Real Estate

Lower your Listing/Selling Fees - Use Flat Rate MLS

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dec12 wrote:
May 30th, 2014 3:37 pm
That was the article I was looking for. I saw this article on Flipboard but can only remember Garry Marr and Financial Post. Marr's article was tamer.
Yeh this link is from a reality website too. Self-examination of your industry is important, some of the over-the-top responses to the OPs legitimate criticisms and concerns have only proven he has actually hit on some interesting points.

Let me add another. It costs about $3k as well as the value you put on your time to sit the exams and pay the necessary licensing fees to become a realtor. At 2.5% commission, this means if my house is worth more than $120k it is cheaper for me to sit the realtors exam and sell my house myself than hire a realtor. I live in down-town Toronto where pretty much only parking spots sell for <$120k. To me that says that a flat commission structure of 2.5% is completely broken when obtaining the necessary expertise only costs me $3k...
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michty6 wrote:
May 30th, 2014 6:08 pm
Yeh this link is from a reality website too. Self-examination of your industry is important, some of the over-the-top responses to the OPs legitimate criticisms and concerns have only proven he has actually hit on some interesting points.

Let me add another. It costs about $3k as well as the value you put on your time to sit the exams and pay the necessary licensing fees to become a realtor. At 2.5% commission, this means if my house is worth more than $120k it is cheaper for me to sit the realtors exam and sell my house myself than hire a realtor. I live in down-town Toronto where pretty much only parking spots sell for <$120k. To me that says that a flat commission structure of 2.5% is completely broken when obtaining the necessary expertise only costs me $3k...

Which is exactly why I was encouraging the OP to go out and get his real estate licence. And again in the "woe-is-me" thread about how the OP has no options but to work for minimum wage for the next decade.

living-paying-off-school-loans-minimum-wage-1486842/3/
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michty6 wrote:
May 30th, 2014 2:33 pm
More food for thought: http://www.movesmartly.com/2014/05/why- ... ylist.html
Back in 2006/2007 a study was done on the practices of real estate industry. One part of it centred around the education requirements to become a Salesperson and a Broker. The study noted that the standards varied by province some of which were much stricter than others with mandatory courses and exams which created a barrier to entry.

It pointed out that Quebec at the time was about to change their entry requirements to just the writing of an exam with no compulsory courses imposed and recommended that this should be adopted by all provinces – that is, anyone of age could write an exam with no courses imposed upon them. (as an fyi, many states go this route).

That study carried much weight in Ontario (can't speak for other provinces) because a year or two later the courses were relaxed somewhat and went from being a requirement for X number of classrooms hours to all online if one so chose. Many Realtors were vocal about this slide including me - already a Broker when the study came out.

The force behind the study to lower the bar though was much more powerful than us.

The subject is still hotly debated on numerous industry related sites and boiled again last year when the mandatory renewal course requirements were changed from X hours of various courses plus RECO’s in class update course to 'one' online True/False, Multiple Choice session that everyone must take. It took me 3 hours and a bit with interruptions this year.

That is why the barrier is so low.

The organization that published the study requires approval for Copyright clearance before republishing it so it has not been quoted lest I run afoul of that nor have I quoted or linked to it in the event that’s covered as well.
[OP]
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What is obvious to most readers of this thread is that one does not need to have a real estate licence to be as effective as a real estate agent in listing a home. It's quite easy as you can see from my post #1 How to lower your Real Estate Agent Transaction Fees (which I update regularly as required). Just follow the steps and save 2.5%. There is no added mysterious 'marketing plan' that agents would love you to get suckered into believing. There is no harem of buyers that the listing agent has who are chomping at the bit to buy your home as soon as it is listed or within that few hour window between the listing being on the agent-only mls website and the public mls website. And, if there is such buyers, fine! Let the agent stand in line with the other buyer's agents to present their offer and perhaps get their 2.5% if their offer succeeds. But for a mere listing? Noooooooo. To the real estate agents I say: Those days are fast becoming over boys and girls.

