Real Estate

Lower your Listing/Selling Fees - Use Flat Rate MLS

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Sr. Member
Sep 18, 2008
551 posts
125 upvotes
What a great post eonibm!! I totally agree with you that FSBO is the way to go as I do not believe that the seller agent is worth the 2.5%. I own a townhouse myself worth about $340k and I get real estate agents in my area dropping off their business cards and knocking on my doors asking if I would like to sell. In this case and with the information you have posted when I am ready to sell in a few years I will definitely be listing it as FSBO and giving a small commission to the buying agent as you stated 2-2.5% (including HST) ONLY. :D
Member
Sep 23, 2010
286 posts
62 upvotes
TORONTO
Given how units have been constructed in the past few decades, I would say price discovery is very easy for most units. A 200 unit condo or townhouse complex will likely have enough identical units that one will have sold in the past few months. Same with the 'pick a model' detached homes in the suburbs. Only detached homes downtown, which can be unique or which might be subject to demolition/rebuild by the buyer, would be worthy of a full seller's commission imo. IF they very knowledgeable about the market and the range of potential uses.
Newbie
Oct 28, 2006
37 posts
6 upvotes
This thread is going make agents upset, its hitting them where it hurts the most, the pocketbook. Agents should realize times are changing and 5-7% for their services rendered is not going to cut it anymore... evolve or die out.
Penalty Box
Aug 11, 2005
4124 posts
1357 upvotes
Rothesay wrote:
May 23rd, 2014 9:01 am
Another high content post will be to create a list of buyer's agents in cities across Canada that are willing to split their commission with their buyers.
There already is. If you do a search on zoocasa.com, they list agents that are willing to give cashback in the area you are making a purchase. zoocasa actually updates significantly faster than the realtor.ca. When a listing is posted on MLS, zoocasa usually has it within a few hours where as it takes about a day on realtor.ca
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2004
4886 posts
466 upvotes
Victoria
Luckyinfil wrote:
May 23rd, 2014 12:03 am
No it's not. All a realtor would do is to go into MLS, filter previously solds in the same area with the same bedrooms and print/email it to you. Takes all of 30 seconds.
If you think that's all that's involved in price discovery you know nothing about real estate. I'm not at all saying that only realtors can do this but there's more to it than just printing off some list of sold properties.
Not a political sig
Penalty Box
Aug 11, 2005
4124 posts
1357 upvotes
dealguy2 wrote:
May 23rd, 2014 9:47 am
If you think that's all that's involved in price discovery you know nothing about real estate. I'm not at all saying that only realtors can do this but there's more to it than just printing off some list of sold properties.
Go on, enlighten us about what realtors really do in a price discovery besides doing a simple search and looking through the results for comparables.
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2004
4886 posts
466 upvotes
Victoria
Luckyinfil wrote:
May 23rd, 2014 9:49 am
Go on, enlighten us about what realtors really do in a price discovery besides doing a simple search and looking through the results for comparables.
Well one thing they do is often times they've actually seen the listings they are comparing. There's a big difference between looking at some pictures and actually seeing a property. Trust me a real market analysis is more involved than spending a couple seconds making up a list of sold homes. Sure in a hot market in Toronto maybe you just need to list at $1 (why hasn't anyone done this yet?) and see what happens but in slow markets like Victoria if you set the price wrong your house will sit for months and may never sell. I've been looking for a house for a year (finally bought) so I've seen the pattern over and over. Also, because I've seen so many houses and so many listings I've gotten a good sense of what places should go for which is something realtors also have. You can do this yourself but it's not as simple as you make it out to be.
Not a political sig
Jr. Member
Apr 9, 2010
173 posts
11 upvotes
GTA
dealguy2 wrote:
May 23rd, 2014 10:07 am
Sure in a hot market in Toronto maybe you just need to list at $1 (why hasn't anyone done this yet?)
I read somewhere that statistically homes sell lower than market price compared with initially listing at market price, if sold by the $1 method.

Not really impressed with the generalization of real estate agents. For >2 million listings the buyer pool is very small, most properties are unique and not really comparable to each other, and the advantage of having an experienced real estate agent is their networking of foreign buyers in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Trading pride for credit, one day at a time.
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
14329 posts
4189 upvotes
Here 'n There
licenced wrote:
May 23rd, 2014 12:53 am
If you had real estate agent friends in other cities you wouldn't be consulting real estate agents on RFD or elsewhere.

