Cheaper home prices possible now that MLS can list privately sold properties

Cheaper home prices possible now that MLS can list privately sold properties

(Image: Tumanc)

Toronto homebuyers had a rare reason to pay attention to news from Newfoundland this weekend. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) met in St. John’s to ratify a deal between the realtors and the federal competition bureau that will allow private-sale properties onto the Multiple Listings Service (MLS)—a database that accounts for most of Canada’s house sales. In exchange for giving the competition bureau what it wants, the CREA avoids a court case it was probably going to lose and, more importantly, opens the door to cheaper houses.

CBC gave this example:

“A lot of Canadians didn’t know they could sell without a real estate agent if you could believe that,” said Walter Melanson, director of partnerships with, a no-frills company that helps individuals sell their own houses.

Companies like earn their income through flat advertising sales. Until now, however, their clients have been unable to list with MLS, which is a primary source of information for prospective buyers.

This is a good thing for people selling their homes, and presumably for buyers if the lower prices trickle down at all. It’s not particularly unexpected; when the deal was announced at the beginning of the month, it seemed like a sure thing that CREA would ratify it. Of course, with growing concerns about a softer real estate market, there may be a lot more home sellers soon, meaning this change came just in time to save MLS users a tidy sum.

• MLS monopoly’s end welcomed [CBC News]
• Real estate association ratifies agreement [Toronto Sun]
• MLS ruling a ‘win-win’: Realtor [Calgary Herald]
• Landmark deal means cheaper real estate fees for Canadians [Toronto Star]