One would think that it would be a bit more difficult to become a real estate agent than it is. Thanks michty6 for posting that great article! But, it's dead easy which is why anyone (over 18) who can breathe can get the licence and why there are so many real estate agents. All you need is the $3K and the desire to spend a bit of time. And, in BC, it's not even that much work. You can do it in 2 weeks! Being an agent is not hard work, as Captain_Ron5, the top real estate agent in Victoria has stated on this very thread: It's just time consuming. Time consuming as a career, not if you are just selling your own home. He has, btw, also stated in this very thread that the steps I posted in my post #1 How to lower your Real Estate Transaction Fees are comprehensive and complete. It's up to you if you want to believe someone who publicly gives out his name, website, address and phone number and can prove he is a real estate agent, actually the top real estate agent in Victoria, or the 2 other people who claim to be real agents estate agents that have commented on this thread. Those are Donney740 and licenced. They who denigrate, insult, and call names anyone who disagrees with them, but all the while hide behind their anonymous monikers because they are too ashamed to reveal themselves. It's likely actually that they are not really real estate agents but merely have too much time on their hands. That certainly gives a big indication of who is blowing smoke on here.

And, if it is too much work for you then you do always have the option of using a listing agent, but don't pay them 2.5%, pay them 0.5% maximum. They all say no at first. Then just tell them you'll find a listing agent who will and you'll see them change their mind pretty fast with all the competition out there for listings. And make sure they put in writing they are going to do all the steps in my post #1. Just for fun, ask them to give you a written marketing plan that does not duplicate anything I have written in my post #1 How to lower your Real Estate Transaction Fees. What you'll get is a blank sheet of paper! Why, I live in Rosedale in Toronto and just saw a house posted the other day that only has 0.5% as the listing agent's commission and the listing is with a major realty firm. See, even they do 0.5% listings. The industry is a changing!

But, I digress. For those of you who want to become a real estate agent, sure, take the course. For the rest of us, the link that was always missing for us to sell our own home without the usurious 2.5% was the MLS listing. But now low-cost flat-rate listings are finally allowed and I thank Lawrence Dale tremendously for his success in spearheading the movement that resulted in the Competition Bureau of Canada making this possible. It's very telling that the real estate industry attempted in vain so incredibly vociferously to stop this from happening. Because, if the 'marketing plan' was really the key ingredient in selling a home, not the MLS listing then why did the real estate industry get so worked up over us mere mortals being able to have flat-rate MLS listings? The answer is very obvious.

No one needs to get a real estate licence to follow the easy steps in my post #1 How to lower your Real Estate Transaction Fees and certainly not me!
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eonibm wrote:
May 30th, 2014 8:16 pm
... For the rest of us, the link that was always missing for us to sell our own home without the usurious 2.5% was the MLS listing. But now that finally is now allowed and I thank Lawrence Dale tremendously for spearheading the movement that resulted in the Competition Bureau of Canada making this possible....
To clarify, AFAIK it's only possible to list on MLS using a low flat fee service like ComFree in Alberta and Ont . On the Comfree website they state:
[Indent] In British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the services are provided to private sellers through a "for-sale-by-owner" model. In Alberta and in Ontario, the services to homeowners are provided by ComFree Commonsense Network a brokerage duly registered in each of those two provinces under the applicable real estate/brokerage act. [/indent]
So the Rest of Canada still has to put up with some sort of real estate commission fees...BTW thx for your advise on my previous post.
[OP]
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pathfinder35 wrote:
May 30th, 2014 8:52 pm
To clarify, AFAIK it's only possible to list on MLS using a service like ComFree in Alberta and Ont . On the Comfree website they state:
[Indent] In British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the services are provided to private sellers through a "for-sale-by-owner" model. In Alberta and in Ontario, the services to homeowners are provided by ComFree Commonsense Network a brokerage duly registered in each of those two provinces under the applicable real estate/brokerage act. [/indent]
So the Rest of Canada still has to put up with some sort of real estate commission fees...BTW thx for your advise on my previous post.
How do you explain this then? Captain_Ron5, who has no problem publicly identifying himself here on RFD as Marko Juras, the top selling real estate agent in Victoria, offers flat rate listings in BC:

