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Realtors open doors for Canada’s real estate consumers

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I’ve been CEO of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) for three months. While I still consider myself new to the role, I have been leading real estate boards and associations in different provinces for more than two decades, giving me a front-row seat to this evolving industry.

Compared to other places around the world, Canada’s real estate landscape is unique and envied. We have an incredibly strong regulatory environment and cooperative framework. It’s so well-established and reliable, I’d say most of us take it for granted.

So, when challenges arise – and challenges are aplenty in our industry – it can be easy to think that because something’s wrong, something must be broken.

 

Realtor members have long opened doors to our vision that all Canadians have access to housing

 

For more than 80 years, our realtor members have been opening doors to our long-shared vision that all Canadians have access to housing. Across the country, realtors empower buyers, sellers and renters in their real estate journeys.

Our consistent, comprehensive and measured housing market analysis has helped spotlight that “all real estate is local”, set a benchmark that better reflects neighbourhood and property-specific features and highlight potential market trends. Like we have since 2015, raising alarm bells about the impending housing supply crisis.

 

NAR class action settlement: Impact unknown in the U.S. and Canada

 

Since the announcement from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that it had agreed to settle its class action(s) by paying $418 million and eliminating its rules on cooperating commissions (that were the subject of the actions), we know there are questions about potential impact here. With so much still unconfirmed, we can’t yet fully understand the impact on that country, let alone our own. There are also legal and factual differences between the U.S. and Canadian cases to consider.

That said, let’s not forget the foundation already well established here in Canada – through our MLS systems, provincial regulations and commitment to transparency. When consumers look to find a property, they can choose to work with a realtor who has access to accurate and comprehensive MLS data.

When they’re ready to make an offer, more often than not, the relationship with their realtor is defined through a buyer agency agreement (true for more than 80 per cent of homes sold in Canada). And, whether buying or selling, consumers have always been able to negotiate commissions with their agent.

 

Alongside our more than 160,000 realtor members, we’re focused on pushing the industry forward, creating a future where housing is a fundamental human right and opening more doors for Canadians. Let’s continue focusing on progress and building on our successes. That’s what this moment demands.

 


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