The Competition Bureau says today it will try to make it cheaper for sellers to list their homes on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS).
Currently consumers are forced to pay for services on the MLS site imposed by the Canadian Real Estate Association they may not want or need, says the bureau.
"Consumers should be able to choose which services they want to buy in order to facilitate that transaction, including lower-cost options," says Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition.
Before listing on the MLS system, which accounts for the vast majority of real estate transactions in Canada, agents must agree to comply with the Canadian Real Estate Associations restrictions.
For example, the Competition Bureau says agents are prohibited under CREA's rules from offering consumers the option of simply paying a fee for an agent to list a home on the MLS system. Instead, all consumers looking to list a property must purchase a pre-determined set of additional services from an agent, such as presentation of offers and negotiation of a final deal.