Competition Bureau Update

By Bill Johnston, Broker, MA, LL.B.

As I am sure you are aware, the market is hot nearly everywhere! It is a great time to be a seller, with interest rates startlingly low and buyers in large supply. Well-priced, properly staged and professionally marketed properties are attracting big prices.

Some of you have enquired about the recent Competition Bureau issues highlighted for a short time in the media. Here are the keys points:

1. The Bureau feels that current Canadian Real Estate Association rules restrict members from offering very limited services to sellers. The bureau wants the rules changed so that a member can put a listing on the mls system for a seller and then let the seller deal directly with potential buyers and buyers agents. Current rules require the member to maintain some level of involvement throughout the marketing and sale process.

2. The fact is that some members have been offering minimum service levels for years. Generally speaking, sellers do not understand and are incapable of handling the details involved in a transaction and need professional guidance. That is why the minimum service level brokers seem to disappear rapidly.

3. While the media have portrayed the dispute between CREA and the Bureau as a commission issue, it isn’t. When I came into the business in 1982, most brokerages insisted that their salespeople get a 6% commission on all listings. Through the 1980’s the business changed radically, and salespeople were freed to negotiate commissions unrestricted by a company policy. Today, you can hire a salesperson for many of the reputable firms in your neighbourhood for as little as 0% commission on the listing side! In fact, a few years ago a couple of salespeople advertised that they would pay sellers to list with them! Of course, you will get what you pay for. Excellent salespeople require payment for their services.

Bill Johnston is a Broker with Royal LePage Your Community and his website is located at


One response to “Competition Bureau Update

  1. eleanor kirkby

    Good for you, Bill ! Excellent article ! Eleanor Kirkby.

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