Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/11/2010 (3969 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A St. James man is angry provincial officials are blocking his attempts to sell his home on the national Multiple Listing Service using a cut-rate real estate agent based in Ottawa.
Stephan Carson hired Ottawa realtor Joe William, who posted Carson's Collegiate Street home on the national Multiple Listing Service (mls.ca) for 10 days. But then William got an email from the Manitoba Securities Commission instructing him to remove the listing on the grounds he was violating provincial law because he's not licensed to sell homes in Manitoba.
"We believe we've been bullied out of listing our home on mls.ca," Carson said.
Carson said he hired William because of a recent change in Canadian Real Estate Association policy allowing sellers to list their homes on the national MLS by hiring an agent for a flat fee instead of the traditional commission.
Carson said he couldn't find an agent in Manitoba willing to list his home for a fee, but did find four others, all based in Ontario.
"If we could have found one in the province, we would have used him," Carson said. "But we went with Joe (William) because he was inexpensive and he had a reputation."
William said he charges sellers $109 to list their homes on the national MLS, adding he has homes listed in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
"What I'm doing conforms with the CREA and the Ontario Real Estate Council," William said.
He said Manitoba is the first province to require he obtain a provincial licence simply to list a property for sale without actual involvement in the sale.
"I'm fairly confident that those regulations are not enforceable," William said. "But I'm only charging $109 and that doesn't cover the legal fees, so for now I removed the listing."
Manitoba Securities Commission registrar Bill Baluk said a listing is defined as a transaction according to the Real Estate Brokers Act, and anyone conducting a real estate transaction in Manitoba must be licensed.
Baluk said some might consider that definition out of date -- the legislation was written in 1947, long before the Internet. But he said as long as the definition remains part of the law, he must enforce it.
"I've been trying to get the legislation updated, but until the government updates the legislation, then I have to enforce it," he said.
William said he offers an advertising service similar to other Internet-based classified sites like Kijiji. Carson's home is now listed for sale on Kijiji.