Debunking the CBC Marketplace report on agents ‘breaking the law’


In this video, I take a hard look into CBC’s hidden camera investigative report about “law breaking” Canadian real estate agents. It’s a deep dive into the issues presented on the program and the specific listing that the story was based on. Where are the real estate associations on this? Crickets! It’s time for OREA, CREA and TRREB to step up and join the conversation.

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Asif Khan
Asif Khan is owner of Re/Max Prime Properties in Markham, Ont. His brokerage received the Rookie of the Year Award in 2017 and in 2020 Khan received the Broker/Owner of the Year Award for Canada. He a recipient of the Re/Max Lifetime Achievement Award and member of the Re/Max Hall of Fame. He is regularly featured on The Region 105.9FM and co-hosts a weekly Real Estate talk show called On The Market. An author, speaker, mentor and hockey coach, he is an active member of the community and a supporter of the SickKids Foundation.


  1. I’m struck by a few things in this piece.

    Asif Khan, I’m curious to know when and why you emailed the seller. Perhaps you will expand on that.

    You admonish Marketplace by saying they should have contacted a professional agent to ask why it wasn’t selling. Did you actually listen to the video? Aside from the fact there is no reason to ask this during a request to view, Agent #1 duly noted it was overpriced by $50,000 and while agent #3 was way off by $200,000 so did she.

    I have a subliminal expectation that whenever I contact an agent they would be a professional. Since no agent advertises them self as non-professional and RECO always refers to registrants as professionals, it stands to reason that the CBC had the same expectation of the the three contacted. Your comments end up actually painting all 3 contacted as unprofessional just as did the industry insider who called the supposed buyer’s agent unethical, when in fact there was no buyer’s agent. Agent #1 did not deserve to be tainted as such.

    You state the seller was not offering 1%, did you actually listen to the video? Agent #1 at the showing said the seller was offering 1%. Obviously this agent enquired further despite the listing’s offer, as did agent #3.

    Instead of trying to poke holes in the CBC’s report by attacking our bread and butter, the consumer – the seller, all that really is necessary is to say, yes, while the industry does have its bad apples, the agents in question had no contractual obligation with the CBC’s pretend buyers that would have required them to show them the property. Absent that then, the 2 miscreant agents, instead of lying about the reason to not show the property owed it to the buyer to at the very least just say, sorry, I will not show you that property, perhaps someone else will – that was their right until a representation agreement is in place that the CBC ignored.

    When the CBC chose to suggest 5% is what all agents charge you could have simply pointed to a google search for real estate agent fees to prove them so very wrong

    Brian Martindale as usual made the most significant point when he said that the industry has to make it harder for these hit pieces to be made. I don’t think this video helped that cause – you took as many spin liberties as the CBC and only made the target on our backs bigger and easier to hit.

    • Hi PED:

      Your “subliminal expectation” line is a great one. Your in-depth dive into this situation out-dove Asif’s. Your critique of the facts in this story is the most accurate, in my opinion.

  2. Thank you! As a Realtor I appreciate someone putting our side out there. Sadly, this message won’t likely reach as many people as the CBC story did, condemning us all as bad agents.

    • Hi Debbie:

      The C.B.C. did not condemn you all as bad agents. It bush wacked an agent behaving badly. It was left up to the viewers to extrapolate to what extent real estate sales people are bad agents. Of course, not including a story about an agent behaving professionally tilted the table negatively, which is why I called it a hit piece. What the C.B.C. piece did was reveal that real estate sales people are first and foremost sales people, not consultants or educators. That’s why they’re licensed as sales representatives. Sales people are paid to sell, not educate. You can educate all you want, but if you don’t sell, you fail financially. Thus, for the unprofessionals, when push comes to shove, and a much needed commission is on the line, education goes out the window, and lies and deception become the ways and means to ‘earning’ that commission. Talk is cheap, and easy to rhyme off. It’s as simple as that. Ask any broker-owner if he/she/they would rather have an office full of fast-talking sales people who produce, or slow-talking educators who don’t produce, and guess their answers. Naturally they would choose the unnamed option, being an office full of slow-talking educators who also produce. But it’s too easy to be the first option for far too many…which is why the C.B.C. lays traps for them.

      Don’t condemn the C.B.C. Condemn the scoundrels within O.R.E., and remove the ammunition the C.B.C. needs for its stories like this. No smoke? No fire.

