The Competition Tribunal ruled Friday that CREA’s policies do not prevent mere listings and do not discriminate against members who offer them. The tribunal dismissed a complaint from the Commission of Competition that said CREA’s policies contravene the consent agreement signed by the parties in 2010.
At issue are CREA’s rules that prevent the display of a seller’s contact information or the reference to a private sale on a webpage (such as a Realtor’s or brokerage’s site) that is linked directly from realtor.ca. CREA members who offer mere postings must create an extra step – a “buffer” webpage – before the contact information can be displayed.
The Commissioner stated that CREA should not be allowed to restrict where the seller’s contact information may appear on a website – whether on the first landing page linked from realtor.ca or anywhere else on the site.
Robert Herr, owner and broker of record of The For Sale By Owner Depot and FF4 Property Postings Inc., stated in an affidavit, “Sellers certainly do not like the buffer pages we are required to add in order to comply with CREA’s rules, not at all. I know this in part because sellers get very cranky when they find out and demand an explanation. They often tell me that including the buffer page and not immediately displaying their contact information will interfere with the possibility of a sale…”