THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK
The Official Krisztina Blogsite
A lot of newspaper headlines have recently been devoted to the battle between The Competition Bureau and the CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) regarding unfair competition and the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). The CREA says consumers have plenty of choice when it comes to buying and selling real estate and I tend to agree. There are already Agents who offer a variety of packages for a variety of fees including Flat Fee Real Estate – that is, paying a fee of approximately $109 for listing on MLS only. Other packages are also offered by certain Agents depending on need, and of course there are a number of cut-rate Brokerages. Should the MLS system be opened up, my concern would be two-fold. First, I pay fees to the Burlington Board, the Oakville Board and the Toronto Board. For my dues, they manage the MLS system in that territory. So I question how a revamped MLS open to the public would be covered financially and as well, the various privacy issues currently attached even to our access.
That aside, I absolutely do not feel threatened by this current Competition Tribunal, no matter the outcome. It’s the difference between shopping at a No Frills and shopping at a Loblaws Superstore. It depends on your needs (and your skill-set) as a seller. Obviously, a Real Estate Agent brings their own skill-set to the table. There’s professional staging, Open Houses, Virtual Tours, Agent to Agent connections, marketing, ability to bring Buyers to the table, experience at the negotiating stage..and so on. We can shape up a shabby property and we often miss family occasions to make sure the sale goes through. We bring our knowledge of market trends, mortgage rates, property values and neighbourhood plusses to the table. Bottom line – there will always be a majority of homesellers and homebuyers willing to pay for that level of service. (And I’m willing to answer my Blackberry at all hours!!) Of course, on the flip side, a privately listed property on MLS may give little incentive for Real Estate Agents to bring their buyers in, and therefore the private seller may never even see Fair Market Value for their property.
And beware, even in this HOT HOT Market, we are still seeing price reductions and homes expiring on the market. Buyers are demanding. The tougher the market, the more people will depend on our professional services. So, as I said, I believe there are many options currently available to homesellers, but the best option is to go with a professional. And I’ll keep working my butt off to deserve the privilege of working for you.
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