I don't fall for reverse psychology and definitely not poorly executed attempts.

Thanks for the chuckle.

Remember - just say no, add 9.5 days and you're good to do.

Good night.
I started this thread to spread knowledge about how to avoid real estate transaction fees and to expose the lie of the 'marketing' plan that agents use to pull the wool over people's eyes with. Knowing real estate agents in other cities has helped me to understand this. Having agents in front of me and asking them to outline what this plan consists of corroborates what I have heard and learned. The inability of anyone to add any other tasks to my marketing plan proves my point. Hence, the many thanks I have gotten both in posts on here and private message. Also my 'thanks' count has gone up dramatically since I posted on this in case you have not noticed.

That is all lost on you. What is not lost on me is 'thou doth protest too much'. You keep posting but have nothing to contribute.

I get that your statement "I don't give free advice" is you saying you are embarrassed that I am right and that you can't think of anything else to add to your comprehensive list. Everyone else on this thread sees through you too in case you haven't noticed.

As I have said, it's the sale that is worth paying a commission. The listing is hardly rocket science. Do the steps I have outlined and get your property on MLS. Make sure the buying agents get the incentive to show and put in the offers.

Chuckle all you want. This thread is not about you as a sellers' real estate agent whining that you provide value but mysteriously and tellingly not being able to add one item of value to my list. If that's all you can do then there is no point in you commenting any more. We hear you loud and clear that you do no more than what I list.
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
14329 posts
4189 upvotes
Here 'n There
Luckyinfil wrote:
May 23rd, 2014 12:46 am
One thing an agent can do for you is phantom bids to generate bidding wars.
Oh I see, something unethical and against the MLS's rules and regulations. If you want to be unethical you don't need an agent to do that. You can generate them yourself.
Jr. Member
User avatar
May 18, 2008
185 posts
68 upvotes
Victoria
Grouper wrote:
May 23rd, 2014 11:15 am
Not really impressed with the generalization of real estate agents. For >2 million listings the buyer pool is very small, most properties are unique and not really comparable to each other, and the advantage of having an experienced real estate agent is their networking of foreign buyers in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
It is amazing the BS the public buys! This is coming from a REALTOR®! Last year I was involved in 73 transactions (38 sold listings, 35 represented buyers). This year I'll be the #1 buyer's agent in Victoria out of 1225 REALTORS®. I'll represent approximately 50 buyers and the next closest REALTOR® will be at approximately 40 buyers. Guess how many of my 50 buyers will buy one of my listings? Probably none or maybe one.

The concepts are so simple yet the public fails to understand. Even thought I am the number one guy in Victoria in terms of working with buyers I only have 25 to 30 listings at any one time. There are 4,700 listings in Victoria today. What are the mathematical odds that one of my buyers buys my listing?

There are 6,500 transactions per year, what are the odds that one of my buyers is involved in selling your property?

The whole buyer networking thing is a huge misconception.

Why is it that 95% of properties over $1 million have a buyer's agent involved if the listing agent is so good at networking? Shouldn't they be selling to their own buyers? The 5% that are double ended are rarely the listing agent’s buyer, but rather someone who just saw it online and didn't have a realtor.

As a lower commission guy in Victoria trying to change the industry for the better the biggest problem is the public is willing to pay huge commissions and not willing to put in 30 minutes of homework and thought into selling or buying a house.
Marko Juras, REALTOR® & Associate Broker @ Fair Realty, Victoria, BC - "I believe in a competitive marketplace and real estate commissions should be no exception."
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
14329 posts
4189 upvotes
Here 'n There
Captain_Ron5 wrote:
May 25th, 2014 12:03 pm
It is amazing the BS the public buys! This is coming from a REALTOR®! Last year I was involved in 73 transactions (38 sold listings, 35 represented buyers). This year I'll be the #1 buyer's agent in Victoria out of 1225 REALTORS®. I'll represent approximately 50 buyers and the next closest REALTOR® will be at approximately 40 buyers. Guess how many of my 50 buyers will buy one of my listings? Probably none or maybe one.