  3. Back in July I posted this comment (copied below) on REM at a conversation with one identified as (normal) Norm…

    Your excellent video shared on REM might have been an ideal opportunity to broach the topic of buyer brokerage wherein the buyer is under contract to pay a portion or all the commission. A concept that fits perfectly into the FSBO world. I never had any intention of turning my boutique brokerage into a buyer brokerage as Mr. Davidson spoke of at times over the years. But I used buyer broker contracts regularly.

    Had the participants in the media report had signed buyer brokerage representation contracts in place they would have had no fear as to showing a FSBO? (allowing and accounting for providing the buyers with necessary provable listing commentary as to how the property fit into the buyer instructions to the buyer rep). If the property did not fit the buyer wants and needs list provided to their agent, no need to show.

    Surprised that MLS system no longer has tight requirements about must-have’s info in listings. Used to kick back such lack of listing info.

    I was licenced in 1980. And grew into the real estate world using sub-agency.

    Since buyer agency having been introduced in the mid 90s and put into the real estate “system” in Ontario under proprietary forms created under the Ministry guidelines for specific representation (so many years ago) it’s incredible that many agents make no effort to use or understand buyer brokerage much less use it, Asif.

    And everywhere we look agents tell their sellers (and the press) that the seller pays the commission and it costs the buyer nothing to work with an agent. Refer to Ross Kay’s recent posts. No wonder the public (and the press) is confused. The real estate industry is confused. Why? pray tell. Clearly agents and even lawyers don’t hold buyer brokerage in high regard.

    I’m wondering why buyer brokerage is not just dismantled completely, or at least provide a survey perhaps as to how many agents use it or have ever used it, and disagree with buyer agency, especially where they don’t agree to accept the seller-offered so-called co-op.

    It really isn’t difficult once explained properly. I didn’t like the concept at all when it first appeared seemingly out of the blue in the mid 90s. But I studied hard to understand and developed my own system how to explain it to my buyers.

    Buyers represented less than 30% of my market share. My buyers topped up the so-called seller co-op or agreed to pay my commission. I had no fear to show a FSBO; but both the buyer and the seller needed educating. THAT takes time and most agents don’t want to spend time educating the public.

    As I’ve stated earlier on REM, the term “seller co-op” needs to be gotten rid of; changed to some more appropriate allotment. In true buyer brokerage any offer of commission from the seller need not be noted at all. It’s private information between a buyer and his agent until and if challenged. If buyer agent has a contract with his buyer, the commission agreed to is noted in the buyer contract.

    === I posted at REM:

    What would be wrong with doing things the old-fashion way in today’s high-tech world?

    We live in a very changed different world in recent years. There’s no figuring it out when it’s in permanent (change) motion.

    But real estate will always be a people world at least until a couple of generations die off.

    I never had a problem working with FSBO’s. I offered to help them (and generally advised them before doing anything at all, to engage with a lawyer).

    I had pre-prepared packages from various law offices. Copies of relevant forms so the FSBO could see what went on in the process; that selling a house is more than putting a (FSBO) for sale sign on the lawn. (Read the forms fine print and use a magic marker to highlight any material not understood; call me any time.) No question is too small or insignificant. Or contact a lawyer. This builds trust.

    The FSBO often had no clue what goes on behind the scenes. I listed many FSBOs. But I never asked for the listing. I didn’t make a nuisance of myself in any way. I provided a suitable set of comps, many showing I had listed and or sold, with all the details, and invited the FSBO to compare their own property to the comps. Many FSBO’s were genuinely surprised to see that the comps didn’t always match street neighbour gossip

    I often engaged in working with hard to sell properties at reasonable prices that generated a sold sign (mine). And my sold signs often had babies. (More listings.)

    I was often told by the FSBO that they were inundated by agents who straight up insisted the agent had a prequalified buyer (but word on the street was that some agents had brought a relative or friend as a phoney would be buyer). All the while trying to convince the seller to list.

    In the packages I provided some of my printed articles, charts and graphs and copies of my marketing materials; of course oversize scratch pads, book marks, my custom tent calendars (articles later on line) printed out prior to the mid 1990’s Net world.

    Sometimes I dropped off the uninvited materials in a plain brown envelope marked important real estate documents, other times I had FedEx deliver such important helpful information, requiring a received adult signature.

