Not necessary to re-invent wheel

It’s interesting to note that others keep trying to re-invent the wheel when it comes to the resale housing market. 

We’ve seen many different groups try to impress upon the public that it isn’t necessary to use a fully-qualified, full-time professional REALTOR to market properties for sale or to represent buyers. But, most are short-lived forays into a marketplace that is well served by a marketing system designed for buyers and sellers that not only works, but dominates the resale landscape.

In recent months, we have seen media coverage on new “systems” that are going to replace the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) which is owned and operated by REALTORS. For Sale By Owners schemes, auctioneer promotions, and lawyers starting a competitive system have all been reported this spring. But are they trying to re-invent the wheel?

Despite the fact that the real estate market is a very competitive place, REALTORS got together over 50 years ago to create a system that guarantees maximum exposure and insurance for sellers and maximum market data and insurance for purchasers, which translates into solds for sellers and new homes for buyers in the shortest time and with the least inconvenience for either party.

REALTORS developed a system to serve the public that puts aside the competitive nature of their business and ensures “co-operation” among the 1,150-plus REALTOR  members of the Winnipeg Real Estate Board. The board calls it “co-opetition.” 

And, to ensure sellers get exposure to the entire real estate marketplace, the board belongs to a network of real estate boards across the country of more than 79,000 REALTORS. Data is shared across the network of 102 real estate boards coast-to-coast, so that buyers being transferred to Winnipeg from any city in the country have access through their local REALTOR to property data on all listings in Winnipeg. That’s marketing!

And, it works in reverse as well. Any seller who is moving out of the city, out of the province or even out of the country, can rely on the same network to provide detailed information on any MLS® property in any city in Canada and North America before the client even visits their new location to view properties.

And, does it work?

See the statistics article about a record shattering June in Winnipeg in this issue of WREN. 

As for those 102 boards and 79,000 REALTORS across Canada, here’s an excerpt from a release from the Canadian Real Estate Association about MLS® activity to the end of May.

MLS® home sales hit $10 billion

New records for national resale housing activity via the Multiple Listing Service® were set in May 2005, according to statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Both seasonally-adjusted and unadjusted dollar volume surpassed the $10-billion mark in May ($10.029 billion) — the highest level for any month on record and the first time seasonally-adjusted dollar volume has entered double-digit territory.

“For the first time in history, the value of resale housing transactions in Canada topped $10 billion,” said CREA’s chief economist Gregory Klump. “Additional cuts to mortgage interest rates in June will further stimulate the housing market, and keep dollar volumes and average prices for resale housing on track to set new annual records this year.”

Seasonally-adjusted dollar volume rose 2.6 per cent nationally compared to April 2005 levels. Dollar volume records for any month were set in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, and reached its highest ever level for the month of May in all other provinces.

National sales activity edged higher from the previous month and reached the highest seasonally adjusted monthly level since April of last year. A total of 40,268 units were sold through MLS® in May, an increase of 0.2 per cent compared to April. Activity was virtually unchanged from last month in Ontario and Quebec, while a decline in monthly sales from their highest level ever in 

Alberta was more than offset by higher activity in all other provinces.

Sales activity shattered all previous records for the month of May on a national basis, and in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. 

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, new residential listings on MLS® receded by 2.1 per cent from a 14-year high in April to 64,113 units in May. The slight monthly increase in sales and a decline in new listings caused the national market for existing homes to tighten in May.

The national MLS® residential average price set a new all-time monthly record, rising 9.3 per cent year-over-year to $251,567 in May. This represents the strongest gain in average price this year. Average price also reached its highest monthly level on record in all provinces except Alberta, Quebec and Newfoundland. — CREA.

Don’t re-invent the wheel. Buying or selling, use a REALTOR. Use MLS®.