The concepts are so simple yet the public fails to understand. Even thought I am the number one guy in Victoria in terms of working with buyers I only have 25 to 30 listings at any one time. There are 4,700 listings in Victoria today. What are the mathematical odds that one of my buyers buys my listing?

There are 6,500 transactions per year, what are the odds that one of my buyers is involved in selling your property?

The whole buyer networking thing is a huge misconception.

Why is it that 95% of properties over $1 million have a buyer's agent involved if the listing agent is so good at networking? Shouldn't they be selling to their own buyers? The 5% that are double ended are rarely the listing agent’s buyer, but rather someone who just saw it online and didn't have a realtor.

As a lower commission guy in Victoria trying to change the industry for the better the biggest problem is the public is willing to pay huge commissions and not willing to put in 30 minutes of homework and thought into selling or buying a house.
I totally agree with your post! It makes SO much common sense.

I've heard so many seller's listing agents give me all this BS about their marketing program and ask what it involved other than the steps I have enumerated in my first post. I get a blank stare and then of course there is the laughable answer that 'licenced', a real estate agent who made the following post #25 in this thread:
licenced wrote:
May 23rd, 2014 12:32 am
Then don't. But don't expect I should give free advice either. If it's menial then you shouldn't even be asking for the information.
OMG I was rolling on the floor after hearing that one! Some agents have said they'll market the home to their list of buyer's. Yeah right. As if they have this huge harem of hungry buyers just chomping at the bit waiting for the next listing the agents has with their money in their hot sticky little fingers, just waiting to hand it over, lol.

Yes most properties have a buyer's agent involved. This is why the listing agents is really doing no more than the menial tasks I have outlined in my first post. Tasks that are easily done by the vendor themselves ending up in a listing on MLS. The sooner the public realizes that it is the buyer's agent that should get 95% of the compensation the better. I'd rather give a flat fee for listing a home on MLS and 3% to the buyer's agent rather than 2.5% each to a listing agent and buying agent.

What do you charge as your lower commission btw? Also, can you tell me what, if anything the listing agent does except the items I have enumerated in my first post. Agents tell me my list is absolutely correct but then there is this mysterious 'marketing plan' that they fumble over words to explain. Mysterious because it's a big lie. If it wasn't then agents like licenced on here wouldn't be so tongue-tied when asked and give such an incredibly stupid answer like he doesn't give 'free advice', lol.
Jr. Member
User avatar
May 18, 2008
185 posts
68 upvotes
Victoria
eonibm wrote:
May 25th, 2014 12:22 pm
What do you charge as your lower commission btw?
i/ Full Service Commission: 2.5% Gross (1% listing side, 1.5% cooperating commission side)
ii/ Flat Fee Listings (aka Mere Postings): $799 Upfront plus $699 back end success fee. (seller chooses the cooperating commission).
iii/ Cash Back for Buyers: $6,750 minimum to my brokerage, remainder to buyer up to 50%. For example, average home in Victoria is $600,000 and a cooperating commission one may frequently see is 3%100k+1.5%balance, or $10,500 on a $600,000 sale. I would take $6,750 and the buyer would receive $3,750.
Marko Juras, REALTOR® & Associate Broker @ Fair Realty, Victoria, BC - "I believe in a competitive marketplace and real estate commissions should be no exception."
Jr. Member
User avatar
May 18, 2008
185 posts
68 upvotes
Victoria
eonibm wrote:
May 25th, 2014 12:22 pm
Also, can you tell me what, if anything the listing agent does except the items I have enumerated in my first post. Agents tell me my list is absolutely correct but then there is this mysterious 'marketing plan' that they fumble over words to explain. Mysterious because it's a big lie. If it wasn't then agents like licenced on here wouldn't be so tongue-tied when asked and give such an incredibly stupid answer like he doesn't give 'free advice', lol.
Your list is correct but there are many intangibles that suck up my time like you wouldn't believe. For example, yesterday, one of my clients away on a business trip lost the keys to his house. I had to go to the house, grab the key from the lockbox, had it duplicated and then had to get it couriered to him in Vancouver. There goes 1.5 hours of my day. Then just on Friday I had a woman call me directly from realtor.ca wanting to view one of my listings but she never showed up to the appointment we had set so there goes 1 hour of my day (people calling me direct and not showing up to an appointment happens at least 10 to 15 times a year). My personal buyers always show up but randoms cannot be trusted. Many other things that can burn your time on a listing.