    Apparently no one else did what I did. A large percentage of FSBO’s who eventually listed, listed with me. It started in subagency days and later continued as my representing actual would-be buyers.

    Because I kept huge numbers of files and copious notes, if FSBO’s decided not to sell currently, I kept them in my contact files. Sometimes the files fit perfectly when a real live buyer was actively looking needing the particular area, months or even years later, so I sought permission to sell the old FSBO from a couple years back. Good fit. Sold sign.

    Now I had a seller who became a buyer. And the circle went round again. No FSBO ever asked me to cut commission.

    Of course today we live in a very different world. I never ever asked the FSBO to list. I brought a live pre-qualified buyer and used a board supplied letter called “permission to sell” that spelled out details as to how this would work.

    Another sold sign that netted me the opportunity to add the address to my cache. It was a wonderful, simple world back then.

    Carolyne L 🍁

    • Carolyne:
      You made some very good comment about Buyer Brokerage. I think at the moment there are only 2-3 Exclusive Buyer Brokers in Canada which is unbelievable. Why is that! There are some fantastic opportunities for Realtors to offer EBA services to Canadian real estate consumers.

      Carolyne let’s have a thoughtful discussion regarding Exclusive Buyer Brokerage. I’m interested in hearing what others think, since I believe that the buying and selling consumers need to be better informed about the ins and outs of our business. DD

      • David, I sincerely would like to know why the Ontario Ministry doesn’t get rid of buyer brokerage since agents don’t want it, neither do their brokerages. Lawyers don’t care to talk about or encourage its use. And when many receive an invoice (and copy of the buyer contract) to include in their client statement of adjustments, they scratch their heads mostly never having seen such before.
        I still recall the first time: law office that had done many of my client closings called and said: “Carolyne, there must be a mistake???” We received an invoice from your office, to be paid by your buyer. Lesson in (new) buyer brokerage application. No one had told the law office about buyer brokerage. (How come, since it had just been created with the blessing of the ministry.)

        Brokerages must keep copies of all their listings and they include the potential listings value on their balance sheets and use the potential income as borrowing collateral.

        Back in mid 90s, I was the stand-in at a then TREB meeting for our BOR president who had a double appointment overlap. Across from me sat a huge condo brokerage owner. He couldn’t believe that I said buyer broker contracts needed to held in the brokerage office given the same strength as listing contracts, being potential income.
        “Not on your life,” he said; “we have enough filing to do already, and you say we must do more.” I was gobsmacked to hear this from a well-known giant in the industry. He didn’t understand and didn’t want to know more about it. No reason whatsoever to have buyer broker contracts in his office. “Let the agent carry the contract in his own briefcase until it became a valid real transaction.” (That contract IS/WAS already a real transaction.)

        But clearly buyer brokerage contracts, although having to be taken seriously once signed, function only in the shadows of the real estate world. My current feeling is buyer broker contracts and the concept of buyers paying commission should go away.
        Even the Ministry that apparently created it initially seems to have left the flight deck. The process seems only to serve as aggravation?
        You have brought up this request for communication previously on REM. No takers to get involved with the discussion invitation. That supports what I have expressed apparently. The industry doesn’t support it so what is the point in having it as part of the industry? Carolyne

        • Carolyne: You state, “You have brought up this request for communication previously on REM. No takers to get involved with the discussion invitation.”. Not true. You have always been good enough to express your thought about this important issue. I certainly understand in general why Realtors avoid making comments. Realtors support Realtors. I’m looking at the real estate industry from the consumers side. D

          • Misunderstanding, David. My reference was to your invitation previously to REM readers for discussion and no one engaged except moi. Hmmmm… sorry.

          • Carolyne: No problem. I appreciate hearing your comments regarding my posts – good or bad. I can take it. DD

        • You say – “You have brought up this request for communication previously on REM. No takers to get involved with the discussion invitation. That supports what I have expressed apparently.” You are right. Thanks for your comments and you probably are right that the real estate industry does not want to support it. DD

