Real Estate

Lower your Listing/Selling Fees - Use Flat Rate MLS

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[OP]
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Aug 2, 2010
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I just ran into an old acquaintance today who I didn't realize became a real estate agent a couple years ago. I had a coffee with him and showed him the list in my first post.

His response?:"Wow, you're dead on!". Then his next comment was "Well if you ever sell your home I can go a lot lower than 2-1/2%. How does 1/2 a percent sound?" lol. Can't blame him for not letting an opportunity go by to market himself!

I also asked him about the Open House issue. He corroborated what Captain_Ron5, the #1 real estate agent in Victoria, said about them being basically useless and only benefiting the agent. And, here's an article from the Toronto Star entitled 5 things a real estate agent won't tell you by Mark Weisleder, a noted real estate lawyer. Well la-di-da (yet again), guess what one of them is: In many cases, the only one who benefits from open houses are the agents.
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Dec 11, 2005
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eonibm wrote:
May 28th, 2014 5:14 pm
I also asked him about the Open House issue. He corroborated what Captain_Ron5, the #1 real estate agent in Victoria, said about them being basically useless and only benefiting the agent. And, here's an article from the Toronto Star entitled 5 things a real estate agent won't tell you by Mark Weisleder, a noted real estate lawyer. Well la-di-da (yet again), guess what one of them is: In many cases, the only one who benefits from open houses are the agents.
I am at a loss on this one. How does an open house help an agent? And how is an open house "useless"? When we bought this house, we went to many open houses, including this one. I would never buy an open house without going inside, and it is a lot simpler to go to a whole bunch of open houses in one afternoon when you're house shopping than to set up dozens of appointments. Sure I would not say an Open House is essential but they're far from useless.
To be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. -- E. E. Cummings
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Thanks for the OP, eonibm. Not so thankful of your 3+ pages of 'discussion' with Donny but anyways...
In reference to the '5 things a real estate agent won't tell you' - why wouldn't a real estate agent tell you about staging? Maybe the writer ran out of ideas and needed a fifth and threw that in! :D

Somewhat off topic, but I think staging is very important for selling a home. Houzz has a couple of good articles on staging tips such as this one - http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2661221/ ... aging-Tips and this one - http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/16968011 ... eally-Work. Some of the comments include really good tips as well. Yes, most tips seem common sense but still good to be reminded of them.
I think one commenter's tip was if you couldn't afford a stager, maybe just hire a interior designer for 1 hour (or someone you know with good design sense) to walk thru your house and critique your house from a buyer/outsider's perspective. After so many years living in a house, that crack in the wall just disappears to your eyes but everyone else sees it...

Also, in Sask, ComFree isn't allowed to list homes on MLS, for some reason. So I guess I have to find an agent to get it listed on MLS. I'll probably try to find one with the lowest rates.
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May 6, 2014
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Yup , 2.5 % + 2.5 % for a total commission of 5 % has always been a rip off.

1.5 % + 1.5 % is more decent and fair for both the house owner & the 2 agents, involved.

Not saying they don't do anything , but 3 % combined is more fair commission for what these guys do , 5 % or higher is a lot
[OP]
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brunes wrote:
May 28th, 2014 6:06 pm
I am at a loss on this one. How does an open house help an agent? And how is an open house "useless"? When we bought this house, we went to many open houses, including this one. I would never buy an open house without going inside, and it is a lot simpler to go to a whole bunch of open houses in one afternoon when you're house shopping than to set up dozens of appointments. Sure I would not say an Open House is essential but they're far from useless.
Yes, calling them 'useless' which means no utility at all is probably a bit extreme (but newspapers like to grab the reader's attention) but their effect is far less than people think. Various numbers are bandied about but a study shows that less than 2% (some say anecdotally less than 1%) of buyers buy a house solely because of an open house. Makes sense. If you are a buyer's agent are you going to trundle your client into the home while all of these other people are crawling all over it? No. Most people that go to open houses are into real estate porn, tire kickers or nosey neighbours. Many real estate agent's have corroborated this. Anyone finding a home through an MLS search that they are interested in is going to let their agent know they want a showing and that's going to be a private showing. What open houses do do is provide the agent with the possibility to acquire new clients. It also puts their name out there in the marketplace more often.
[OP]
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pathfinder35 wrote:
May 28th, 2014 6:12 pm
Thanks for the OP, eonibm. Not so thankful of your 3+ pages of 'discussion' with Donny but anyways...
In reference to the '5 things a real estate agent won't tell you' - why wouldn't a real estate agent tell you about staging? Maybe the writer ran out of ideas and needed a fifth and threw that in! :D

