared information.

    That's all I have to say and Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

  • Free The Info | 21 Mar 2015, 04:40 PM Agree 0
    Breakaway from the broken model of charging 4-6% commission for being a tour guide and looking up comparables. MY Accountant who is a CA and does my business/personal taxes for 4,000. How in the world can a realtor with a 3 month course be worth 20,000-50,000!!!

    Accountants and lawyers have 4- 5 years of schooling and they make 1,000 -3000 and provide tremendous amounts of info,advice,direction!!! These egos with their door opening skills try to justify they are equal !!!

    Home prices went up not the value of the agent or service. You got a free ride and it is all changing!!

    Price wars equals Commission Wars!!! More Agents

  • Jack | 21 Mar 2015, 05:44 PM Agree 0
    Since when data is free? The record of sold properties, in Alberta for example, is a public record. All you have to do is pay $10, per title search, to access that information, through the Alberta Registries and the land title office. Imagine building a data set, at $10 per pop. and then offering it free on your website. Good business plan?

    All this non-sense about free public data is just that: nonsense.

    It took a lot of money through the membership fees to pay for this data.

    Now you have a few agents who decided to cash in on this data, by sitting, on their rear ends, in front of a computer. If, as the so called experts claim, this data does become “free,” it will quickly degrade in quality and become junk data. Whom will this serve?
  • Reality | 22 Mar 2015, 11:08 AM Agree 0
    What do u mean no free data? Are u a dinasour? Called the internet with tremendous amounts of data/info...stock info/data is free and that is even more complicated than residential are boxes with walls,doors and a status certificate..what more can u do and would hope provide a guarantee charging or asking 20,000 plus in fees..
  • | 22 Mar 2015, 02:37 PM Agree 0
    People obviously do not realize the amount of work and money it takes to be in this business and it is outrageous that these postings are allowed on our mls system!
  • Jan | 22 Mar 2015, 04:03 PM Agree 0
    Most of the free data on the internet is junk. If there is so much internet data, why are some many “would be realtors” clamoring to get their hands on the MLS data? Good data is not free anywhere. You want land titles public data, call the land title office to give you access. Please tell us how it works out.
  • Sidhu | 22 Mar 2015, 04:25 PM Agree 0
    John, you are absolutely correct!! It was OUR national association, CREA, who capitulated to that idiot who headed the CB, and who decided to manipulate the result by taking the AGM to New Foundland , where approximately 200 members decided for the 90,000 of us who could not attend and, therefore, could not vote, to allow membership to those who will " list only" and " not offer co-operating commission " to Buyers' Agents!! Yes, thanks CREA!!

    However, be that as it may, remember nothing beats success like success in achieving one' s goal!!! FSBOs' goal is to successfully sell their property and pay little or no commission!! Who helps them to achieve their goal??? Think and act accordingly!!
  • freda | 22 Mar 2015, 05:02 PM Agree 0
    Free the Info, you are correct! The average CA and Lawyer have more extensive education than the average Real Estate Agent! However, many Agents have university degrees that took 4-5 yrs of schooling! Moreover, the present day Real Estate program takes 1-2 yrs to complete!
    Did you know, " Free the info" , that airline pilots do not require an university education to obtain their pilots' licence?? Yet, they earn $ 150,000- $250,000 p.a.! Why? Their job is considered skilled and high-risk! They are not paid for their education so much as for the risks they encounter and the skills they exhibit every time they do their job!
    Real Estate agents not only act as " tour guides" , to quote you, but they have to always be on guard to determine everything they can about the properties they list/ persuade their Buyers to buy and make full disclosure, negotiate the price/terms of Agreement, AND always be available to their clients at any time of the day, evening, night, weekday or weekend, working day or public holiday!! They can NOT tell their clients " call me on Monday, when I'm back in office"! Real Estate Sellers/Buyers expect that their Agent will be available to them at their beck and call, or they will find another one who will!! Consequently, Real Estate Agents suffer a high divorce rate because they do not have the time for " quality time" with their families!! You are paying them for their time and availability!!
  • | 22 Mar 2015, 05:30 PM Agree 0
    I think we should charge for at least 5% from the sellers and full month's rent for a lease. When you sell or lease these properties you as buyer's representative end up doing Listing Agent's job as well.
  • Reality | 22 Mar 2015, 06:58 PM Agree 0
    The Poets,

