Globe and Mail Home Value Survey Released + Potential CREA Settlement

UPDATE - 12:18PM - Unfortunately, John's online chat with the Globe and Mail and consumers @ noon today was canceled due to technical difficulties at the Globe. But since everything down is back up again (and vice versa), you may enjoy previous chats:

The Globe and Mail Home Value Survey

To celebrate today's release, we're
giving away free Globe and Mail newspapers at our 1152 Queen Street
East office (@ Jones). Drop by and say hi!

It's Oct 1st, and along with a completely new layout and design, your Globe and Mail contains the highly anticipated Home Value Survey, the semiannual survey of how Toronto neighbourhoods are performing. Realosophy powers this survey using our proprietary neighbourhood analytical data. You can browse full stats online (go to map).

This time around, the Globe asked Realosophy's John Pasalis about his top picks for "neighbourhoods you've never heard of" (see article).

John's list?

1. Bickford Park (see profile)

2. Lake Shore Village a.k.a New Toronto (see profile)

3. Brockton Village (see profile)

4. The Junction (see profile)

5. Danforth Mosaic (see profile)


Potential CREA and Competition Bureau Settlement

Announced late last night - a proposed settlement reached between CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) and the Federal Competition Bureau which would mean that home sellers will be able to contract a real estate brokerage for
one service only - posting their listing to the MLS ( for a flat fee. They
would not be obligated to use any other services provided by the
listing brokerage.

(Some background - Since the MLS is collectively owned by local real estate boards in Canada, its use is determined by CREA members, and they currently require that you retain full agent services to gain access to the MLS.)

Under the proposed change, home sellers would be able to do the sale themselves, for example, decide what repairs/renos will get the best return,
determine what house issues need to be disclosed, handle offer negotiations, draft legal documents, do showings and
marketing, etc.

The proposed settlement still needs to be ratified by CREA members on Oct 24th.

So what does it really mean?

First, it would be a win for consumers. DYI introduces more competition into lots of industries - think legal document kits, home reno stores and discount e-trading. In the U.S., where things have been more competitive, consumers and the industry have responded in several ways - we see more DYI options and we also see more boutique brokerages "earning their pay" by offering innovative services, including end-to-end home buying and selling solutions. So this change could be a real win for the best in our industry as well. That's why we have previously argued that Ontario regulators should spend more time on making our industry more competitive by allowing innovative brokerages to bring their new ideas and services forward (see previous post).

The bottom line for consumers? Decide what you want. If you want to handle your sale yourself, you can. But if you want an expert to be responsible for getting the best outcome and managing the entire process - interview agents and brokerages and ask them "what is that extra that you are doing for me?" 

How will the industry react?

A bit disconcerting but not surprising to see that CREA doesn't seem to
have kept its members informed - the Globe reports that several top
brokers were caught off guard when contacted about the potential
settlement. This change will trouble many in the industry, mainly
because change is hard and it's even harder in the absence of good leadership. Outside the brokers' tent, it will be particularly interesting to see how "for sale by owner"
websites will respond to the proposed change that could make their business model

John Pasalis is the Broker Owner of Realosophy Realty Inc in Toronto. Realosophy focuses on researching Toronto neighbourhoods to help their clients make smarter real estate decisions. Email John

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