Somewhat off topic, but I think staging is very important for selling a home. Houzz has a couple of good articles on staging tips such as this one - http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2661221/ ... aging-Tips and this one - http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/16968011 ... eally-Work. Some of the comments include really good tips as well. Yes, most tips seem common sense but still good to be reminded of them.
I think one commenter's tip was if you couldn't afford a stager, maybe just hire a interior designer for 1 hour (or someone you know with good design sense) to walk thru your house and critique your house from a buyer/outsider's perspective. After so many years living in a house, that crack in the wall just disappears to your eyes but everyone else sees it...

Also, in Sask, ComFree isn't allowed to list homes on MLS, for some reason. So I guess I have to find an agent to get it listed on MLS. I'll probably try to find one with the lowest rates.
You're welcome. Yeah, I should probably ignore Donny but he makes such ridiculous statements and so many personal attacks that have no place here that it is sometimes tough to ignore him.

I think most agents do mention staging to clients and it is very important. I think they just needed to pad the article a bit more.

Houzz is a fantastic website for all aspects of interior and exterior design. I have gotten so many ideas from it and it's just fun to just browse.

There must be some real estate agents in Sask that do flat-fee listings, no? If there aren't any then what I would do is interview a few agents and tell them that 1/2% to the listing agent and 2-1/2% to the buying agent is the most you'll pay. They'll all balk at it, but when push comes to shove, someone will take it. It's the buying agent that is going to sell the house 98-99% of the time, not the listing agent. Also, if they listing agent has a harem of hungry buyers chomping at the bit (which they all claim to have) he'll get 3%. The last agent which I used said no way would he take 1/2% but then when I said "Fine, I'll find someone who will" he eventually relented. You can't blame them for attempting to protect their ridiculously high and unjusitified listing agent commissions. But that doesn't mean you have to accept them. You don't get if you don't ask.
[OP]
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Aug 2, 2010
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pathfinder35 wrote:
May 28th, 2014 6:12 pm
Thanks for the OP, eonibm. Not so thankful of your 3+ pages of 'discussion' with Donny but anyways...
In reference to the '5 things a real estate agent won't tell you' - why wouldn't a real estate agent tell you about staging? Maybe the writer ran out of ideas and needed a fifth and threw that in! :D

Somewhat off topic, but I think staging is very important for selling a home. Houzz has a couple of good articles on staging tips such as this one - http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2661221/ ... aging-Tips and this one - http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/16968011 ... eally-Work. Some of the comments include really good tips as well. Yes, most tips seem common sense but still good to be reminded of them.
I think one commenter's tip was if you couldn't afford a stager, maybe just hire a interior designer for 1 hour (or someone you know with good design sense) to walk thru your house and critique your house from a buyer/outsider's perspective. After so many years living in a house, that crack in the wall just disappears to your eyes but everyone else sees it...

Also, in Sask, ComFree isn't allowed to list homes on MLS, for some reason. So I guess I have to find an agent to get it listed on MLS. I'll probably try to find one with the lowest rates.
You're welcome. Yeah, I should probably ignore Donny but he makes such ridiculous statements and so many personal attacks that have no place here that it is sometimes tough to ignore him.

I think most agents do mention staging to clients and it is very important. I think they just needed to pad the article a bit more.

Houzz is a fantastic website for all aspects of interior and exterior design. I have gotten so many ideas from it and it's just fun to just browse.

