After completing an internal study of competitive and tax
filing status implications for Realtors who may wish to join Ontario's new
Union for Real Estate Professionals (UnionREP), the Canadian Real Estate
Association is urging due diligence before signing on with the union.

“We're asking our members to be very cautious,”
says CREA president Harry De Leeuw.

CREA's major concerns revolve around any suggestion of
lessening of competition, should a number of neighbouring real estate offices
opt to join UnionREP and set exactly the same commission rates with the brokers
involved.  UnionREP is promoting
collective agreements between salespeople and brokers, which suggest a
commission rate of six per cent on MLS listings and five per cent on exclusive
listings -‑ the rate UnionREP's first unionized office, Re/Max Cornerstone of
Bowmanville, Ont. has negotiated between its sales staff and its broker.

“This raises the issue of competition and the
Competition Bureau and what their take is on it,” says De Leeuw.  “We are, of course, very concerned with
competition issues, so we're taking the time we need to review this
carefully.”

CREA's internal review also examined possible tax status
implications of independent contractors who choose to join the union. 

“There are quite a few legal issues that should be
addressed before anyone makes their decision and we're going to continue
studying this,” says De Leeuw. 
“We just really want to do the proper due diligence for our
members, because that is our job.” – Kathy Bevan

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