    • Carolyne of Canada:
      Getting rid of the buyer agent fee set by the seller would be a good start. This would force Realtors to sit down with their customers and clients and explain why being represented by a buyer’s agent COULD work in their best interests. If the buyer agrees to work with the Realtor a buyer agent fee would be negotiated between the agent and buyer. It is very simple, but I personally expect few Realtors actually have this conversation with their buyers. It wouldn’t take long until Exclusive Buyer Agency became an option for consumers. Buyer Brokerages would start to open and consumers would start to be informed about the ins and outs of buying and selling real estate. Then Realtors could say, “it is not FREE to use my services”. How each party is paid in the real estate transaction could be the root of most real estate issues. It is very easy to solve the problem, but I expect that if a poll was taken today most Realtors would vote to keep the existing system in place. Yes it works for the Realtors, but disadvantages the real estate consumers. So in the CBC documentary who really was at fault, the Realtors or the seller. I say the Realtors. They could easily have handled the situation, and negotiated their compensation with the buyers and not expect the sellers to pay them. So Realtors should not blame the CBC or sellers for their lack of knowledge about the real estate business. Don’t look to the sellers to pay the buyer’s agent – NEGOTIATE YOUR FEES WITH THE BUYERS AND HAVE THEM SIGN A BUYER AGENCY AGREEMENT BEFORE SHOWING ANY PROPERTIES. Simple!

  4. Congratulations Asif on speaking the facts not agenda driven narratives as CBC Marketplace has done. Let’s talk about the corruption and false stories/claims in the news and reporter world. They’re all corrupt. Wait, that’s fair. I can label the entire industry because of a small few that aren’t ethical or follow the rules. Great explanation and on point. From one Pro to another. Well done!

  5. Asif. I am so impressed the way you articulated the response and explained. Thank you for taking the time to educate the agents and our industry. I have been in the business for our 30 years and I can honestly say commission has never been the guiding factor in securing the property for my clients. We are called Service industry for a reason and we are here to serve our clients. Lesson to be learned and remembered. Have a great Sunday

  6. Great post Asif. When I was President of TRREB a few years back I was interviewed by Marketplace for over two hours. They kept wanting me to say that “Phantom Offers” were the norm. They became very frustrated that I did not answer the questions in the way they wanted. They had already decided the story and wanted confirmation rather than the truth. That is a warning for all, both as readers and those being interviewed. “Because it is in the news does not mean it is true”

  7. I think the consumer who is trying to sell on their own has to take into consideration; -1- the main reason sellers are getting more money for their home is because of the Realtors who are negotiating better/higher $$ for real estate. -2- stop looking at the small picture… the commission is $20-$30k but you don’t sell your property ever year. The elderly owner in this article has probably lived there for 20+ years So the cost of a Realtor is basically $1,000.00 a year. And lastly 3- they add no value to Canada’s economy. They stop the flow/cycle of the almighty dollar.

  8. Exactly!! And was the property priced too high as one of the realtors mentioned? House looks dated!

    • According to my research, yes. We often see this from FSBOs. The pictures didn’t help the cause. Seems like it may have needed some work from the pictures. Thanks for watching.

  9. Yes Sir!
    Thanks for taking the time to explain & provide clear & insightful details about this situation. I have been in the business for close to 30 years and, as my twin brother and partner told me when I started with him (he had been in the business 6 years before me), in smaller town in Eastern Ontario forget about ‘your’ back pocket and focus on the back pocket of ‘your clients’ and everything will be fine and dandy…and guess what it has been alright and I still love what I do very much!
    So yes you are totally right in saying that it is only a small minority of agents who are ‘bad apples’.
    And it is sad to say but CBC Market Place is only after the ‘sensationalism’ type of journalism!
    Thanks again!

  10. In the interest of responsible journalism, the folks at CBC who created this story should have disclosed that statistically, private sales are subject to a far greater likelihood and rate of legal issues, whereas a real estate transaction is protected by errors and omissions insurance under the umbrella of Licenced listing Realtor®. The story neglects to point out that legal fees on private sales are often higher as more work and liability is shifted to the lawyers required to conduct a sale and transfer of ownership. The story closes out in telling the viewer that the seller saved money in the end and was able to sell in just 3 weeks for close to list price. The “save” statement is false and misleading. What CBC/Marketplace deliberately failed to tell the viewer is that this sale was in an area and at a time when most comparable homes sold using the resources and negotiating skills of licensed Realtors® had been selling inside of a week and for $100,000 to $200,000 above list price in many cases. Penny wise, pound foolish as the saying goes.

  11. Asif, great job stepping up, pointing out the facts and explaining what we do as an industry. You are a true leader and role model for our industry. Bravo.