http://markojuras.com/799-flat-fee/
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eonibm wrote:
May 30th, 2014 8:57 pm
How do you explain this then? Captain_Ron5, who has no problem publicly identifying himself here on RFD as Marko Juras, the top selling real estate agent in Victoria, offers flat rate listings in BC:
http://markojuras.com/799-flat-fee/
Also, Comfree is only one of many real estate brokerages that offer flat-rate MLS listings in Ontario. They are by no means the only one.
As I said, 'AFAIK' - doesn't mean that I know it all :D - maybe people could post other realtors that they know that offer flat rate MLS listings. I was only aware of Comfree.
Also I wonder why Comfree hasn't expanded their brokerage services into other provinces yet...

BTW for Atlantic Canada, Brunes had posted previously about a new company called Point Zero One Realty that would be of interest to people in that region.
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eonibm wrote:
May 30th, 2014 8:16 pm

One would think that it would be a bit more difficult to become a real estate agent than it is. Thanks michty6 for posting that great article! But, it's dead easy which is why anyone (over 18) who can breathe can get the licence and why there are so many real estate agents. All you need is the $3K and the desire to spend a bit of time. And, in BC, it's not even that much work. You can do it in 2 weeks! Being an agent is not hard work, as Captain_Ron5, the top real estate agent in Victoria has stated on this very thread: It's just time consuming. Time consuming as a career, not if you are just selling your own home. He has, btw, also stated in this very thread that the steps I posted in my post #1 How to lower your Real Estate Transaction Fees are comprehensive and complete. It's up to you if you want to believe someone who publicly gives out his name, website, address and phone number and can prove he is a real estate agent, actually the top real estate agent in Victoria

And.....I live in Rosedale in Toronto and just saw a house posted the other day that only has 0.5% as the listing agent's commission and the listing is with a major realty firm. See, even they do 0.5% listings.
Hi again,

As mentioned before, I'm not here to be a part of the main discussion, but I do ave two questions because I'm unable to find the answers to back up your recent comments.

1) I would like to know where i can find Captain_Ron5's credentials that prove him as being the Top Agent in Victoria? I have looked and cannot seem to find this, although he does have a great website.

2) How were you able to locate what the listing agent's commission was in the posting in Rosedale? Those are usually not published.

Again, these are just for my own curiousity and not to impact the nature of this thread. If you want to PM me so as not to take away from the thread, that would be fine, as well. Thanks :)
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[OP]
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I just compared the very detailed steps that Captain_Ron5 enumerates on his website for both his $795 flat-rate listings at http://markojuras.com/799-flat-fee/ and his 2.5% Full Service MLS listings at http://markojuras.com/full-service-listing/, which is really 1.25% because he gives you half of the commission back.

There are only 2 differences: In the full-service listing he will give you feedback on anything that comes up as a result of what is discovered during an inspection, if that is a condition of the sale, or any other conditions. One can easily handle that if one wants to. You either deal with the problem or you reduce the price accordingly (as long as it is something that does allow you to legally sell the property until it is corrected, if there is such a thing). The second is that he will handle the negotiation process. All I have ever seen done as a part of the negotiation process is that the offers are either accepted as is or the offer is signed back at a higher price and sometimes the conditions are changed. That's pretty simple. The main conditions seem to be financing and inspection (but the former is being seen less and less now as people get pre-approval). Once I did ask for the closing date to be moved up a bit and the deposit increased.
[OP]
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loriblum wrote:
May 30th, 2014 9:13 pm
Hi again,

As mentioned before, I'm not here to be a part of the main discussion, but I do ave two questions because I'm unable to find the answers to back up your recent comments.