    If you can convince ur clients to pay you 20,000-50,000 for a service that has not changed except home prices went up....go for it... Every model out there has dropped in costs except the ones with a monopoly...
  • | 22 Mar 2015, 07:10 PM Agree 0
    It's a simple solution. Do away with co-broker commissions. Don't work with any buyers that don't sign an exclusive buyers contract specifying your fee, and let all the FSBOs list on MLS for a healthy fee, and deal with unqualified buyers; while the experienced agents deal with Buyers who see value you in representation.
  • Robert | 22 Mar 2015, 09:30 PM Agree 0
    "Free the info is misleading.” Should the MLS become a free for all, which appears like a distinct possibility, we will be back to where we started. History repeats itself because each generation goes out there to invent the wheel. It is very clear from this discussion, most people have forgotten why the real estate industry was organized and regulated in the first place. Agents will have to decide whether there is a value in a MLS system which is not reliable. In the US, there are multiple MLS systems and the same will happen here. Why should there be only one
  • :) | 23 Mar 2015, 06:55 AM Agree 0
    And you wonder why people feel the existing real industry is a monopoly. Some of the comments on this forum truly show the "old-school" mentality that is killing the industry slowly. I don't blame realtors for shaking in their boots as only the largest will survive and the rest will end up selling used cars or hot tubs. Good luck.
  • 40,000 AGENTS!!! | 23 Mar 2015, 09:33 AM Agree 0
    it is changing world and people better hold on because doing things urself is where we are going...being self sufficient and using the internet too save money for own kids,expenses,interest.... stock brokers,travel agents etc all had a monopoly and that has changed...why pay someone so much when it is not guaranteed...consumers are researching to make their own decisions and results are the same ..

    the only thing holding back a few consumers is the comparables if that was available the monopoly would be over..

    I would blame the industry also for not making the courses 3-4 yrs and you wouldn't have 40,000 agents who have too eat

    Infomercial on you too can make easy money with a 3 month course
  • REALTOR ADVOCATE | 23 Mar 2015, 09:34 AM Agree 1
    SPEAK UP... Not one realtor has commented with his/her full name and company name regarding this issue. FEAR FACTOR is abundant within this industry! If those in this industry can not work collectively to debate this issue openly and professionally, how do you expect the market... your clients... to honor your integrity and commissions! You have paid for your real estate licenses dearly. You have expended much time, energy and money to reach the levels you have obtained. Why are you paying all of these board and association fees? As one gentleman mentioned earlier: Start with a small committee to collect all these opinions and ideas and come up with a new structure, and or, contract a consultant office to help create a new structure for the industry. Therefore; stand up, expose yourselves and make changes to your system. Signed: THE REALTOR ADVOCATE
  • | 24 Mar 2015, 08:29 AM Agree 0
    Fantastic. I agree 100%
  • Greed | 24 Mar 2015, 09:33 AM Agree 0
    I agree too that the over charging agents have created this mess...It is fantastic that consumers are waking up and doing their own research and looking for a reasonable service that will provide them same results for a fraction of the cost.

    This motivation by consumers will not stop because they see it is not rocket science to sell/ is just a monopoly

    All industries are changing because the greed of a few
  • Commission wars | 24 Mar 2015, 11:44 AM Agree 0
    The greed of a few that feel being a agent gives them privelage and forget about the reasonable cost of their service will keep their model going...GREED WILL FALL ANY MODEL unless they have monopolies ...
  • | 25 Mar 2015, 12:11 PM Agree 0
    Don't kid yourself - some people don't see value in anything, and no matter what the cost they will complain. I laugh at people who bitch about ads on Facebook for example - they say "why should they be able to post ads in the news feeds" Let's get real it costs money to run a business. The average real estate commissions are in about the 3.5% and people complain...if was less they would still complain. The FSBO's of the world can post their ads online anytime for free on lots of sights, they can pay to create their own websites, they are free to do as they please - but why on earth they feel they have the right to a professional association's intellectual property is beyond me.
  • Haha ... | 25 Mar 2015, 05:52 PM Agree 0
    Lol @ "Free The Info" and Commission Wars!