    • This was exactly my point when commenting on their show (through their Twitter feed). Thanks for watching Jeffery. Hope you’re well.

  12. My take on this investigation was how the one agent said the property was grossly overpriced and advised against it. She was 100% correct! This home was horrible online as shown in this video and was listed $100,000-$200,000 over the comparable’s on the same street. It eventually sold for the record price on the street, I would say whoever represented the buyer in that transaction was unethical.

    • The CBC noted the seller eventually sold to an unrepresented buyer. Can’t wait for the followup show of how there was no liability protection for the unrepresented buyer, who paid too much and didn’t get proper inspections and advice.

  13. Thank you Asif ! You hit all the points. It seems we as realtors need to protect ourselves. Our industry associations do not seem to be very proactive or even reactive to situations that devalue our profession. Always too late.

    My biggest issue is Part Time agents who are not as fully committed and on the pulse as the rest of us. I’ve seen and heard horror stories.

    It’s time to clean up our industry. Put a cap on number of licenses per year, only allow full time agents, and all you big brokerages with hundreds of agents – find a way to to truly know who is working for you and ensure they all share the same values. There is so much that needs to be done.

  14. The majority of real estate agents are operating with integrity,following the rules. Unfortunately those agents who are not ,who think they can cheat clients, deserve to be exposed publicly and lose their licence .
    Bad publicity creates a lack of confidence in an already stressful environment.The CREA will no doubt be watching more closely to protect and promote the honest members of their industry.
    “Gotcha” won’t be their objective but getting rid of cheaters is .

  15. Hi Asif:

    You presented a very influential argument against the C.B.C.’s hit piece. However, their documentary does reveal that there are less-than-honourable people who possess a real estate salesperson license. You quite correctly agreed with that assumption. Unethical/immoral bad-ass crooks abound in every occupational venture. The question then becomes thus: What percentage of Realtors practice unethical behaviours on a daily basis vs other occupations? Do you believe the ratio would mirror those of doctors; dentists; lawyers; tradespeople, such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, auto mechanics etc. You believe that a very small portion of Realtors are corrupt. I choose to believe that the public thinks otherwise. Why would that be? Maybe it’s because many have experienced less-then-satisfactory go-’rounds with Realtors? Maybe it’s because on any given day the majority of Realtors are not “true professional Realtors” whilst you state that they are? How can they be when so many are relatively new to the game..with that being the ongoing truth of how the occupation cycles newbies in and out of the game on the never-ending treadmill of failures-in-waiting?

    Until O.R.E makes it much more difficult to earn a salesperson license, nothing will change. It’s just too damned easy to become a corrupt real estate salesperson, much, much easier than becoming a “true professional Realtor”. I know it; you know it; the C.B.C. knows it; everyone knows it. Did the C.B.C. conduct a “got’ch’a” hit piece? Yup. It was easy. O.R.E needs to make it hard to replicate. But they won’t. The dues dollars are just too good from those corrupt Realtors. It’s a shame on its face. They make you look bad too, Asif, because you’re a Realtor, and that’s a shame as well. I don’t think you deserve such a bad rap, but that’s life. You can’t escape the broad brush of public sentiment; it tars all within an occupation that owns a bad reputation. It’s not fair to the honourable within. But it’s quite fair to the rest.

    • After 22 years in the business I have only come across a small handful of corrupt unethical agents. When I do I call them out on it.

      • Hi Julie:

        If you had added “…that I am aware of.” to the end of your statement: “I have only come across a small handful of corrupt unethical agents.”, then you would have nailed it. I can say the same thing, because I could never have had dealings with every single agent across the real estate spectrum on a daily basis on every single negotiation, showing, phone call, email etc. No one knows the true number of crooks. An agent can be ethical today when everything is going his/her way, and unethical/corrupt tomorrow when things are looking bad. It’s easy to be ethical when there’s nothing on the line. Even a crook can do that when there’s nothing to be gained by being corrupt.

        If you want to know what the public really thinks about real estate salespeople, conduct a day-long poll yourself at a shopping mall by stopping and asking passers-by what they think of real estate agents in general, factoring out any personal relationships they may have that are positive. Ask five hundred people. Let us know the results. You come across as a trustworthy person.