1) I would like to know where i can find Captain_Ron5's credentials that prove him as being the Top Agent in Victoria? I have looked and cannot seem to find this, although he does have a great website.

2) How were you able to locate what the listing agent's commission was in the posting in Rosedale? Those are usually not published.

Again, these are just for my own curiousity and not to impact the nature of this thread. If you want to PM me so as not to take away from the thread, that would be fine, as well. Thanks :)
Based on the way you have previously commented I have no desire to answer your questions but I will provide you with this information:

I am not even a real estate agent and you are and I know how to find out whether Captain_Ron5 is being sincere or not yet you don't? Com'on! He's publicly revealed himself while all of you other real estate agents commenting on this thread cower sheepishly behind your monikers on here too ashamed to reveal yourselves. So, it should be easy enough for you to find out if he is truthful in what he is saying. Do your own homework.

As for the listing agent's commission I have my ways. As a real estate agent you certainly should have your ways too. I have given you enough information to narrow it down. Go through all the listings in my area through whatever private network you are privy too, investigate and you'll find the posting I am referring to. And if you can't well that is very surprising that I can. That's another smokescreen the industry likes to operate under: "2.5% is the standard", "We don't go below 2.5% under any circumstances". "Sorry, a large borkerage like ourselves does not discount", "Head Office won't allow it", [Insert appropriate reply that will be believable to the unwary general public], but when push comes to shove everything is negotiable and even large "blue chip' brokerages discount. The rise of technology, searches being able to be performed on the Internet, MLS accessibility on a flat-rate basis and the public becoming more educated has caused that. It's just that the public has been essentially trained to believe the crap that the real estate industry feeds them.

That's a new one. The real estate agent asking the non-real estate agent for advice!
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So then I take it you're unable to answer my question?

Ok, thanks. Have a great night ;)
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[OP]
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As I have mentioned to you Mr. Real Estate Agent, it's not that I am unable to. Based on your behaviour in this thread:

I simply don't want to.
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So I finally searched the web for flat fee realtors and I found this national listing site - http://www.flatfee4me.ca/ - anyone know anything about them?

I also found http://sk.onepercentrealty.com/compare.cfm who operate in Regina and Saskatoon and charge $6900 to list homes up to $600K on MLS. I'll have to check them out when it comes time to sell....

BTW - found a 2 yr old article from MoneySense mag on selling your own home vs a realtor - http://www.moneysense.ca/property/home-alone
[OP]
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I saw that article. It attempts to point out the many difficulties people have face trying to do FSBO (for sale by owner) transactions but fails miserably.

The article dated itself and the FSBO study it mentions (and the article even admits this) is dated and based on sales where there was NO access to MLS. So, many of the conclusions are irrelevant given there is now access to MLS for flat-rate listings.

Furthermore the article appears does not seem to distinguish or even mention listings where there was a 2.5% commission for the buyer's agent and when not.

The article suggests that a buyer's agent will shun your home because the listing agent is not getting a % commission or is getting a low % commission. Not true. If that was the case then the recent home I mentioned that was listed in Rosedale from a major real estate brokerage firm would not have been listed at a 0.5% listing fee. Real estate agents care about what THEY are getting, not anyone else. Why should they? As I have said many times, people try to maximize their own economic interest, not other people's.

The article states "One of the more important services a realtor can offer is setting an appropriate listing price for your home. An experienced agent has a good feel for the local market, as well as access to a database of recent sales in the neighbourhood.". Yes, and as reported on here by myself and a real estate agent who identifies himself publicly, all agents provide this service for free. I get a flyer in my door every week for a free no-commitment evaluation of my home.

The article mentions a valid point: 'the interests of real estate agents and sellers are not well aligned here. Take, for example, a seller who lists a home for $300,000 and gets an offer of $290,000. The seller may want to hold off another week for the additional $10,000, but the agent may push hard for the seller to take the $290,000. Why? Because that extra $10,000 only represents a 5% commission of $500, which is then split four ways. In the end, the seller’s agent would have to work an additional week for only $125'. No kidding!