There must be some real estate agents in Sask that do flat-fee listings, no? If there aren't any then what I would do is interview a few agents and tell them that 1/2% to the listing agent and 2-1/2% to the buying agent is the most you'll pay. They'll all balk at it, but when push comes to shove, someone will take it. It's the buying agent that is going to sell the house 98-99% of the time, not the listing agent. Also, if they listing agent has a harem of hungry buyers chomping at the bit (which they all claim to have) he'll get 3%. The last agent which I used said no way would he take 1/2% but then when I said "Fine, I'll find someone who will" he eventually relented. You can't blame them for attempting to protect their ridiculously high and unjusitified listing agent commissions. But that doesn't mean you have to accept them. You don't get if you don't ask.

Also, make sure at this 1/2% they are not going to cut corners, ie that means [professional photographs, a nice colour brochure, website listing, craigslist listings, etc., ie everything I have outlined in my OP. That's only going to cost them a few hundred bucks anyway so it should not be a big deal.
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eonibm wrote:
May 28th, 2014 7:58 pm
Anyone finding a home through an MLS search that they are interested in is going to let their agent know they want a showing and that's going to be a private showing.
Completely and totally untrue. Many of my clients enjoy having the opportunity of taking the dry-run DIY approach and checking out the O/H to scope the home, as well as gauge the level of interest before (and sometimes after) we attend
a private showing.
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[OP]
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loriblum wrote:
May 29th, 2014 7:14 am
Completely and totally untrue. Many of my clients enjoy having the opportunity of taking the dry-run DIY approach and checking out the O/H to scope the home, as well as gauge the level of interest before (and sometimes after) we attend
a private showing.
Really? You just contradicted yourself by admitting they have the private showing. Yes, they may go to an open house if there happens to be one but not to the exclusion of a private showing.

As for gauging the level of interest, that should have nothing to do with whether the home is suitable for the buyer. Wanting to purchase a home because others want to just creates bidding wars and benefits only the real estate agents and the seller. The house next-door to me sold a couple months ago for a very good price for the buyer. I could not believe there were no bids other than the one that succeeded in the 3+ months it was on the market, but then the house was not staged and also did not show very well because it needed renovation. My new next-door neighbor told me he couldn't believe how low the house went for and now all his friends, including some of mine, say they should have bought it.

If you are a savvy property buyer you don't base your level of interest on the interest of others. As a real estate agent you should guide your clients to understand this rather than motivate them in a way that increases your commission. Following the herd is the last thing real estate buyers should be doing.
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eonibm wrote:
May 29th, 2014 9:42 am
Really? You just contradicted yourself by admitting they have the private showing. Yes, they may go to an open house if there happens to be one but not to the exclusion of a private showing.

As for gauging the level of interest, that should have nothing to do with whether the home is suitable for the buyer. Wanting to purchase a home because others want to just creates bidding wars and benefits only the real estate agents and the seller. The house next-door to me sold a couple months ago for a very good price for the buyer. I could not believe there were no bids other than the one that succeeded in the 3+ months it was on the market, but then the house was not staged and also did not show very well because it needed renovation. My new next-door neighbor told me he couldn't believe how low the house went for and now all his friends, including some of mine, say they should have bought it.

If you are a savvy property buyer you don't base your level of interest on the interest of others. As a real estate agent you should guide your clients to understand this rather than motivate them in a way that increases your commission. Following the herd is the last thing real estate buyers should be doing.

I'm sorry Sir, but do you understand the term "contradict"?

My clients are those that prefer NOT to engage in any bidding wars and often if they see that there is a high level of interest at an open house and hear feedback from the chit-chat from the others in the home they can make their own decision as to whether they want to proceed. I do not have clients that need hand-holding and are often capable enough to make an informed decision on their own. If they choose to want a second showing, that is their choice and one I am happy to attend.