    • After all that bashing of realtors, you have a very small axe to grind for a very small problem in the real estate business. Are you sad because you left the industry just before the boom and missed out on the big bucks being made? If not what is the burr up your ass all about. The Communist CBC which all the socialists love to support, caught one agent out of 135,000 telling the truth about why a screwed up “for sale by discount broker” listing didn’t’ sell in the first week for what it would have sold for if listed with a normal real estate company. The CBC showed their true colours and so did you

      • This comment is meant to show Brian Martindale is totally off base. Asif and others should call him out for misinformation

        • Hi Norm:

          I don’t bash Realtors. I bash corrupt, unethical scum bag Realtors. Don’t you?

          If it’s a very small problem, why then does the public generally disagree with you? Are you happy being lumped in with used car salespeople, politicians and lawyers?

          Am I sad because I retired just before the big boom (read big commissions)? Absolutely not. The prospects of making big money had very little to do with my modus operandi. I knew I would make enough, and I did. I’m not a greedy bastard.

          Your comment reveals your own focus on big bucks, my friend. Do ya think the public readership herein might not pick up on that as well? Is that why you’re a Realtor—chasing the big bucks? Do you have leased Beamers, Benz’s, Escalades, Rolexes and such on your dreamscape? Are you defined by your net worth?

          Yes, the C.B.C. unearthed one agent out of 135,000. Would you like them to set up the 134,999 as well? You have no idea what the result would be. Neither do I. Maybe you should conduct a poll as well, and find out what the general public thinks. Take a day off from your big bucks pursuit and find out what other than your cohorts think. You’re listening to far too many insider opinions.

          Burr up my ass? If you were a burr, I doubt very much that you would be a Norm-al burr. Maybe an ab-Norm-al burr? Do you speak from experience? I must confess to my inexperience. An old square I am, like Popeye-the-sailor man.

          Yup; true colours. You are a good advocate for Realtors in general, even the scum bags it seems. Me, on the other hand: I advocate strongly for the professionals…which are, in my opinion, in the minority. Of that there can be no denying. Newbies simply cannot be professionals. Veteran scum bags simply cannot be professionals. Financial desperadoes simply cannot be professionals on an ongoing basis. That leaves only those who can afford to let deals go, to choose not to work with everybody and anybody, to pick and choose their clients, to not chase every dollar like it was their last, to do what is right according to their personal code of ethics vs what can be circumvented, who can be described as true professionals. I believe these are the types Asif was talking about, and not the rest. Asif knows of what I speak, I am sure. To that end I invite his follow up. He comes across as much more of a professional via his response to my comments than you appear to be via your amateur-hour personal attack. But have at it. I enjoy this kind of back and forth.

          P.S.: Methinks your axe is a little dull. Better get it sharpened:-)

  16. Good research. Have you sent this information to CBC and the regulator to request a retraction or apology?

  17. Talk about adding fuel to the fire. Let’s drill down into ths video.

    Strawman argument- The pricing error. Happens often to many in the industry. This is not a deterrent when days on market is cleraly visible and especially with alerts sent out to buyers via an agent’s overnight alert or Collab. This dude with all his years and TRREB committees should know that the correct procedure is not to terminate and relist but to have TRREB’s MLS services correct it.

    Strawman argument – The “we will show a property regardless of commission” does not include the 2 who made it clear they would not never mind the countless others over the years here in REM who’ve clearly said they don’t either.

    Leaping argument – ‘Agents wishing to see the property may have called the listing agent who MAY or MAY NOT have answered the calls.’ He notes it clearly states in brokerage remarks to contact the seller. It is totally irrelevant that the brokerage remarks do not appear in the public Only a non-board member agent or an incompetent board member agent would contact the listing brokerage with that rcomment staring them in the face.

    Misleading argument – “I happened to email the seller [] and received an auto response that the email address is invalid.” No mention of when he did this. If he had tried to contact the seller while the property was available he likely would have said so – he may or may not have emailed the seller after the property sold and the seller may or may not have ditched the email after the CBC report, maybe the listed phone number was also invalid. Sheepish shrug, who knows?

    He admonishes the CBC for not mentioning all the things that went wrong with this listing, yet he speaks to exactly 4 – and only 2 have any merit, the room sizes and less so the photos which he knows full well is also found in abundant listings placed there by full service agents.

