The reason for the name change was to help ease some of the confusion in the minds of Canadian consumers who thought that what they were seeing was an MLS system. Those systems are owned and operated by local Boards/Associations and only upload certain data that the local Multiple Listing System decides to upload from data given to them from listings contracted with local Real Estate Brokers. Sellers also have options of what can be displayed on the Internet.
A lot of consumers however feel that what is displayed on the public web site is up- to-date and accurate to the minute information…all the information. Please remember that Realtor.ca is only an advertising site drawn from information posted by the local Board, posted by information by the local Broker.
When your Realtor tells you that a property is on MLS they are referring to a password and authenticator access site that has a goal of having all the information needed to draft an “Agreement of Purchase and Sale”. Because the information is of a private nature, Boards and Associations have added safeguards to stop non member access and non-member distribution of the data collected during the selling process, only uploading agreed upon data to advertising vehicles.
In Today’s full access environment it is hard to keep all parties happy. In the meantime please remember that REALTOR.ca is a GREAT public-facing web site used to advertise properties but not an Multiple Listing System (MLS). For full information you should have a representation agreement signed with a Realtor whether it be a Listing Agreement or Buyer Representation Agreement.