I really don't see any relevance in your "house next door" example, to be quite honest. Nor do I care to entertain you in this forum. My point was in regards to your quote where you said "Anyone finding a home through an MLS search that they are interested in is going to let their agent know they want a showing and that's going to be a private showing." This, my friend, is just your opinion and should have been stated accordingly.
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When I sell my house I plan on trying to sell myself first if possible and offer buying agents a commission. I think selling agents are a rip off. With house prices increasing these scumbags continue to make the commissions they have always made. They only deserve a flat $800 and a kick in the arse.
"The beatings will continue until morale improves". :twisted:

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insanity wrote:
May 29th, 2014 10:30 am
When I sell my house I plan on trying to sell myself first if possible and offer buying agents a commission. I think selling agents are a rip off. With house prices increasing these scumbags continue to make the commissions they have always made. They only deserve a flat $800 and a kick in the arse.
Please let me know when you do decide to sell so that I can avoid the abuse ;)
Award Winning Realtor - I LOVE MY JOB!!
At the end of the day, you're the boss and need to make sure I'm worth your rate of pay!
[OP]
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loriblum wrote:
May 29th, 2014 10:08 am
I'm sorry Sir, but do you understand the term "contradict"?
Yes
loriblum wrote:
May 29th, 2014 10:08 am
My clients are those that prefer NOT to engage in any bidding wars and often if they see that there is a high level of interest at an open house and hear feedback from the chit-chat from the others in the home they can make their own decision as to whether they want to proceed. I do not have clients that need hand-holding and are often capable enough to make an informed decision on their own. If they choose to want a second showing, that is their choice and one I am happy to attend.
You are confirming they base their interest on the interest of others, be that interest or lack of interest, which is precisely why the might attend an Open House. But they would only attend an Open House in addition to a private showing not to the exclusion thereof. Hence your contradiction. Your observation actually supports my conclusion, as does the comments of other real estate agents on this very thread.
loriblum wrote:
May 29th, 2014 10:08 am
I really don't see any relevance in your "house next door" example, to be quite honest.

Let me explain then for greater clarity. The example next door is an example, of course anecdotal, is one of no one being interested in a home yet when someone purchased the home everyone all of a sudden kicking themselves for not buying it even though the opportunity was there for them to do so. This is where the phenomenon of social proof comes from. People derive conviction in their actions to a much greater extent if others do the same, ie the 'social proof'. That's how market manias are created. How many people go against the heard? Very few. Real estate is no different. In fact real estate is the victim of some of the greatest manias of all time. Witness what happened only 6 years ago in the US housing market, happened in 1988-1994 in the Toronto market and many times before that in the Toronto market (and it is happening right now).
loriblum wrote:
May 29th, 2014 10:08 am
Nor do I care to entertain you in this forum. My point was in regards to your quote where you said "Anyone finding a home through an MLS search that they are interested in is going to let their agent know they want a showing and that's going to be a private showing." This, my friend, is just your opinion and should have been stated accordingly.
I stand by my comments and they have been corroborated by other real estate agents in this and other forums on RFD. I never said some buyers would not also not go to an open house if there happens to be one but that any buyer (who is serious) will want a private showing. For you to suggest they would go to the open house to the exclusion of a private showing is ludicrous and not the way clients of buyers want to be taken care of.
[OP]
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loriblum wrote:
May 29th, 2014 10:40 am
Please let me know when you do decide to sell so that I can avoid the abuse ;)
He'll be listing himself and will likely using the 'marketing plan' I have enumerated in my first post so there will be no need for you to avoid anything. You, as a real estate agent, will not be contacted.
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eonibm wrote:
May 29th, 2014 10:51 am
He'll be listing himself and will likely using the 'marketing plan' I have enumerated in my first post so there will be no need for you to avoid anything. You, as a real estate agent, will not be contacted.
Unless I have a buyer, right? Because if someone were to threaten me with physical abuse, I would likely avoid showing their home. Of course, I would fully inform my buyers and let them know that the decision was up to them, but I would not go out of my way to show them this particular home.

eonibm wrote:
May 29th, 2014 10:49 am
For you to suggest they would go to the open house to the exclusion of a private showing is ludicrous and not the way clients of buyers want to be taken care of.
Sir, I never suggested it was to the exclusion of a private showing. Perhaps you read what I wrote wrong? Either way, I would never discourage anyone from attending an open house or requesting a secondary private showing of the same home and please refrain from misquoting me based on your perception of what was written.



As for the rest of the previously quoted dialogue, you must have more time on your hands than I do. I wasn't trying to engage you in any back and forth, but if I have some free time later, I will gladly come back and review your notes. Enjoy your day! :)
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