Personal Finance

Selling home privately: experiences with Flat rate MLS?

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  • Apr 29th, 2014 6:21 pm
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Nov 19, 2004
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Cambridge, ON
EmmaM699 wrote:
Feb 27th, 2014 8:02 pm
I always try to get everyone's contact info. I have several things that I offer to send them and I usually just hand them my phone to type in the address. The agent always says - just send it to me!

Anyway, I appreciate your input about the commission! Thanks!
That's the difficulty when they bring the agent as the agents just tells you to send it to them. Just do your best to get the buyers info as well in case the buyer has any questions. Or if that doesn't work because the agent insists and the buyer doesn't realize, at least tell the buyer directly to feel free to contact you directly if they have any questions.

Anyway, jumping to conclusions here as not all agents will interfere. We were after a private sale last year and I was talking to an agent who we used in the past. He volunteered to go to the home and offer his thoughts with no expectation of a commission. We didn't bother because we were comfortable with our plan. Was there an ulterior motive? I don't know. Either just being helpful or he was trying to work towards selling our home. Either way the offer was appreciated.
[OP]
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Sep 25, 2013
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don242 wrote:
Feb 27th, 2014 7:56 pm
If possible come up with some reason to get the buyers email. Offer to send them the warranty for the roof or furnace or some fixed leak or something. Then you have a direct line of communication to be sure the agent is being honest.
P.S. I just wanted to add to this: when I do get the clients email address, the agent always seems visibly irritated. I worry that they see me as trying to undermine them or that it's some sort of sign that I'm not willing to cooperate re: a commission, and will go out of their way to trash the property so that their buyer isn't interested. Paranoid? Maybe, but I don't think that sort of behaviour is beneath a lot of agents.
[OP]
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Sep 25, 2013
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don242 wrote:
Feb 27th, 2014 8:16 pm
Anyway, jumping to conclusions here as not all agents will interfere. We were after a private sale last year and I was talking to an agent who we used in the past. He volunteered to go to the home and offer his thoughts with no expectation of a commission. We didn't bother because we were comfortable with our plan. Was there an ulterior motive? I don't know. Either just being helpful or he was trying to work towards selling our home. Either way the offer was appreciated.
I agree that not all of them are in it for themselves, above all else. It's just good to be aware of the ones who will take advantage of you if you let them.
[OP]
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Sep 25, 2013
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When you list your home privately on MLS / realtor.ca does it ask you to say how much of a commission you'll pay a realtor if they bring their client?
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Dec 21, 2010
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EmmaM699 wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2014 12:50 am
When you list your home privately on MLS / realtor.ca does it ask you to say how much of a commission you'll pay a realtor if they bring their client?
Under the broker comments, you can write out if you are willing to cooperate with agents, how much you are willing to offer, or have them call you directly to discuss.

I will be honest, as a Realtor, if there is no mention of the commission structure in the actual comments, often times many agents will simply by-pass the listing and not show it to their clients. I definitely appreciate seeing whether the seller will or will not cooperate and what percentage they will offer to the buyer's agent. Often times, I try and reach the seller when I am sending out my daily listings (and it can be 3am or 2pm), and if I cannot get a hold of the seller, it makes me wonder if I should send the listing over or not. If I wait for the seller to call me back, they usually do it long after we have our appointments scheduled. It really does just make things a lot easier to see it when it's in black and white, plus it is an added security for us to know that we will get paid. :) As a recommendation, I would add your email address to the listing as well as a contact number where you can be reached easily. Having to wait for the call backs for several days makes it pretty difficult for scheduling purposes, but if you're on top of it, that is really helpful (even if you hate having us call!) ;)

Hope that helps.
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2006
2773 posts
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My 2 cents (not far off from the commission I'd be willing to pay an agent if I was selling):

A good agent with experience knowledge would be able to inform the buyer about the past (recent and distant) history of an area, neighbourhood:
- was this a previously remediated dump site (common in Ottawa)
- houses here have had a history of basement flooding/backups
- telltale signs to look for regarding foundation issues (inside/outside)
- recent zoning changes/ issues in the area (say councillors in the area now support splitting of large lots to allow multi-family units in the area which can be both a pro and a con depending on the buyer).
- previous sale price of the exact property for sale if it has been sold through MLS

That said, a lot of agents DON'T do this and in Ottawa they do tend to blacklist privately listed properties unless their client finds the property and forces them to show it.

Relative of mine had their property for 4-5 months privately on grapevine for 1.5%, gave it to and agent and it was sold in the first week to another of the office's clients (who apparently was looking for months for a property just like this one, except they left it to the agent to find it ... the buyer lived less than 5 min. away in an apt. building). I'd say that's partly the buyer's fault but mostly the agent's who obviously tried to steer the client away until they got that extra 1%.
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Nov 9, 2007
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Vancouver
Have never bought a real estate before here... I was wondering if I'd need to pay any RE broker fees when purchasing a pre-construction condo as well?
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RaptorsTV wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2014 10:49 am
Have never bought a real estate before here... I was wondering if I'd need to pay any RE broker fees when purchasing a pre-construction condo as well?
I can try and help answer your question, but I would need some more information.
1) If you are going directly through the builder, then there wouldn't be any Realtor involved in the transaction, unless you hired one on your own. If you did that, you would arrange a separate contract between the two of you.

2) Generally speaking, many builders will have salespeople on their staff who will be paid out directly from the builder. Sometimes these people are licensed, and some are not. You won't be paying them though, as they are paid through the builder.

3) If the listing is on MLS and the builder is selling it through a brokerage, then it is the seller who pays out the fees.

Again, though... if you have a contract with a buying agent to represent you in a transaction, you might be liable to pay them. No one can answer this question unless you provide some more information, unfortunately.

Hope that helps.
[OP]
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Sep 25, 2013
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loriblum wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2014 7:11 am
Under the broker comments, you can write out if you are willing to cooperate with agents, how much you are willing to offer, or have them call you directly to discuss.

I will be honest, as a Realtor, if there is no mention of the commission structure in the actual comments, often times many agents will simply by-pass the listing and not show it to their clients. I definitely appreciate seeing whether the seller will or will not cooperate and what percentage they will offer to the buyer's agent. Often times, I try and reach the seller when I am sending out my daily listings (and it can be 3am or 2pm), and if I cannot get a hold of the seller, it makes me wonder if I should send the listing over or not. If I wait for the seller to call me back, they usually do it long after we have our appointments scheduled. It really does just make things a lot easier to see it when it's in black and white, plus it is an added security for us to know that we will get paid. :) As a recommendation, I would add your email address to the listing as well as a contact number where you can be reached easily. Having to wait for the call backs for several days makes it pretty difficult for scheduling purposes, but if you're on top of it, that is really helpful (even if you hate having us call!) ;)

Hope that helps.
Thank you very much for your advice. I'm glued to my phone these days for emails and calls.

I've been told that agents won't bring clients to your property for less than 2.5% On a $200,000 property, for example, that's $5000.

I had an agent contact me recently offering to sell for a 1.9% commission. He said that I would have to sign a contract with him, and if I ended up selling myself that I would still have to pay him $500. I get why they do this but it comes off as "I still want to be paid even if I can't do the one job you hired me to do".

I understand that realtors have to pay their agency and have other overhead costs, but it seems a little excessive to demand 2.5% in this sort of situation. For example, if they bring 3 potential buyers to me, they've spent maybe 6 hours, tops, driving to and from my property while I do the tour and then they fill out the offer to purchase. I'd be happy making $2000 in that situation. Why is 1% so offensive? I know that there are other costs to consider but when I was a teen, I sold furniture. Some days you walk around for 8 hours a day and you make $0. Other days, you sell an entire house and made a few thousand dollars. I never complained about the driving I had to do to and from and expected people to pay for gas. Everyone has to drive to work. This is what I've been hearing from a lot of agents - it's not worth their time for 1%. I'm looking at the cost for my specific sale and they're looking at it from a perspective from all the time they waste doing other things that don't pan out, I guess.

If I end up doing the flat rate MLS/realtor.ca listing for more exposure, do you think it's important for me to put a firm commission % in there or write that I'm very happy to pay a commission to an agent and that it's negotiable, or do you think they would be put off by that too?
[OP]
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Sep 25, 2013
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mangoman wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2014 7:32 am
That said, a lot of agents DON'T do this and in Ottawa they do tend to blacklist privately listed properties unless their client finds the property and forces them to show it.

Relative of mine had their property for 4-5 months privately on grapevine for 1.5%, gave it to and agent and it was sold in the first week to another of the office's clients (who apparently was looking for months for a property just like this one, except they left it to the agent to find it ... the buyer lived less than 5 min. away in an apt. building). I'd say that's partly the buyer's fault but mostly the agent's who obviously tried to steer the client away until they got that extra 1%.
... and THIS is why real estate agents are not working in the best interest of the buyer or the seller. I wish people would understand that. This weekend, I noticed a couple walking through my building holding MLS listings with their agent. I am kicking myself for not telling them to come by my unit as well. Their agent clearly didn't tell them about it. They were here and would have benefitted seeing mine (the one they saw is the exact same as mine but had smokers living in it). But, if I had done that, the agent might have been annoyed and said bad things about my condo to deter them.

I honestly do understand the benefit of real estate agents, but if they're actively making sure that their client isn't getting what's best for them in order to maximize their own profit, it's tough to want to do business with people with those kind of morals.

A lot of people think that a buying agent is free and will honestly show you all the places that are best suited to you so that you don't have to do the work. A quick search on craigslist could get them their perfect home and they could negotiate the price down because it won't be inflated by an agent's commission.
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Apr 16, 2011
345 posts
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Toronto
If you are working with an agent, they are ethically obligated to show you all listings that meet your criteria regardless of the amount of commission being offered by the seller. In the case of a private sale, they should explain the commission arrangement and in some cases may be asked to be compensated by the buyer if under contract.
My experience with Mere Postings is that if a realistic commission is being offered to the buyers agent they will show the property and many of our flat fee listings have sold this way. Some sellers offer 3% commission to the buyers agent because they are saving so much on the listing cost.
[OP]
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Sep 25, 2013
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ahmahndoode wrote:
Mar 4th, 2014 10:40 am
If you are working with an agent, they are ethically obligated to show you all listings that meet your criteria regardless of the amount of commission being offered by the seller.
I can guarantee that this isn't the case, unfortunately. I was specifically told by an agent that, even if you list with an an agent who is offering too low of a commission, your property would be blacklisted - his words not mine. I mentioned this to other agents I've spoken to and they've confirmed this. Shady practices.
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EmmaM699 wrote:
Mar 4th, 2014 10:48 am
I can guarantee that this isn't the case, unfortunately. I was specifically told by an agent that, even if you list with an an agent who is offering too low of a commission, your property would be blacklisted - his words not mine. I mentioned this to other agents I've spoken to and they've confirmed this. Shady practices.
Me too. I have been told by agents as well the same thing. Anything lower than 2.5% to the buying agent, means they will skip your house.
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Apr 16, 2011
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I'm not saying it doesn't happen, fortunately many buyers are browsing on realtor.ca and can still see all the listings. If a buyer learns their agent is not showing them all the available properties they are jeopardizing their relationship with their client and are also putting themselves at risk of a complaint being filed against them.

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