The federal Competition Bureau on Monday launched an aggressive attack on the Canadian Real Estate Association, challenging its rules governing MLS and calling for a radical changes in how homes are sold in Canada.
"Our concern is that [CREA]are improperly and unlawfully leveraging [their control over MLS]in order to impose these restrictions and to deny competitive forces and to deny good old-fashioned market competition," said Competition Commissioner Melanie Aitken. "This case is focused pure and simple: Let consumers have the choice, let agents have the opportunity to satisfy and serve those choices."
CREA president Dale Ripplinger called Ms. Aitken's decision "surprising and disappointing," and said her allegations about the MLS restrictions were "simply false."
He said said the country's 100,000 real estate agents already compete fiercely for business, with many offering cut-rate services even when using the MLS. Agents find it "offensive" that the bureau believes they are trying to keep prices high by restricting the type of services that can be offered.
"I can say CREA isn't to blame for any of this," Mr. Ripplinger said. "There is nothing that we do that isn't in the best interest of our clients."
Mr. Ripplinger and real estate reporter Steve Ladurantaye took questions on buying and selling homes in Canada, the Competition Bureau's complaint against CREA and how it could affect you.
Dale Ripplinger has more than 25 years of experience in the industry, working both as a salesperson and Broker. He is currently Broker/Owner of Realty Executives Dale Ripplinger and Associates in Regina. He was the inaugural winner in 1992 of the CMHC REALTOR of the Year Award for Regina and in 2000 received the CMHC Distinguished REALTOR Award for the Province of Saskatchewan. Dale has served as director, vice-president and president of the Association of Regina REALTORS, as well as director, vice-president and president of the Saskatchewan Association of REALTORS. He has also served as regional director for Saskatchewan and director-at-large on the CREA Board of Directors. Dale was the 2006 Chair of the CREA Federal Affairs Committee.
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