Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fair's Fair, Except When It Ain't

The Financial Post had a recent story speculating on what kind of deal the Competition Bureau and the Canadian Real Estate Association have worked out regarding access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Not much, according the lawyer type guy who led the charge to force CREA to open access to the MLS to consumers.
Again, I have no idea. CREA's membership, in the form of the big brokerage firms, will vote on October 24, during a regularly scheduled meeting in St. John's, Nfld.. I'll wait until the dust settles before commenting further on that.
Here's what caught my eye in the Financial Post story. Look who's making a fuss about the danger of opening the MLS up to civilians.

The other major ramification of the agreement could be a gradually squeezing of for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sites, which could find themselves competing more and more as discount models on the MLS. That was one of the fears of National FSBO Network, whose vice-president of operations, Stephen Skelly, had argued in a letter to the Competition Tribunal that if agents list property on the MLS for a one-time fee and provide no additional service, his members would not be able to compete.

So, the guys who offer bare-bones, some might say nonexistent support to homeowners who want to sell their properties themselves,  are now worried that opening the MLS to homeowners could put them out of business. My heart bleeds. 

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