Agents applaud Quebec lawsuit

by Olivia D'Orazio04 Dec 2014
Agents across the country are applauding Quebec’s real estate board after it launched a class action lawsuit against a major for-sale-by-owner company, but some players argue the move is only one part of a much larger puzzle.
“Fantastic,” Michael Gouchie, a broker in Lacombe, Alta., wrote in the REP forum. “I hope the lawsuit is successful and that CREA and all the boards are watching carefully. Here in Alberta, we have a FSBO company doing pretty much the same thing. I would love to see a class action lawsuit launched against them.”
The lawsuit – which the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) filed yesterday morning – is certainly setting a precedent for the rest of the country’s provincial associations. Agents are now increasingly calling on their local boards to impose similar regulations they believe would better protect consumers.
“Some standards of care should be embedded in the various real estate acts under legislation,” Bob Quinnell, an agent in Maple Ridge, B.C., wrote in the forum. “For example, the status of a salesperson being part-time, the care of an offer presentation and negotiation, third-party remuneration and those disguised as advertising fees [should] have a licensing requirement.”
Other agents, though, took another route in addressing the problem, arguing these FSBO companies don’t often paint the best picture for buyers. Commenters shared their experiences selling previously listed FSBO properties after the owners were unsuccessful on their own.
“One of my clients … used FSBO services for one-and-a-half years,” wrote Bijan Hirji, an agent in Toronto. “It still cost him $1,800 to get the posting done, and [he received] no advice as to price or how it works. He got ripped off – time and money.
“I sold the house.”

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