Competition Bureau and the MLS

Why does the general public and the Competition Bureau seem to believe that by allowing home owners to list their properties on the MLS, commission rates will drop?  We already have discount Brokerages that are members and who list properties on the MLS but we seem to be mostly fighting with a group of discount brokerages that are not members but still want access to the MLS.  The way that it currently works in Ontario is that you, a licensed real estate agent must be a member of your local Real Estate Association (or Board) to list your client's properties on the MLS.  The MLS or Multiple Listing Service is simply a shared database of members or REALTORS listings. We choose (or more likely our client does) whether or not to advertise on the MLS.  The cost of membership is typically around a $1,000.00 a year - more in larger urban centres and less in smaller areas for each REALTOR with a similar amount as a one time entrance fee.  Since we now know that over 90% of Buyers are now using the MLS to search for homes, this approximately $1,000.00 annual fee seems very reasonable especially when you consider that many REALTORS spend more than that a month or even a week in advertising.  Of course, our membership in our Association gains us a great many more benefits then just listing houses on the MLS but it is probably the most inexpensive advertising we can ever hope to obtain for our sellers and that makes membership in the Association a great deal, even a bargain.  So why haven't these other discount brokerages joined?  Better still what does any of it have to do with commission rates?  Absolutely nothing.  The only stipulation in the MLS rules is that something must be offered to co-operating REALTORS.  No where does it specify a minimum.  If you have any questions please give me a call.

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