By Stan Albert
“It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes the difference.” – Zig
So the Competition Bureau and all its advocates, including a strong and well-funded lobby group in Ottawa, have proclaimed that what we’ve been doing in providing an excellent facility for posting listings is now unfair to the public and we must bend or else!
I’ve been at home these past two weeks, recuperating from a knee replacement surgery and have had ample time to pursue various articles in the National Post, The Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail about the impending doom that will eventually, in one form or another, befall our industry.
Look, I’m not against free agency or the right for John Q. Public to post his “listings” on the present sacrosanct MLS system and pay us to bring them a buyer. Not at all.
But let me pose these questions to the public and the honourable lady who heads up the Competition Bureau.
1. Who is going to ensure the owner’s listing is correct?
2. Who is going to ensure that on closing, the seller has given all pertinent information regarding latent or patent deficiencies?
3. Where is the security deposit cheque to go to?
4. Has the seller filled out all the prescribed government forms, i.e. FINTRAC and the like?
5. How does the buyer know that the seller is who he says he is?
6. What happens if some of the chattels seen on inspection disappear on closing?
7. Here’s a good one! What happens if the spouses are divorcing/ separating?
8. What if the seller is not a Canadian citizen…who will ascertain his/her citizenship?
9. What happens if one of the owners disappears at closing and who is going to find him/her?
10. Who are you going to contact for answers to any or all of the above, once the seller posts his listing on MLS?
A writer from the Globe and Mail points out that with the HST coming in, our world will collapse or something near to it.
Frankly, like most of you, I’m fed up with these writers taking “pot shots” at us every time there’s a blip on our radar.
So, here’s the challenge: That’s right; I’m throwing down the gauntlet now! Step into our shoes for, not a month, just a week, to see what it takes to make a commission on a residential sale. Work all week in the hopes that your offer will be accepted. Work all week and hope that there are not multiple offers. Check any seasoned agent out for a week. See what it takes to earn a living totally on commission, as most of us have for many years.
Stop writing only from the objective view point and get “down and dirty” with a professional for a change! And by the way, maybe some of you writers should check out the classified ads for a job soon, as those of us in the industry choose other media, including the social network that many of us have adopted. Because as your papers’ revenues go down, do you really think that your employers will need you?
By the way, I just called into our Deals Desk and we’ve never had so many closings. It’s a good thing that many readers are not driven to react adversely to the writings in the national papers, or else we’d be applying for EI benefits!
Bob Aaron, a well-known real estate lawyer, had a jousting match with me over property disclosure forms. He’s probably going to have a little fun with this newest gambit to invade our “sanctuary”, known as MLS. Bob, should we get the litigators lined up now, because as I see it, there will be ample opportunities for them to reap the rewards.
Who’s going to pick up the challenge? Let me know because I’ve got a few Realtors who would just love the opportunity to show you how/what it takes to be a commission earning individual. When you do the research on Realtors, get both sides of the “story” for a change.
Does one pay a surgeon for his three or four hours of surgery, or for the maybe 10 to 12 years it took him to get to the O.R.? Hmmm. Interesting for you writers who may take the time to read REM.
With thanks to Barry Lebow, for his many commentaries to me on these subjects.
Posted: 2010-03-29 07:47:22
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