Personal Finance

Dissapointed with realtors, should I be expecting more?

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  • Dec 14th, 2013 12:58 am
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[OP]
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Apr 15, 2005
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Dissapointed with realtors, should I be expecting more?

Over the last few years, I have dealt with several different real estate agents to buy condo units downtown Toronto.

All of them essentially register me on the MLS property match mailer, that sends me a list of units within the parameters I am looking at. It is then up to me to pinpoint a unit, and they will take me there to view the unit. Very rarely will they talk me out of a unit. Some have been able to offer comparison reports on properties sold within a certain time frame, in the same area, and that's about it.

None of them are able to offer real technical financial advice on whether it is a good investment.

None of them have been able to get me the inside scoop on assignment units that haven't been released to MLS yet.

None of them really seem to do anything other than drive me to units, so that they can pocket an easy 2.5% of the value.

Am I hoping for too much for them to offer me more than just a free shuttle service?

I have often thought of getting my own realtors license only so that I can perhaps gain what little advantage they seem to have, and cut them from my own personal realtor transactions.
36 replies
Member
Sep 12, 2007
469 posts
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Toronto
kingrukus wrote:
Dec 6th, 2013 8:46 pm
Over the last few years, I have dealt with several different real estate agents to buy condo units downtown Toronto.

All of them essentially register me on the MLS property match mailer, that sends me a list of units within the parameters I am looking at. It is then up to me to pinpoint a unit, and they will take me there to view the unit. Very rarely will they talk me out of a unit. Some have been able to offer comparison reports on properties sold within a certain time frame, in the same area, and that's about it.

None of them are able to offer real technical financial advice on whether it is a good investment.

None of them have been able to get me the inside scoop on assignment units that haven't been released to MLS yet.

None of them really seem to do anything other than drive me to units, so that they can pocket an easy 2.5% of the value.

Am I hoping for too much for them to offer me more than just a free shuttle service?

I have often thought of getting my own realtors license only so that I can perhaps gain what little advantage they seem to have, and cut them from my own personal realtor transactions.

I know what you mean. I took the courses and got my own real estate brokers licence when I decided to sell my investment properties in 2008. It was a wise decision. The courses are reasonable in cost and although tougher these days than years ago, they are not rocket science so you should be able to complete them. I say go for it if you anticipate doing a fair number of transactions for your own investment purposes. It saves you paying other agents as you pay "yourself" instead. You can also take on and represent other clients with the degree of professionalism, ethics and financial acumen that you would expect if you are a customer. That's what I do. Good luck :-)
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Jan 19, 2007
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Torontario
The easiest method in these large ticket transactions to explain that is to follow the money stream to understand the power of each party.

1. There's asymmetric interest given that the seller's price pays RE commission on the both side. In fact this is the typical "agency problem" that CREA or TREB is unwilling to resolve (e.g. excluding closing costs/commissions from house price and banks to exclude from mortgage). Not surprising -- you get what you pay for and there's a lot of window-shoppers in the market.

2. Almost 90% of the volume of RE is bought with mortgages (i.e. borrowed money) propped by the largest FIs on the market, then underlying insured by CMHC so the tax-payer. For condos such metrics are even more extreme.

3. Therefore for buyers never had a strong power against RE agent who just looks at making transaction volume and not without a reason (as this is the most rational behaviour) given the existing legislation and allowed practices.

Essentially for me the issue (when I was on the market) is that of control, who has the quality of information, and whether I to allow somebody to make a choice on my behalf for such a large ticket.
For us the RE agent was just a counsel and free agent who is mandated to execute the deal but not to make decisions.
Member
Dec 3, 2013
256 posts
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This seems to be the main issue with Realtor's and Mortgage Professionals. Are you asking for to much? to be honest...it's quite possible. Thats the point of it all, the bar has been set so low. This can be blamed on the pure saturation of agents. It sounds to me like you are just wanting that little bit of "extra" value and that in itself is not a tall request. There are Realtor's that constantly try to add value but those are far and few between. The entire industry is based on the formula time spent/money made which makes sense, but at the same time hinders future referral sources.

On a personal note I am in the mortgage industry and my service and reputation mean everything to me. When I am working a file I want to do such a great job for my clients that they will be compelled to tell their friends and family about me. I learned young that in a business like this one you cannot be short sighted and just go for the money not caring who you affect. Realtor's are the exact same way and I shake my head every time I see or hear about it.
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Feb 15, 2013
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kingrukus wrote:
Dec 6th, 2013 8:46 pm
None of them are able to offer real technical financial advice on whether it is a good investment.
Realtors are salespeople. Not investment advisors.

Perhaps you're confused with what a realtor is?
Banned
Nov 27, 2006
2200 posts
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Toronto
kingrukus wrote:
Dec 6th, 2013 8:46 pm
Over the last few years, I have dealt with several different real estate agents to buy condo units downtown Toronto.

