Real Estate

Lower your Listing/Selling Fees - Use Flat Rate MLS

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  • Sep 28th, 2019 1:08 pm
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Deal Guru
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Sep 21, 2010
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Thanks for this thread. I'm confused about the process of selling a home here in Canada/Toronto, there's a difference between a listing agent and seller's agent? I thought all I had to do is hire a real estate agent if I wish to sell (besides a real estate lawyer) and s/he would do all the work. There's more? Also, what is a good competitive commission rate for the agent's services? TIA.
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Sep 21, 2010
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I don't think that I'll have time to diy. Just curious what's a good rate for an agent?
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Dec 21, 2010
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A "good" rate is definitely subjective to what the value-added options would be that one agent can offer over the next. But as someone in the industry, a "good rate" might be 1% for full-service options. Is that possible to find? Yes, I'm sure it is :) I would not look at calling Realtors and telling them that you only want to pay 1%, but I would ask if they are willing to work for a lower commission structure than the typical 2.5%.

Another way of approaching the situation is by telling the Realtor that you are willing to buy AND sell with them, and see if they will reduce their selling rate.

You can also ask on here for referrals. We LOOOOOVE referrals!! :D lol

Do you have any friends/family who have sold in your neighbourhood?

There really is no magic number to abide by, but you do get what you pay for so make sure you are getting the value-added services of a full service Realtor and not just basing it on percentage. As you mentioned you don't have the time to DIY, make sure you find someone who is willing to do the necessary legwork and not just create the listing.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
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!
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Dec 21, 2010
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One more thing to mention, don't skimp on the buyer's agency commission. You want to attract the agents to your listing, so make sure you are offering a minimum of 2% (for a hot area), and if it is not a hot area then I would suggest 2.25-2.5% at minimum.
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!
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Sep 21, 2010
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loriblum wrote:
May 19th, 2015 6:49 am
One more thing to mention, don't skimp on the buyer's agency commission. You want to attract the agents to your listing, so make sure you are offering a minimum of 2% (for a hot area), and if it is not a hot area then I would suggest 2.25-2.5% at minimum.
I don't know what that means. I was under the impression that as seller I'm only paying for my realtor (1-2.5%)? I have to expenses beyond that in terms of RE services? Thx.
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It's a good thing you're asking these questions then!

Yes, you most certainly need to factor in the full commission rate to BOTH sides. The commission rate as a whole can be anywhere from 3-5% of the sale price. You are essentially paying the other side (the buyer's rep) for bringing in a client that will buy your home.

The flip side is that when you buy a home, you don't factor in paying anything extra for the realtor's fees as it comes off of the seller's end.

Was I able to make a bit more sense of this for you? Let me know if you have any other questions.
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!
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loriblum wrote:
May 19th, 2015 7:08 am
It's a good thing you're asking these questions then!

Yes, you most certainly need to factor in the full commission rate to BOTH sides. The commission rate as a whole can be anywhere from 3-5% of the sale price. You are essentially paying the other side (the buyer's rep) for bringing in a client that will buy your home.

The flip side is that when you buy a home, you don't factor in paying anything extra for the realtor's fees as it comes off of the seller's end.

Was I able to make a bit more sense of this for you? Let me know if you have any other questions.
Oh boy, yes. Things are much simpler in HK: only 1% total. 3-5%? Ouch.

Tx for the info.
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tranquility922 wrote:
May 19th, 2015 7:56 am
Oh boy, yes. Things are much simpler in HK: only 1% total. 3-5%? Ouch.

Tx for the info.
Well, it's all relative. The comparative prices are all inclusive of the commission fees so if you DIY, you would generally need to deduct the 3-5% off the total price to arrive at a median selling price. Don't let it scare you though. Figure out the price you want to sell for inclusive of all the associated fees and other costs, and base your selling price on that. The market will dictate the price for you.

You can always go the private route to try and save yourself the fees, but again, the price comparison if using MLS should reflect the 3-5% fee deduction.
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!
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Jan 18, 2010
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I'm surprised no one is talking about the other side - lowering fees is important but a lot of agents or brokerage houses won't budge on them. Fine that is there business, set your own price. But there should also be talk of how to increase to value that these commissions bring, for one I think agents should be offering staging in the commission to some of there homes. Most offer the free consultant visit, but the actual cost falls on the seller for most part.

