Kari's CornerSaskatoon Real Estate News May 16, 2013

Former Competition Bureau Head Against Organized Real Estate Goes Against Her Own Advice?

As a real estate agent in Saskatoon I get a lot of information about non-relevant (to me)real estate matters across Canada but this one made me take time to read about it. Melanie Aitken is a well known name in real estate in Canada and not for a positive reason. She is the one many real estate agents have loved to hate over the past few years so I think there are a lot of agents who are happy to read about the latest news. I know it put a smile on my face!

During our Century 21 Saskatoon real estate agent meetings we have discussed her many times. She is the former leader of the Competition Bureau and she did not follow her own advice and chose instead to list her home with a full service real estate broker. Is this a case of ‘do as I say not as I do’? She fought hard, for years, for minimum service brokerages. So why did she choose a full service real estate brokerage? She is a lawyer who has been challenging organized real estate practices so one would think she would be fully capable of selling her own home or, at the very least, using one of those minimum service brokerages and saving herself the commission fees. She did not and she apparently got over list price on a house that was listed at close to $2Million! Wait a minute…what?! Her house was how much!? Hmmmm….no comment!

One of her most notable fights against the real estate industry in Canada was to eliminate ‘uncompetitive practices’ in our listing services. Keep in mind our MLS system is owned and paid for by members of the real estate association therefore no, it is not open to the public. As a REALTOR in Saskatoon I pay fees which cover the costs of running realtor.ca and the technology associated with this and other REALTOR owned websites. I’m sorry that we aren’t willing to share something that we paid for with any home seller who doesn’t have a real estate license or pay any monthly or annual dues. I should ask my car salesman if I can advertise my used car on his dealerships website for them to do the work and pay them $1 to do so? Ya right.

Here is an interesting stat for Toronto-out of over 20,000 homes listed for sale in the Toronto MLS system less than one tenth of one percent of home sellers opted to hire one of these minimum service brokers. Melanie Aitken included! She no longer works for the competition bureau and apparently she is going to use her ‘insiders knowledge’ to help companies avoid running into competition law issues. She is now rejoining Bennett Jones after she left the Competition Bureau for ‘personal reasons’. I love the fact that she listed her house with a full service real estate company AND apparently it sold in 6 days for over list price. So Melanie, I guess you do get what you pay for?

As a trusted and reliable real estate agent in Saskatoon I do not offer discount services. I am a full service Saskatoon REALTOR and my Saskatoon home sellers get full service. I do not take on more listings than I can properly service. Call me if you want to look at listing your home for sale in Saskatoon or if you are buying a house or condo in Saskatoon.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent