Real Estate

Hi there, has anyone used 1% realtors or Purple House?

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[OP]
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Sep 3, 2020
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172 upvotes

Hi there, has anyone used 1% realtors or Purple House?

We are selling our home and want to save on realtor fees. I'm not sure the fee is worth it for the work they put in. My opinion is (open to suggestions) is houses in Vancouver sell themselves.

Thanks for any recommendations and perspectives.
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Member
Jan 12, 2007
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Orleans
From my experience (selling with Purple Bricks a few year ago) if you are half way competent (aka experience with negotiating and sales) and are offering full commission to the buyers agent (2.5%) you can skipper the sellers agent and expect to be successful.
This works best with cookie cutter homes and condos that have easy comparable.

I would exclude exceptionally high end homes, unusual markets or outlier properties since they are more complex deals.
Sr. Member
Mar 10, 2014
628 posts
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If you are using any type of discount RE brokerage, the only area where you can save some money is the seller commission. As long as you state that the buyer agent will receive the 2.5% commission, you will be able to sell if the price is right and the demand is there. Generally, buyer agents will not bring their clients if they are not getting their full commission. There are times where the buyer agent is sick and tired of showing homes to their clients and then you may get lucky to negotiate a commission. I have been through both experiences. You will need to schedule your own viewings and possible open house if needed.
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Jan 16, 2011
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Buyers commission is STILL 2.5%??? When I was looking at selling last year my agent said that the commission was down to 4%, 2% each for the buyers and sellers agent because house prices had shot up so much... Depending on the price of the house i'd offer 1.5% buyers commission as what work do they have to do? Price your house competitively and the sellers agent is still looking at a 5 figure pay day for doing next to no work.
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Mar 10, 2014
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kr0zet wrote: Buyers commission is STILL 2.5%??? When I was looking at selling last year my agent said that the commission was down to 4%, 2% each for the buyers and sellers agent because house prices had shot up so much... Depending on the price of the house i'd offer 1.5% buyers commission as what work do they have to do? Price your house competitively and the sellers agent is still looking at a 5 figure pay day for doing next to no work.
I guess it depends on the area. In midtown Toronto, good luck asking a buyer agent to take less than 2.5%. Especially, those "veteran" old school agents. Unless they are double ending a deal they might have some wiggle room. All really depends on the area and how desperate the agent is. The top 5% of the agents rarely if ever, reduce their commission.
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it's difficult to deal with Purplebricks agents because you literally have to call the call centre to speak with someone.
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jmc111 wrote: I guess it depends on the area. In midtown Toronto, good luck asking a buyer agent to take less than 2.5%. Especially, those "veteran" old school agents. Unless they are double ending a deal they might have some wiggle room. All really depends on the area and how desperate the agent is. The top 5% of the agents rarely if ever, reduce their commission.
top 5% means nothing when you are dealing with the sellers agent. If you are selling in a desirable area and priced competitively you will get offers. What will happen is you will get a tonne of unsolicited offers from agents who want you to use their service to sell your home because they will get you more money. Will they? Not if they are eating 5% of your sales price for commissions.

Just my opinion.
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Mar 10, 2014
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kr0zet wrote: top 5% means nothing when you are dealing with the sellers agent. If you are selling in a desirable area and priced competitively you will get offers. What will happen is you will get a tonne of unsolicited offers from agents who want you to use their service to sell your home because they will get you more money. Will they? Not if they are eating 5% of your sales price for commissions.

Just my opinion.
I could name a whole whack of agents in the midtown area that will refuse to bring their clients to buy your house if you don't give them their 2.5% commission. Doesn't matter if the house is priced competitively. A lot of these "veteran" agents are full commission agents and only accept 2.5%. Just from what I have seen and heard over the years. I have moved a number of times over the past two decades and been to over one hundred open houses+ and spoken to many agents (dime a dozen). If you are talking about agents in the burbs, then maybe they are different mentality. All depends on the area of buying/selling.
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jmc111 wrote: I could name a whole whack of agents in the midtown area that will refuse to bring their clients to buy your house if you don't give them their 2.5% commission. Doesn't matter if the house is priced competitively. A lot of these "veteran" agents are full commission agents and only accept 2.5%. Just from what I have seen and heard over the years. I have moved a number of times over the past two decades and been to over one hundred open houses+ and spoken to many agents (dime a dozen). If you are talking about agents in the burbs, then maybe they are different mentality. All depends on the area of buying/selling.
There's always another agent. The last time I bought I gave my agent a list of properties I wanted to see and they took me to every one.

The important part is to get your house listed for the most exposure. If a buyer see's it on MLS and asks their agent to see it, what agent is going to say No? As a buyer I would question if I had the right agent at that point.
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jmc111 wrote: I could name a whole whack of agents in the midtown area that will refuse to bring their clients to buy your house if you don't give them their 2.5% commission. Doesn't matter if the house is priced competitively. A lot of these "veteran" agents are full commission agents and only accept 2.5%. Just from what I have seen and heard over the years. I have moved a number of times over the past two decades and been to over one hundred open houses+ and spoken to many agents (dime a dozen). If you are talking about agents in the burbs, then maybe they are different mentality. All depends on the area of buying/selling.
I'm curious about your statement. Can you give us an example of how the conversation goes between buyer and agent when buyer requests to see a property that doesn't offer 2.5%. Interested to know how the agent refuses to take the client to the property that they choose without being fired. Thanks
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Mar 10, 2014
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ZxExN wrote: I'm curious about your statement. Can you give us an example of how the conversation goes between buyer and agent when buyer requests to see a property that doesn't offer 2.5%. Interested to know how the agent refuses to take the client to the property that they choose without being fired. Thanks
We sold a home back over 10 years ago via through Realtysellers (paid small fee to list the home on mls). We did not get very many showings until we had to put the 2.5% paid to the buyer agent in the listing. The home was in a prime desirable location. Once we put that clause in, it sold the next few days. I have been verbally told by some "veteran" agents that they will not bring clients to your home if they are not being paid the full 2.5% commission (when you are using those discount RE brokerages). They expect to get paid in full their share. I am not sure how else to explain it. You should go to areas where the demand is very high and talk to those agents who deal with those properties. Especially in midtown Toronto. I've been through 6 APS over the past two decades and know the process very well. I've taken some of the OREA courses and no where does it state how the commission should be negotiated. The standard is 5% (2.5% buyer agent, 2.5% seller agent).

RECO does NOT dictate how the commission is determined, other than it "should" range total between 3.5% to 5% for the entire transaction plus HST. Buyer "typically" fixed at 2.5%. This means it is open to negotiation and up to the registered salesperson/broker.

See below:

"Real estate commissions are the fees you pay to your real estate agent for their services. It is usually calculated as a percentage of the selling price of the property. In Ontario, the standard real estate agent commission is 5% of the property price plus HST, but in practice, the commission can range anywhere from 3.5% to 5%. The total commission will be divided between the buyer and seller agents, where the buyer's portion is typically fixed at 2.5%."
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jmc111 wrote: We sold a home back over 10 years ago via through Realtysellers (paid small fee to list the home on mls). We did not get very many showings until we had to put the 2.5% paid to the buyer agent in the listing. The home was in a prime desirable location. Once we put that clause in, it sold the next few days. I have been verbally told by some "veteran" agents that they will not bring clients to your home if they are not being paid the full 2.5% commission (when you are using those discount RE brokerages). They expect to get paid in full their share. I am not sure how else to explain it. You should go to areas where the demand is very high and talk to those agents who deal with those properties. Especially in midtown Toronto. I've been through 6 APS over the past two decades and know the process very well. I've taken some of the OREA courses and no where does it state how the commission should be negotiated. The standard is 5% (2.5% buyer agent, 2.5% seller agent).

RECO does NOT dictate how the commission is determined, other than it "should" range total between 3.5% to 5% for the entire transaction plus HST. Buyer "typically" fixed at 2.5%. This means it is open to negotiation and up to the registered salesperson/broker.

See below:

"Real estate commissions are the fees you pay to your real estate agent for their services. It is usually calculated as a percentage of the selling price of the property. In Ontario, the standard real estate agent commission is 5% of the property price plus HST, but in practice, the commission can range anywhere from 3.5% to 5%. The total commission will be divided between the buyer and seller agents, where the buyer's portion is typically fixed at 2.5%."
Doesn't answer my question at all. In this day and age, buyers are the ones that pick properties for agents to show them. Think for a second how that conversation would go if an agent refuses to take a buyer to a house that they were interested in. This isn't those fake "Property Virgin" shows where it makes it appear the agents are picking the properties.

Maybe an agent can chime in if this is really a thing.
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Mar 10, 2014
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ZxExN wrote: Doesn't answer my question at all. In this day and age, buyers are the ones that pick properties for agents to show them. Think for a second how that conversation would go if an agent refuses to take a buyer to a house that they were interested in. This isn't those fake "Property Virgin" shows where it makes it appear the agents are picking the properties.

Maybe an agent can chime in if this is really a thing.
Ask a full service agent and they will hopefully give you more insight. I know we have experienced this from a buyer agent as well as talking to some "veteran" agents who have been in the business for a long time.
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Mar 27, 2004
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You need to offer coop commission 2.25 or 2.5% , or you won't get the foot traffic or a market offer.

I don't see the advantage of going with purple bricks at all.

Since you have to offer a full coop commission, you are really just saving on the listing side.
But you can also find agents that will list for 1% and do a lot for that (and from what I've heard, even less from many rfd realtors). Why not just let an agent handle the sale of your property as well.
There is zero chance you are going to get the same results as a competent realtor.

There is a reason why purplebricks and all those other discount brokerages represent such a small market share.
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berrytree wrote: We are selling our home and want to save on realtor fees. I'm not sure the fee is worth it for the work they put in. My opinion is (open to suggestions) is houses in Vancouver sell themselves.

Thanks for any recommendations and perspectives.
Houses may sell for themselves in a hot market but there are a few things I feel a good realtor would offer you to get you even higher offers. I find the average buyer to be superficial especially nowadays. I have seen similar properties where one is staged one isn’t and the one that is staged gets way more. I’m not talking about simple staging either, some realtors work with very good designers that can make a world of a difference. People generally have no imagination and will fall for this stuff. Also the way they market your home. Purple bricks is not going to do that for you. Also even though we have all of this access to listings online there are still many naive buyers who solely depend on their realtor to send them listings and I doubt they will pick yours. I’m surprised by some people in my social circle who solely relied on their realtor to send them listings rather than them doing their own research, not all buyers are savvy.
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Mar 10, 2014
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atom2020 wrote: Houses may sell for themselves in a hot market but there are a few things I feel a good realtor would offer you to get you even higher offers. I find the average buyer to be superficial especially nowadays. I have seen similar properties where one is staged one isn’t and the one that is staged gets way more. I’m not talking about simple staging either, some realtors work with very good designers that can make a world of a difference. People generally have no imagination and will fall for this stuff. Also the way they market your home. Purple bricks is not going to do that for you. Also even though we have all of this access to listings online there are still many naive buyers who solely depend on their realtor to send them listings and I doubt they will pick yours. I’m surprised by some people in my social circle who solely relied on their realtor to send them listings rather than them doing their own research, not all buyers are savvy.
You said it. You must do your own research and due diligence when buying or selling RE. Ask yourself how many full service agents will actually approach homes selling on Purple bricks? Unless the buyer agent actually knows he/she is getting their full 2.5% commission, good luck. I have been fortunate over the years that when I did purchase, I would approach the seller agent and work something out directly rather than use "my" own agent. I never liked being locked into a buyer representation situation unless it is specifically for that one home I am looking for at that specific time. In one case, the agent double ended the deal but give me a discount on selling my own home. I did all the staging when selling and would always receive more than asking (over the last two decades).

In the past, we all had to rely on the agent to provide the market analysis pricing of homes sold within a specific area. I always hated calling a selling agent to find out what the price sold for. Now you can do this yourself.
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Oct 26, 2020
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jmc111 wrote: I could name a whole whack of agents in the midtown area that will refuse to bring their clients to buy your house if you don't give them their 2.5% commission. Doesn't matter if the house is priced competitively. A lot of these "veteran" agents are full commission agents and only accept 2.5%. Just from what I have seen and heard over the years. I have moved a number of times over the past two decades and been to over one hundred open houses+ and spoken to many agents (dime a dozen). If you are talking about agents in the burbs, then maybe they are different mentality. All depends on the area of buying/selling.
You know that's against their code of conduct. Report these "veteran" f**kers.
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Jul 3, 2011
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I have to give purplebricks full marks. I've no problem dealing with them directly, sure it's a couple steps more to book appointments but it's seemless and they do a fine and professional job. On the other hand, I dislike dealing with propertyguys, they're archaic and unpleasant to deal with on the phone. It's the sellers themselves where the whole thing collapses, some of them are downright hostile to agents, but overall I have no problem taking advantage of private sellers.
jmc111 wrote: I could name a whole whack of agents in the midtown area that will refuse to bring their clients to buy your house if you don't give them their 2.5% commission... A lot of these "veteran" agents are full commission agents and only accept 2.5%. Just from what I have seen and heard over the years.
This is true of many. Some arent shy about saying it in public or to other agents. But, you'd be surprised how many "veteran" agents, even those who will refuse to show a property for less than 2.5% discount their own sell side, many just refuse because they think sellers should not be selling privately.

I encourage anyone who comes in contact with one of those to help rid the industry of the unethical and report them to RECO in Ontario or the relevant provincial authority.

It needs to be said, There is obviously confusion about the duty of an agent to show properties a buyer wants to see. Unless you have a BRA with a brokerage/agent, they are not obligated to show you any property they don't want to show you. Further, even if you have a BRA they are only obligated to show you properties that meet your criteria, regardless of the commission and since that BRA states their fee and that the buyer is to pay it or any difference not paid by the listing brokerage or seller, there is no reason to not show it for lack of commission. So do not be confused that just because you may be working with one informally they owe you anything, they don't!
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Oct 24, 2010
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licenced wrote: I have to give purplebricks full marks. I've no problem dealing with them directly, sure it's a couple steps more to book appointments but it's seemless and they do a fine and professional job. On the other hand, I dislike dealing with propertyguys, they're archaic and unpleasant to deal with on the phone. It's the sellers themselves where the whole thing collapses, some of them are downright hostile to agents, but overall I have no problem taking advantage of private sellers.

This is true of many. Some arent shy about saying it in public or to other agents. But, you'd be surprised how many "veteran" agents, even those who will refuse to show a property for less than 2.5% discount their own sell side, many just refuse because they think sellers should not be selling privately.

I encourage anyone who comes in contact with one of those to help rid the industry of the unethical and report them to RECO in Ontario or the relevant provincial authority.

It needs to be said, There is obviously confusion about the duty of an agent to show properties a buyer wants to see. Unless you have a BRA with a brokerage/agent, they are not obligated to show you any property they don't want to show you. Further, even if you have a BRA they are only obligated to show you properties that meet your criteria, regardless of the commission and since that BRA states their fee and that the buyer is to pay it or any difference not paid by the listing brokerage or seller, there is no reason to not show it for lack of commission. So do not be confused that just because you may be working with one informally they owe you anything, they don't!
Agreed. The code of conduct means they can't deny showing a client a home, even if they disagree with the Commission. Weasels will find ways to discourage a client from seeing the home without specifically mentioning commission, though.

We interviewed 4 friend, family, and correspondence recommended agents when we bought our last home. One of them wanted us to sign an exclusivity agreement before she'd even consider showing us any properties. I actually told her, to her face, that it wasn't going to happen. If she wanted commission from our sale, she'd have to earn it on a continual basis. She wouldn't proceed without a signed exclusivity agreement. We didn't use her.

The realtor we did use, who we loved, didn't ask for any exclusivity agreements. She felt that, if she couldn't legitimately earn our business, we probably weren't a good fit and shouldn't work together. She encouraged us to move along if ever she lost our trust.

During the 4 months of home shopping and dozens of listings we viewed with her, she earned every single penny. She showed us everything we wanted to see, even if she felt it might not be the right fit. Several of what we saw were Purple Bricks listings; she didn't once mention any commission concerns.

Her knowledge was invaluable in navigating and purchasing in a hot multi-offer market. Her past life was as a CPA, she knew as much as our home inspector (she provides her opinion during viewing, but still encouraged a 3rd party independent inspection be done), has as much mortgage knowledge as any mortgage broker we dealt with, and knew every area in which we shopped inside and out.

She remains in contact, providing at least one annual care package (she dropped off a pumpkin pie last Thanksgiving, and gave us an "ice cream sundae" kit last week), even though she knows we don't plan on moving for the next 20 years. Obviously this is to encourage referrals as she doesn't directly advertise her business, but we appreciate the personal touch.
[OP]
Member
Sep 3, 2020
223 posts
172 upvotes
Hey thank you everyone - very helpful as always.

I'm surprised no-one has used 1% realtors before - I've seen them around Vancouver so assumed we'd have a few. They seem like a better bet than, no?

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