Other problem we have in Victoria is the market is horrible (and has been for the last 6 years) compared to the rest of the country. Only 50% of listings sell; therefore, I have to unload my costs (professional photos, floorplans, board fees) from 50% of listings that don't sell onto those 50% that do sell.

As I've gotten busier over the years I've just started rejecting about 20 to 30% of listings due to unrealistic expectations sellers have so I've been able to get my ratios up a bit and offer better service to the ones I do take on.

On the buying side (representing buyers) I've often pondered doing a $1,000 non-refundable retainer and offering buyers more cash back. The reason I've decreased my cash back to buyers over the years is every year I'll show someone 40-50 properties and they'll decide not to buy (and also I have very little competition so I've been able to increase up my minimum every year while increase volumes). I figure a $1,000 non-refundable retainer would eliminate the problem of the non-serious buyer. The serious buyer would benefit as the cash back amount would increase? Anyway, it would never work in real life but a thought I've had.
Marko Juras, REALTOR® & Associate Broker @ Fair Realty, Victoria, BC - "I believe in a competitive marketplace and real estate commissions should be no exception."
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
14329 posts
4189 upvotes
Here 'n There
Captain_Ron5 wrote:
May 25th, 2014 1:13 pm
Your list is correct but there are many intangibles that suck up my time like you wouldn't believe. For example, yesterday, one of my clients away on a business trip lost the keys to his house. I had to go to the house, grab the key from the lockbox, had it duplicated and then had to get it couriered to him in Vancouver. There goes 1.5 hours of my day. Then just on Friday I had a woman call me directly from realtor.ca wanting to view one of my listings but she never showed up to the appointment we had set so there goes 1 hour of my day (people calling me direct and not showing up to an appointment happens at least 10 to 15 times a year). My personal buyers always show up but randoms cannot be trusted. Many other things that can burn your time on a listing.

Other problem we have in Victoria is the market is horrible (and has been for the last 6 years) compared to the rest of the country. Only 50% of listings sell; therefore, I have to unload my costs (professional photos, floorplans, board fees) from 50% of listings that don't sell onto those 50% that do sell.

As I've gotten busier over the years I've just started rejecting about 20 to 30% of listings due to unrealistic expectations sellers have so I've been able to get my ratios up a bit and offer better service to the ones I do take on.

On the buying side (representing buyers) I've often pondered doing a $1,000 non-refundable retainer and offering buyers more cash back. The reason I've decreased my cash back to buyers over the years is every year I'll show someone 40-50 properties and they'll decide not to buy (and also I have very little competition so I've been able to increase up my minimum every year while increase volumes). I figure a $1,000 non-refundable retainer would eliminate the problem of the non-serious buyer. The serious buyer would benefit as the cash back amount would increase? Anyway, it would never work in real life but a thought I've had.
Thanks. I thought my list was correct and the other agent on this thread, licenced was at a loss for words to add anything else to it. You sound like a good businessman. I really can believe those time-suckers. I have the same in my business where I can spend an hour on the phone with a client either re-assuring them about something we have already talked about ad inifinitum, dropping something off that I already gave them that they couldn't find, etc. If a client has unrealistic expectations I don't take them on and focus on the ones that understand what I can do. Unfortunately, there are clients where I don't realize how much work they would be over and above what I normally do, all non-billable, but I won't drop them and leave them in a lurch.

As for your non-refundable retainer it's an interesting idea as I imagine there are people who are into real-estate porn and engage agents simply because they want to be shown houses, and sometimes be picked up and driven to them and then dropped off at home again. It's unfair to waste an agent's time like that if you have no intention of buying a home at all no matter what. Of course, the majority of agents won't ask for a non-refundable + cash-back retainer so, as you say, it won't work in real life because of that competition.

I am curious, cost of 'time' aside, what would you estimate the costs, ie professional photos, floorplans, board fees as you mentioned, are for a typical listing? - costs which you have to eat of course if the property does not sell.

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