As of January 1, listings represented by the 9,700 members of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board are no longer appearing on Realtor.ca, the official MLS classified website of CREA (the Canadian Real Estate Association). In a close vote in December that came down to a difference of just 66 votes (out of 3,826 cast), the Montreal group voted to separate from CREA.

Members of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board had a number of grievances against CREA, including rising fees and, perhaps most importantly, frustration that CREA allows Realtors outside of the province to post flat fee listings of homes inside Quebec, skirting the strict professional rules to which Quebec’s Realtors must adhere. CREA has protested that it’s powerless to stop out-of-province brokers from listing Quebec properties for sale.

Quebec Realtors are now posting listings on Centris.ca, ranked as the fourth most popular real estate website in Quebec. The most popular site is Kijiji. Realtor.ca is ranked all the way down in ninth place.

Not every Greater Montreal Real Estate Board member was happy with the decision (it was after all very close), and the Montreal Gazette even reported a possible “partionist” movement among brokers who want to set up a separate Montreal real estate board that would remain part of CREA. Pierre Leduc, a CREA spokesperson, said “CREA will support these endeavors.”

The separation from CREA also means Montreal brokers will not be able to post to CREA’s ICX.ca, which features commercial properties.

Of the 80,000 listings on Realtor.ca, 17,000 come from brokers in Quebec.

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