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Montreal real estate brokers opt out of national MLS in favour of Quebec listings website

Montreal real estate brokers opt out of national MLS in favour of Quebec listings website

The Canadian Real Estate Association’s popular Realtor.ca website — widely known as the MLS — will no longer list Montreal homes for sale.

The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board said Dec. 13 its brokers had voted in favour of separating from CREA.

Starting Jan. 1, Montreal brokers will be able to list homes for sale only on Centris.ca, a real estate website unique to Quebec.

Real estate brokers who favoured separating from CREA won by 66 votes out of 3,826 votes cast.

As well, Montreal’s 9,700 brokers will no longer be able to list homes for sale on CREA’s ICX.ca, which features commercial properties.

“We were disappointed when we saw the decision,” CREA spokesman Pierre Leduc said.

Mr. Leduc could not say how many listings were generated by CREA’s Montreal membership. Quebec’s 17,000 brokers generate 80,000 listings on Realtor.ca.

Brokers from four real estate boards located in Montreal, Quebec City, Granby and Drummondville voted to leave CREA, while brokers from the Saguenay and the Laurentians will make a choice on whether to separate this week.

The votes follow a lengthy dispute over rising fees for members and duplication of services like the Realtor and Centris websites, along with a brewing turf war over the listing of Quebec homes for a flat fee by out-of-province brokers.

The Montreal board has objected to instances of brokers from Ontario, who are not subject to Quebec’s strict professional rules, listing a home in the belle province for a flat fee. CREA said it cannot stop its members from Ontario, or other provinces, from listing homes for sale in Quebec.

Citing October data, the Montreal board said Centris was the fourth most popular real estate website geared at buying or renting a residential property in Quebec, with Realtor.ca ranked ninth. The most popular site was Kijiji.

However, several Montreal brokers told The Gazette they were concerned about the decline in visibility that comes with losing access to Realtor.ca at a time of a softening Montreal real estate market.

Mr. Leduc said Montreal-area brokers who are unhappy with the “yes vote” can join one of Quebec’s eight boards that are still members of CREA.

He said he’s also heard of a “partitionist” movement among brokers who want to set up a separate Montreal real estate board that would remain part of CREA.

“CREA will support these endeavours,” he said.


Source: National Post