    This is about the 4th piece I’ve either seen or read as put out by agents running cover for the bad apples. and Instead of a half-assed acknowledgment that there are bad apples within the industry, they should be pledging to help clean it up not cover it up with strawman arguments. All of their aguments would fall at the wayside if only they wanted to be totally transparent with the audience especially since they mention the price, one prolific blogger even declared the price was “very over-priced, like, for real”

    But just like Asif Khan here, they both omitted:

    List price, $1,475,000 Selling Price $1,367,000
    Highest price on the street in 2021 by $107,000

    IMO what took this property so long to sell is the same reason I believe properties priced at market value are taking longer to sell – my buyers look at list prices expecting that all prices are farce that is expected to come in 10, 20% above and so they bypass it – I’ve had to tell them to ask me first before dismissing them. That’s an industry created problem programmed into buyers. That the long-time agents point instead to strawman arguments because of this report is shocking.

    • The fact that has been omitted from all this is the seller chose to promote and market the property on the platform in a fashion that saved her money VS a fashion that demanded top dollar for the home. Her choice.

      Every single buyer and every single realtor had access to same information and had the ability to contact the listing brokerage To view the property. Some agents ethical or not did not show or sell the home. In reality Buyers choose the home they want to buy despite their agents opinions. Nobody, realtor or buyer, was choosing her home.

      So…. When her realtor.Ca marketing failed she brilliantly? Joined forces and created a “publicity release” on market place, got maximum exposure, created a political stir, defamed an industry and in the end got a sale. To me this sales tactic was unethical. She had to put down an entire industry to try to get enough attention to get her property sold when she could have just spent some money to create a competitive marketing platform on realtor.Ca.

      by blaming real estate agents for not Selling her home affected the sale? Best marketing ever to get attention to a property. A bunch of people gather and put down and industry and

  18. Michael:
    You state: ” But we declined their final request to go on camera to discuss “allegations that some real estate agents may be engaging in anti-competitive behaviour and practices, to secure higher paying commissions and keep overall REALTOR® commissions artificially high.”

    I can see why you decided not to go on the CBC and discuss this issue. You’re right! It is a no-win situation. CREA members would be upset and certainly the consumers would not be happy to hear about whether there is anti-competitive behaviour within the real estate industry. There would be no good news for either side especially CREA members.

  19. Asif

    Thanks for posting the video on REM about the Marketplace “investigative” report on blind bidding. We know many members are angry about the report – as they should be. Unethical and illegal behaviour of some diminishes the reputation of the profession and honest, hardworking REALTORS®.

    Steering is illegal and regulators are duty bound to take disciplinary action in every instance brought to their attention. At the same time, setting the ethical boundaries for our profession is all of our responsibilities – Boards, Associations and CREA.

    On our end, we sought and received approval at our 2020 AGM to strengthen CREA’s powers to take action against gross professional misconduct when other responsible organizations don’t.
    CREA had been engaging the CBC for nearly six months on different aspects of the industry, namely:

    • a story about the effect of ethnicity on real estate transactions;
    • how listing details are often inaccurate (square footage, “den” vs “bedroom” etc.);
    • about blind bidding;
    • about commissions and how it is split between listing and buyer agents; and
    • about steering.

    What Marketplace wanted from us was to agree to be on camera to discuss allegations that we would not be able to prepare for in advance. We provided comment and direction –, including clarifying our role within the industry, the fact that there is a REALTOR Code® of ethics and provincial regulation. But we declined their final request to go on camera to discuss “allegations that some real estate agents may be engaging in anti-competitive behaviour and practices, to secure higher paying commissions and keep overall REALTOR® commissions artificially high.”

    We’re here to support our members but the outcome of the report – whether we agreed to participate or not – was a no-win situation. Instead, our strategy included informing boards and associations about the upcoming story and releasing a statement on We were aware of course that it would be negative. As long as they can take hidden cameras into meetings with unethical people, this will happen.

    Anyone who is angered by this has a right to be- but they need to direct this toward those they see engaging in unethical practices like steering and report them accordingly.

    I’m glad to see you post this video- and there have a been others telling the Realtor side of the story. Whether it is steering, real estate commission rates, or blind bidding, we must continue to tell our story, but not in a forum where “gotcha” is the objective.

    Michael Bourque
    CEO- Canadian Real Estate Association

    • Thanks so much for the detailed account from the CREA perspective. I agree. They would have only taken excerpts of the interview to strengthen their angle.


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