The quote in the article; 'They argue that the vast majority of home sellers work with an agent for the same reason they wouldn’t defend themselves in court if hundreds of thousands of dollars were involved. “The amount of money at stake is large,” says Soper, of Royal LePage. . Well I will believe that argument when it takes a 3-4 year degree (few get into law school after 2 years of uni), 3 years of law school (which only the miniority of applicants get into), a year of articling and then 6 months of exams to be a real estate agent. So, 7-1/2 to 8-1/2 years to become a lawyer and hundreds of thousands of dollars later but only a few months and $3,000 later to become a real estate agent and the real estate industry dares to put the two professions on even footing? Gimme a break! As the article in the previous post above points out, the requirements to become a real estate agent are a joke. Even the requirements to be a hairstylist in Ontario are 100 times more stringent and time consuming than to become a real estate agent.

The article states 'Experienced real estate agents can also offer helpful suggestions about how to properly stage your home so it will sell more quickly, and for a higher price.' Most end up referring you to a company that will do it for a fee and if you do a flat-rate listing on MLS you can also pay a company to do it. There is also tons of free advice on the internet to assist you in doing this. It's not rocket science. And if the agent is going to do it for you for free, first, I would question that and, second, you sure are paying dearly at 2.5%+HST of your house price for that service!

The article is based on old data, mostly homes that were not listed on MLS, the examples it provides are anecdotal and moreover it is dated. About the only valid point it makes is that doing a flat-rate listing is more time consuming. But, it's not that much more time consuming. Whether you use a full service listing agent for 2.5%+HST or not you still have to have all of the steps performed in my post #1 How to lower your Real Estate Transaction Fees and most of those steps you are paying for not doing yourself. Also, even if you use a full service listing agent for 2.5%+HST or not you still have to tidy up your house and leave while the house is being shown. So there's no time savings there. In fact I don't see that there is much time savings at all using a full service listing agent for 2.5%+HST.

That dated article based on a dated study with only anecdotal real estate listing stories in an age where flat-rate listings are now available must mean that it was written by someone who was lobbied by the real estate industry. A vain attempt to stem the tide of people moving to flat-rate MLS listings.

But, if you like your hand held, sure, pay 2.5%+HST to a listing agent. That's a totally unnecessary fortune to pay these days given the price of properties. And remember one more thing: On a $1M property that is $28.250 with HST. If you are just in the 35% overall tax bracket you have to make almost $44,000 pre-tax to be able to pay that fee. That's 1/2 of most people's pre-tax income for a year! I don't mind doing a few extra things to save that kind of money (but on my home it would be much much higher than that).
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loriblum wrote:
May 30th, 2014 9:13 pm

1) I would like to know where i can find Captain_Ron5's credentials that prove him as being the Top Agent in Victoria? I have looked and cannot seem to find this, although he does have a great website.
Since January 1st, 2013 - May 30th, 2014 I've represented 60 buyers in total. The next closest REALTOR® (out of 1227 currently active) I can find in Victoria has done 54 buyer deals in the same time span.

Since January 1st, 2014 - May 30th, 2014 I've represented 22 buyers in total. The next closest REALTOR® I can find in Victoria has done 15 buyer deals in the same time span.

When it comes to representing buyers I think I am currently leading the pack primarily because of my cash back to buyer business model.

Listings very difficult to say....do you go by sales volume, # of transactions, how do you account for REALTORS® that have a team of 5 people working for them but all the listings go in their name versus me working alone? What about co-listings, etc?

I can safely say that my sold listings + buyers represented I am in the top 1% in both # of transactions and sales volume. However, "Top Agent," is open to variety of different calculations.
Marko Juras, REALTOR® & Associate Broker @ Fair Realty, Victoria, BC - "I believe in a competitive marketplace and real estate commissions should be no exception."

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