    It's the same troll every time on all of these articles! You rally have nothing to do! Sure, live life as a complainer and get far! Not happening!

    The Senate is waiting for you to apply (...I mean your "appointment" to the Senate is pending)!

    Then you can sit, nap, and complain about life and why your at the place you are at! At least this way, you get paid for it!

  • Commission wars | 25 Mar 2015, 06:52 PM Agree 0
    Senate sounds like a good idea... if I wanted to take advantage in a monopoly, have a ego,get privileges,act divine , try to open doors for my friends,take tours of places,taxi people around in senate cars, do 2-3 hour lunches,squeeze as much out of the Canadians...sounds like a realtor!!!

    Funny how senate came up when u were trying to be witty,, I see how u relate

    Strange how u have time to respond on here with all the time spent looking up comparables and the latest listing...must be exhausting..

    Picking up dry cleaning and scheduling the next tour,gasing up the taxi, printing those comparables...shooting for closest comparable previouisly sold in ur offer and mind blowing listing presentation... 3 month course in negotiations skills.. multiple choice do u do it??
  • | 27 Mar 2015, 09:41 AM Agree 0
    Funny,Every buyer that made money . Never complained about the fee. Maybe you should buy better
  • Reality not Realtor | 27 Mar 2015, 11:23 AM Agree 0

    The world of efficiency is growing and the cost of the efficiency is shrinking..home buyers buy one house and get caught up in the emotion and don't realize what is real happening. taking candy from a baby ...

    Commission wars and wars on any greed. Funny in the papers yesterday spoke about the twisting in how realtors do their bidding wars. Inlfating prices artificially for their back slapping on how proud they are inflating the markets artificially in a low supply market
  • John Murphy, Broker | 30 Mar 2015, 11:48 AM Agree 0
    I have been a licensed Real Estate Salesperson for over 20 years and a Broker for 12 years. I have learned to accept (not like) the fact that, even though MLS was built and continues to be maintained (paid for) by licensed Brokerages and members, we are obligated to permit FSBO listings on our site as "Mere Postings" This was mandated by the Federal Competition Bureau and agreed to by CREA (and apparently it's Members, although I don't remember having any input or voting on the decision.) What I do take issue with is licensed Brokerages seeing this as an opportunity to make a quick $$$ by abandoning their ethics and acting as Agents for Private Sale Companies to list their properties on our site. We have Brokerages operating in Nova Scotia that wouldn't know if the Canso Causeway connected Cape Breton or P.E.I. to the mainland. How would they? They operate from out of Province, have no physical and could care less what damage they do to our Industry. What amazes me is that our Regulators (NSREC) see nothing wrong with this. It's fine to list properties on MLS based on the information provided to you by a Marketing Company, without verifying any of it. Who cares if the house is 40 years old instead of 14 ? Does it really matter ? It does to me and it does to my fellow REALTORS(R) who have always put our Clients' best interest ahead of personal gain. It's no wonder our industry is losing the respect it once had.
  • | 30 Mar 2015, 11:53 AM Agree 0
    Do you make the same income you made 10 years ago? I don't think so, yet you have so wisely pointed out that Real Estate Sales people should be able to work for 1/2 the commission rate we made then because the price of homes has grown so greatly. Well, Real Estate sales people have the same bills, obligations and costs that you have . Why don't you go to your boss this afternoon and tell him you feel you are overpaid??
  • Reality | 30 Mar 2015, 02:57 PM Agree 0
    Pretty simple minded with that justification. Prices of homes went up a lot more than wage inflation. Matter of fact wages deflated in many areas by the greed of a few. The service of the realtor has/is becoming less relevant like many industries and consumers are finally waking up more...don't worry it is happening everywhere...
  • e. harold | 27 Apr 2015, 01:10 PM Agree 0
    why are we giving our creation away ? - a free ride has its bumps - beware of cheap service -

    Good Service is Not Cheap
    Cheap Service is Not Good

    Where did you make all this money that you like giving away ?? ? Real Estate, of course !!
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