Myself for example I'm getting ready to sell an investment townhouse in Toronto I've had for 6 years, I let it be known I was looking for an agent through my network and have received about 50 agents trying to solicite with only about half being ones I considered "professional" in my area. They all have the same answers about why they are worth the fees (great at marketing, know the area, etc etc) but when I brought up staging they all said it falls on me 100%. Now with so many "qualified" agents and listings in my townhouse typically going to bidding wars I'd think most would say for a quick commission we'd pick up the 3-4 k cost on a 550,000 property.

Most other industries you have to incentivive the buyer to going with you, with RE no one wants to budge it seems.
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Dec 21, 2010
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ddp wrote:
May 19th, 2015 8:50 am
I'm surprised no one is talking about the other side - lowering fees is important but a lot of agents or brokerage houses won't budge on them. Fine that is there business, set your own price. But there should also be talk of how to increase to value that these commissions bring, for one I think agents should be offering staging in the commission to some of there homes. Most offer the free consultant visit, but the actual cost falls on the seller for most part.

Myself for example I'm getting ready to sell an investment townhouse in Toronto I've had for 6 years, I let it be known I was looking for an agent through my network and have received about 50 agents trying to solicite with only about half being ones I considered "professional" in my area. They all have the same answers about why they are worth the fees (great at marketing, know the area, etc etc) but when I brought up staging they all said it falls on me 100%. Now with so many "qualified" agents and listings in my townhouse typically going to bidding wars I'd think most would say for a quick commission we'd pick up the 3-4 k cost on a 550,000 property.

Most other industries you have to incentivive the buyer to going with you, with RE no one wants to budge it seems.
I'm sorry you're finding a hard time with the agents that are soliciting you for their business.

When I mentioned the "value-added" options above, staging is one option that should be offered/included, amongst many other value-added services.

Let it be known that many Realtors are including staging in their services, or at the very least offering guidance and/or a rebate as we usually tend to work with stagers and staging companies. No, not EVERY agent will want to or be able to offer this, but there really are MANY MANY who do realize that staging is a beneficial service. Unless you're in a new-build that is vacant ;) lol
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!
Deal Addict
Jan 18, 2010
1205 posts
86 upvotes
loriblum wrote:
May 19th, 2015 8:54 am
I'm sorry you're finding a hard time with the agents that are soliciting you for their business.

When I mentioned the "value-added" options above, staging is one option that should be offered/included, amongst many other value-added services.

Let it be known that many Realtors are including staging in their services, or at the very least offering guidance and/or a rebate as we usually tend to work with stagers and staging companies. No, not EVERY agent will want to or be able to offer this, but there really are MANY MANY who do realize that staging is a beneficial service. Unless you're in a new-build that is vacant ;) lol
I sold an investment property in Milton last year and found it easier to find someone to offer staging out there, for a property that was much less expensive. I'm talking to her about the Toronto property, she obviously wants to do it, just unsure if I want an agent from out there to represent in Toronto proper.
But nope this is not a vacant new build tower in the sky - a townhouse on a subway line, in the last 3 years only 2 have sold in property of 80ish places. Im finding it odd even the young agents wouldn't offer it to get business. I had one who has been in business for about 2 years and has one 2 listings in that time and this would be his most expensive to date and wouldn't talk about it - yet will spend money on his Audi...
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Jan 28, 2008
1387 posts
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ddp wrote:
May 19th, 2015 8:50 am
I'm surprised no one is talking about the other side - lowering fees is important but a lot of agents or brokerage houses won't budge on them. Fine that is there business, set your own price. But there should also be talk of how to increase to value that these commissions bring, for one I think agents should be offering staging in the commission to some of there homes. Most offer the free consultant visit, but the actual cost falls on the seller for most part.

Myself for example I'm getting ready to sell an investment townhouse in Toronto I've had for 6 years, I let it be known I was looking for an agent through my network and have received about 50 agents trying to solicite with only about half being ones I considered "professional" in my area. They all have the same answers about why they are worth the fees (great at marketing, know the area, etc etc) but when I brought up staging they all said it falls on me 100%. Now with so many "qualified" agents and listings in my townhouse typically going to bidding wars I'd think most would say for a quick commission we'd pick up the 3-4 k cost on a 550,000 property.

Most other industries you have to incentivive the buyer to going with you, with RE no one wants to budge it seems.
We have a really good agent in Toronto that pays for staging and 4-4.5% commission - our family has multiple places in Toronto (from condos to houses) PM me if you want his details. 80% of his business is investment properties.

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