The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

February 8, 2010

Competition Bureau seeks to smash ‘anti-competitive’ CREA rules on MLS


Real Estate and Homes for Sale   . Search for Homes.  What is my home worth? How much can I afford?   Top Property models, Types. Top home locations.

One day in 2002, a self-professed computer nerd named Glenn Kelman scratched his head. Why was it, he wondered, that he could get more information about a $20 book for sale at than he could for a $500,000 home listed on the national Multiple Listing Service?

The federal Competition Bureau says it will challenge the restrictive rules that govern the multiple listing service (MLS) system used by most Canadian home sellers to list their properties.

The Competition Bureau is asking the Competition Tribunal to strike down rules imposed by the association on people wanting to use the MLS system, which require them to use additional services they might not want.  Melanie Aitken, the competition commissioner, said that if the rules were struck down, “there will be downward pressure on real estate fees in Canada.” The Competition Bureau said that, under the Canadian Real Estate Association’s rules, agents are not allowed to offer consumers the option of paying them to just list a home on the MLS system.  Instead, they must buy a pre-determined set of additional services, such as the presentation of offers and the negotiation of a final deal, the bureau said.  “The bureau is focused on striking down these anti-competitive rules, so that real estate agents wishing to offer innovative services can do so, and consumers can benefit from greater choice,” Aitken said in a statement.

I had worked for AE LePage Realtors and shortly had quit when I had found out about their much too common scams, false, immoral, restrictive trade practises they are involved in.
1: They tend to consciously encourage new persons to join the firms and systematically lay them off.. they use the new employees for new real estate sales contacts, and local managers tend to pass on all the sale inquires to established existing sales personnel and the rookies get no financial benefit from their own hard work, input..
2: On their weekly homes for sale open homes visits by the staff, they only visit their own listings and discourage sales at any of the competitors listings.. they try to encourage their staff to only buy and sell their own listings. Hoping to double the commissions earnings.
3 And they also often clearly do lie to  their customers about the actual type of sales presentations they will do for them too. Newspaper ads are the most effective approach but they are too cheap to pay for too many of them..
The future of real estate is mobile. So, get off your desktops and get out there. By 2013, the mobile web will be bigger than the desktop web and that’s where all the information will be streaming in? Many Realtors today fear their replacement is just one computer click away, since 30 percent of persons will use their computer first to do a likley home search,  and new players like Google, RPR and the mobile platform are about to rock the sales boat, but some people still do prefer a personal touch by a supposedly professional realtor especially from Re/Max..
 Now a home should be generally a good investment, and when you buy a home you should make sure that you have not overpaid for the home, or bought a poor investment, even one that will not appreciate much in value next.

Home Price Indices (Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas)

When you are buying a home you need to know what makes it a good value, a good buy

1 The area the home is located in: including the proximity to high schools, public schools, hospitals, churches, shopping centers, metro

2: The specific home model: some homes are more popular over others and have a higher resale values.. the most popular ones are Bungalows, two stories, split levels with at least 3 bedrooms, a two car garage and finished family room, fireplace..

When you are trying to sell a home remember most realtors do not sell, or advertise your home, they hope someone else does, they merely take a listing from you and tend not to do you much good.. it does not costs anything more but always ask a local Real estate manager such as Re/Max to give you the name of his or her  two    best selling Realtors.. and hire the send best one who will work hard now, Insure that in writing he or she guarantees to advertise regularly your home in a local newspaper for that is likely where it will attract the best buyers too.


Much of the money earmarked for tsunami relief even never made its way to victims

Many persons have expressed to me that they do not know who to trust or whom to give to now to help the poor and needy, etc., Major and minor Relief, non profitable  religious organizations as well, rather corporations tend to provide very little actual verifiable details to the donors  on how the donations are being spend, and actual spending are covered up, hidden, diverted  as well..

Following the Asian tsunami of 2004, many donors were surprised to learn some larger aid groups couldn’t spend all the money it had raised, while smaller ones struggled to fund their projects. Much of the money earmarked for tsunami relief never made its way to victims of the disaster and was used for other projects instead.
The Danish publication Ekstrabladet puts the total amount of money raised worldwide at approximately 75 billion kroner, the equivalent of 14.5 billion dollars.How then, is it possible that hundreds of tsunami victims are still homeless 5 years later? 

Aid money “disappeared”  In an interview with the Ekstrabladet today, the director of the Sri Lankan arm of Transparency International, Rukshana Nanayakkara says approximately $968,000,000 has “disappeared“. 

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Anti-Olympics activists are looking for answers after they say a freelance journalist was refused entry to Canada.  The Olympic Resistance Network says Martin Macias Jr., was detained by Canadian officials at Vancouver’s airport Saturday morning and questioned for several hours.  Activist Chris Shaw says the U.S. Consulate told them Macias was eventually denied entry and put on a plane for Seattle.  Shaw says he believed Macias was deported because he is a known anti-Olympic activist in his home town of Chicago.  A spokeswoman for Canada Border Services Agency wouldn’t discuss the specific case because of privacy issues.  Pennie Libby says Canada’s admissibility requirements will not change for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games.  Macias led a group that opposed that city’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.  The Olympic Resistance Network says Macias was travelling to Vancouver for political events, including a two-day conference, and was to leave Vancouver Feb. 11, before the start of the games.  It says he was travelling with Bob Quellos of No Games Chicago, who it says was allowed to enter Canada.  Libby said in an email, that admissibility to Canada is considered on a case-by-case basis on facts presented by the applicant at the time of entry.
When Vancouver won the right to host the 2010 Winter Games, the Canadian government and corporate sponsors poured $110 million into “Own the Podium” (OTP), an ambitious program with the objective of putting Canada top of the Vancouver medal table.  Poverty activists say homelessness in Vancouver has increased 373 percent since 2002 when the city bid for the Games. Robert Bonner is not impressed that Vancouver is hosting the Winter Olympics and thinks the millions of dollars spent on the event would have better gone on alleviating problems like poverty and homelessness. “Spending C$178 million ($166 million) for a skating oval isn’t really impressive when you’re sleeping in a doorway,” Bonner told the “Poverty Olympics,” a colorful protest on Sunday to highlight Vancouver’s social problems. Vancouver, on Canada’s Pacific coast, has been ranked in surveys as one of the world’s most “livable” cities but it is also home to one of Canada’s poorest and most drug-infested neighborhoods — the Downtown Eastside. Sign-holding marchers chanted “Homes not Games” and other slogans as they made their way through the neighborhood to the rhythm of a small ragtag marching band and costumed mascots such as “Itchy the Bedbug” and “Chewy the Rat.”

“Our investigations show that this amount is the difference between how much money came in after the tsunami, and what was used on emergency aid and rebuilding the affected areas”.

Nanayakkara also said he believes a lot of the aid money is unaccounted for as a direct or indirect result of corruption, fraud and bribery.

Former president of Doctors Without Borders international committee Morten Rostrup, on the other hand, in the same article, said that even the money that was used to help the tsunami’s victims was grossly misused.

“Many aid organisations sent personnel and equipment, but many projects were based on the organizations’ need to profile themselves, rather than on what the victims needed”, he told Ekstrabladet. “A lot of the money that was given with good intentions went to something the victims did not need. A lot of mobile hospitals, for example, were flown into Banda Aceh but were never used. Meanwhile, it took a month for basic needs like water and sanitary facilities to be put in place



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