Let’s talk real estate

Lynda Cox


In praise of the MLS system

Currently, as an agent abroad awaiting the birth of a grandchild, I have become aware of the fact that buyers and sellers in Ottawa, for that matter in all of Canada, have a real estate system that works in their best interest.

Whenever I travel I always visit the local real estate offices to introduce myself to see how these offices work and how they are different from what I am used to in Ottawa. I am now in a European city the size of Kingston where there is a real estate office every few city blocks. I took the time to visit one in particular where the agent spoke some English.

I asked him if all the real estate offices worked together to sell their listings? Did they have an MLS (Multiple Listing Service) computerized system? The answer was “no.” I was shocked. Each office has exclusive listings and there is no central computerized service. What does that mean? It means that every interested buyer must trek to all these individual offices to learn what they are offering for sale. There is no co-operation between brokerages. That means that every agency is double-ending every deal. The agency represents the seller’s interests only, so buyers must beware.

The workload for every serious buyer is horrendous. Buyers can have no agent working for them, no agent scouring all the listings to come up with a short list; no agent who can show them all the homes they are interested in. They must deal with different agents if the properties are listed with different companies. No one agent can show them all the homes they are interested in. No one agent can get to know them and help them narrow down their search. They are alone trying to sift through the listings on offer and then trying to set up appointments with each individual agent. Nightmare!

We are so lucky in Ottawa to have a co-operative system where one agent may show listings offered by any real estate company. In Ottawa, buyers can work exclusively with one agent to find the home they desire, put in the offer,  negotiate and come to agreeable terms until the deal is done no matter whose sign is on the lawn.

All hail the MLS system.


Sandy Hill Real Estate update from May 24 – Nov 24, 2019.

Active 7; Sold 31
Properties sold over list price: 12, ranging from $100.00 to $7K over asking

Active 15; Conditionally sold 3; Sold 101 Properties selling over list price: 10, ranging from $100.00 to $30K over asking