All of them essentially register me on the MLS property match mailer, that sends me a list of units within the parameters I am looking at. It is then up to me to pinpoint a unit, and they will take me there to view the unit. Very rarely will they talk me out of a unit. Some have been able to offer comparison reports on properties sold within a certain time frame, in the same area, and that's about it.

None of them are able to offer real technical financial advice on whether it is a good investment.

None of them have been able to get me the inside scoop on assignment units that haven't been released to MLS yet.

None of them really seem to do anything other than drive me to units, so that they can pocket an easy 2.5% of the value.

Am I hoping for too much for them to offer me more than just a free shuttle service?

I have often thought of getting my own realtors license only so that I can perhaps gain what little advantage they seem to have, and cut them from my own personal realtor transactions.
But but but broooo real estate agents are good people just like mortgage brokers.


U can trust them. .... but u bang trust the big evil bank. .. u know the same bank that has to go through piles of policy to get your minscule little mortgage.
Banned
Nov 27, 2006
2200 posts
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Toronto
professor24 wrote:
Dec 6th, 2013 11:57 pm
This seems to be the main issue with Realtor's and Mortgage Professionals. Are you asking for to much? to be honest...it's quite possible. Thats the point of it all, the bar has been set so low. This can be blamed on the pure saturation of agents. It sounds to me like you are just wanting that little bit of "extra" value and that in itself is not a tall request. There are Realtor's that constantly try to add value but those are far and few between. The entire industry is based on the formula time spent/money made which makes sense, but at the same time hinders future referral sources.

On a personal note I am in the mortgage industry and my service and reputation mean everything to me. When I am working a file I want to do such a great job for my clients that they will be compelled to tell their friends and family about me. I learned young that in a business like this one you cannot be short sighted and just go for the money not caring who you affect. Realtor's are the exact same way and I shake my head every time I see or hear about it.

You make it seem like u doing a financial plan for them. ....


The mortgage brokers actual job:

A get pay stubs.
B summit to banks underwriting department
C profit.

There really isn't much that can go wrong. If you can't do that right you should go work at mcdonalds.

I'm just tired of professionals claiming they professionals when they are not.
Member
Dec 3, 2013
256 posts
40 upvotes
sirex wrote:
Dec 7th, 2013 1:00 am
You make it seem like u doing a financial plan for them. ....


The mortgage brokers actual job:

A get pay stubs.
B summit to banks underwriting department
C profit.

There really isn't much that can go wrong. If you can't do that right you should go work at mcdonalds.

I'm just tired of professionals claiming they professionals when they are not.
If you think that's all I do then all the power to you. I absolutely make a plan with my clients. We look at what kinds of plans they have in the next 5 years and develop a exit strategy. We also help the credit and debt challenged clean their mess up, put them on the right track that hopefully they will follow. We also take in client's that have been declined by major lenders, look at the file and repackage the deal with the result of the client being approved soon there after. Now mind you some brokers wont do this kind of stuff. They would rather do what you think we do. However, on my end I can assure you that I am a business owner and a professional.
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Jan 11, 2004
1277 posts
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kingrukus wrote:
Dec 6th, 2013 8:46 pm
None of them are able to offer real technical financial advice on whether it is a good investment.
Realtors on average are no better with investments then your average person. The realtors that have some-what solid advice are the ones that are investors themselves. And even then I would take their advice with a grain of salt
kingrukus wrote:
Dec 6th, 2013 8:46 pm
None of them have been able to get me the inside scoop on assignment units that haven't been released to MLS yet.
Usually you will have to have a good/long standing relationship to be offered "inside" deals. Good realtors usually have a list of preferred clients that they will shop any good deals to before releasing to relative unknowns. Once you have proven yourself as someone who closes deals and closes them quickly, good realtors will treat you differently.
kingrukus wrote:
Dec 6th, 2013 8:46 pm
Am I hoping for too much for them to offer me more than just a free shuttle service?
IMO, the value proposition of the average realtor is more of a guide then a oracle. They will guide you the process of purchasing real estate. They aren't an expert in any one area (financing, valuation, legal, administrative) but know enough to hopefully guide you to the right professionals at the right time. If you have enough experience/knowledge a realtor's value decreases significantly.
Member
Sep 12, 2007
469 posts
121 upvotes
Toronto
I have to chuckle. As with any professional / consultant / advisor there are high skilled, high caliber individuals, there are the average cability ones, and there are the laggards.

You could be a client of a doctor who just passed with the bottom marks of their class, and is just coasting the rest of his life without keeping up with the medical technological breakthroughs, or you could be a client of a top notch, top of the class dentist who does keep up professionally but is optimizing his practice to generate maximum profits. Both probably don't represent you interests foremost.

