REALTORS® Open Doors for Canada’s Real Estate Consumers

This article originally appeared in Real Estate Magazine (REM) on Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

I’ve been CEO at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) for three months. While I still consider myself new to the role, I have been leading real estate boards and associations in different provinces for more than two decades, giving me a front row seat to this evolving industry.

Compared to other places around the world, Canada’s real estate landscape is unique and envied. We have an incredibly strong regulatory environment and cooperative framework. It’s so well established and reliable, I’d say most of us take it for granted.

So, when challenges arise – and challenges are aplenty in our industry – it can be easy to think that because something’s wrong, something must be broken.

For more than 80 years, our REALTOR® members have been opening doors to our long-shared vision that all Canadians have access to housing. Across the country, REALTORS® empower buyers, sellers and renters in their real estate journeys.

Our consistent, comprehensive and measured housing market analysis has helped spotlight that “all real estate is local”, set a benchmark that better reflects neighbourhood and property-specific features, and highlight potential market trends. Like we have since 2015, raising alarm bells about the impending housing supply crisis.

Since the announcement from the National Association of REALTORS® that it had agreed to settle its class action(s) by paying $418 million and eliminating its rules on cooperating commissions (that were the subject of the actions), we know there are questions about potential impact here. With so much still unconfirmed, we can’t yet fully understand the impact in that country, let alone our own. There are also legal and factual differences between the U.S. and Canadian cases to consider.

That said, let’s not forget the foundation already well established here in Canada – through our MLS® Systems, provincial regulations, and commitment to transparency.

When consumers look to find a property, they can choose to work with a REALTOR® who has access to accurate and comprehensive MLS® data.

When they’re ready to make an offer, more often than not, the relationship with their REALTOR® is defined through a buyer agency agreement (true for more than 80% of homes sold in Canada).

And, whether buying or selling, consumers have always been able to negotiate commissions with their agent.

Alongside our more than 160,000 REALTOR® members, we’re focused on pushing the industry forward, creating a future where housing is a fundamental human right, and opening more doors for Canadians.

Janice Myers is a leader in Canadian real estate with more than two decades of experience in governance, program development, fundraising and membership recruitment. Before becoming the CEO of the Canadian Real Estate Association in January 2024, Janice was the CEO of the Ottawa Real Estate Board and had served as the Executive Director of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board. Janice is committed to furthering CREA’s federal advocacy efforts, providing REALTORS® with technology and tools they need to succeed, and continuing the success of Her dedication to broader causes is reflected in her current role as Vice Chair of World Animal Protection Canada.

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