It’s been almost 7 years since an agreement was reached between the Canadian Competition Bureau and the Canadian Real Estate Association which gave private home sellers the ability to post their listings on the MLS system. While the Canadian Real Estate Association grudgingly agreed to the deal, after a lengthy battle, the “mere” listings have been ignored by Real Estate Agents, making them pretty much useless to the private home sellers.
At the time of the agreement, in December of 2010, The Real Estate Association said “While sellers are still not permitted to list on the MLS by themselves, they will now be able to pay a licensed broker a fee to have their property listed on the MLS system and then sell the property themselves.”
The cost for private sellers to do this has been anywhere from hundreds of dollars, to several thousands of dollars, to post their listings on the MLS system. That can only be done through a licensed Real Estate Agent or Broker. But what most private sellers don’t realize, is that Real Estate Agents can distinguish the difference between “real” MLS Listings, and “mere” MLS listings, and they avoid the “mere” listings like the plague.
A Saskatchewan Real Estate Agent explained it this way. “What’s interesting about the “mere” postings is the fact that you get MLS, but you don’t get MLS exposure, because all of the Real Estate Agents are still avoiding that particular listing because a “mere” posting is on the MLS, but they are not offering a buyer’s brokerage commission up front.”
An Ontario Agent put it this way on his website. “Most local agents pay no attention to mere postings. It is not because we find dealing with amateur home sellers frustrating and a lot of work, it’s because we don’t see the mere postings unless our clients bring them to us. Mere postings are posted on Realtor.ca. That’s a consumer site. Realtors have better sites at the board/association level. We upload our listings to the board and Realtor.ca picks them up here. We don’t see most mere postings because most are not posted to our board. ”
So that is how “mere” listings are treated by Real Estate Agents. They usually don’t see them, and if they do, they won’t tell potential buyers about them, and, if a buyer contacts them about a “mere” listing, they will try to steer them towards a “real” MLS listing.
I don’t think that’s what the Competition Bureau had in mind when they reached the agreement, but the bottom line is that is what has happened.
So, be careful about sales pitches aimed at getting your private listing on the MLS system. It won’t help your private sale, and it will cost you extra money, and frustration. If you are hoping to sell your home privately, market it privately, and don’t worry about not being on the MLS system.