Same with any practice, be it health care, engineering, investment advising, real estate, accounting, renovation contractors, whatever.

Just keep looking until you find one that meets your needs. That's the beauty of free market competition. Do your due diligence, check out their background, find out how smart they are and their experience level, try to determine if their motivation is somewhat in line with your interests, and if you cant find anyone (and its important enough to you) take the education and then become the expert yourself. Don't be lazy and expect someone is going to put your interests 100% above their own interests. That's just human nature.
[OP]
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Apr 15, 2005
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lkovacs wrote:
Dec 7th, 2013 11:13 am
\Don't be lazy and expect someone is going to put your interests 100% above their own interests. That's just human nature.
Silly me, here I was thinking for the 2.5% they are making, they would actually need to do a little work beyond providing a shuttle service.
Sr. Member
May 26, 2010
575 posts
137 upvotes
kingrukus wrote:
Dec 7th, 2013 3:06 pm
Silly me, here I was thinking for the 2.5% they are making, they would actually need to do a little work beyond providing a shuttle service.
What exact services are you looking for? Judging by your comment about them not offering investment advise, I have a feeling you may have higher expectations for what a Realtor should be doing than is typically seen. For example not getting investment from someone who ia unqualified to provide it, whilst delivering a sales pitch is typically seen as a good thing...

If you are going off the HGTV world of being toured around 10 different listings a weekend for a month, and expecting a similar service in the real world, then you may not find many Realtors who are able to offer that service.

With regards to assignment units, have you searched out Realtors who specialise in this? I've seen a few Realtors who market this as their area of speciality - and assignments could well be one of those areas of the industry where professional connections are far more important than access to secret MLS information.

If the service is really that bad, why not represent yourself? No one is forcing you to work with a buying Realtor.
Member
Sep 12, 2007
469 posts
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Toronto
mattieuk wrote:
Dec 7th, 2013 3:23 pm
What exact services are you looking for? Judging by your comment about them not offering investment advise, I have a feeling you may have higher expectations for what a Realtor should be doing than is typically seen. For example not getting investment from someone who ia unqualified to provide it, whilst delivering a sales pitch is typically seen as a good thing...

If you are going off the HGTV world of being toured around 10 different listings a weekend for a month, and expecting a similar service in the real world, then you may not find many Realtors who are able to offer that service.

With regards to assignment units, have you searched out Realtors who specialise in this? I've seen a few Realtors who market this as their area of speciality - and assignments could well be one of those areas of the industry where professional connections are far more important than access to secret MLS information.

If the service is really that bad, why not represent yourself? No one is forcing you to work with a buying Realtor.
Amen, Its true you don't really need to work with a buyer Realtor. Anyone could easily call the listing agent for any any appointment requests, don't sign any Buyer Representation Agreement with any realtor and do all the negotiations themselves. Nothing in the REBBA Act says you have to work with a buyer agent, if the buyer perceives little value in the agents that use. If they are any good at negotiation, they may also be able to get the Seller of the home to agree to a lower offer price as the listing agent is "double-ending" the commission and perhaps the seller can talk the listing agent into a lower commission rate to offset the lower offer price in the case of the double-ended commission. Its a free market and amply competition exists for all kinds of possibilites to conduct transactions.
Member
Sep 12, 2007
469 posts
121 upvotes
Toronto
mattieuk wrote:
Dec 7th, 2013 3:23 pm
What exact services are you looking for? Judging by your comment about them not offering investment advise, I have a feeling you may have higher expectations for what a Realtor should be doing than is typically seen. For example not getting investment from someone who ia unqualified to provide it, whilst delivering a sales pitch is typically seen as a good thing...

If you are going off the HGTV world of being toured around 10 different listings a weekend for a month, and expecting a similar service in the real world, then you may not find many Realtors who are able to offer that service.

With regards to assignment units, have you searched out Realtors who specialise in this? I've seen a few Realtors who market this as their area of speciality - and assignments could well be one of those areas of the industry where professional connections are far more important than access to secret MLS information.

If the service is really that bad, why not represent yourself? No one is forcing you to work with a buying Realtor.
Amen, Its true you don't really need to work with a buyer Realtor. Anyone could easily call the listing agent for any any appointment requests, don't sign any Buyer Representation Agreement with any realtor and do all the negotiations themselves. Nothing in the REBBA Act says you have to work with a buyer agent, if the buyer perceives little value in the agents they use. If they are any good at negotiation, they may also be able to get the Seller of the home to agree to a lower offer price as the listing agent is "double-ending" the commission and perhaps the seller can talk the listing agent into a lower commission rate to offset the lower offer price in the case of the double-ended commission. Its a free market and amply competition exists for all kinds of possibilites to conduct transactions.

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