A survey has found that almost half of Canadians would consider selling their homes privately, but few are aware of exactly what a recent law change means.
Canada is very much like the UK, with most homes traditionally being sold by agents. However—again like the UK—the Canadian Competition Bureau recently changed the law, to allow Canadians to use agents in order to list their property on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS), which is the largest real estate sales portal in Canada. As a side-note, it will be interesting to see the change this makes in private sales figures, given that the UK’s biggest portal (Rightmove) is still presently blocked from private sellers.
Now, an Environics poll sponsored by the TitlePlus has found that while 45% of Canadians would consider selling their home without a real estate agent, only 11% are aware of how the law change makes this task easier.
Looking on the web using the the Google.ca (Canadian Google) search engine I can’t find any Canadian portals specifically aimed at private sellers, not to say that they don’t exist. Given this, the MLS would pretty much be a must for Canadians, perhaps even more so than Rightmove is to private sellers in the UK. Thus the new law has the potential to really increase private property sales in Canada, which could be good for the market.
Some argue that house prices should not be determined by people who make profits proportional to sale prices (agents charge percentage-based commission) and that removing agents from the house sales equation on a wider scale could alleviate the boom-bust cycle most markets around the world fall prey to. Unfortunately for Canada there is no real voice behind private sales to push forward information about the new law, and unless one pops up the change could well prove to be even slower in Canada than it is in the UK.