Real Estate

Lower your Listing/Selling Fees - Use Flat Rate MLS

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Deal Addict
Jun 29, 2007
4485 posts
1200 upvotes
Most top agents who don't have time to do open house simply gets somebody in their office who is not busy to do the open house.

A top agent would have 10 plus listings at any one time so there is obviously no way for him to do open house for more than 2-3 listings on a weekend.

A top 5 Remax agent in Canada once told me he doesn't do open house for various reasons. If a client insists on open house, he will just get somebody from his office to do it.
Captain_Ron5 wrote:
May 25th, 2014 7:32 pm
You have a home worth $500,000 and REALTOR® A charges 5.0% commission and does lots of open houses. You price the home at $509,000.

You have a home worth $500,000 and REALTOR® B charges 2.5% commission and does no open houses. You price the home at $497,500.

Which one do you think is going to sell faster in this day and age?

I stand by my comment that I will only do open houses if the seller asks me to if he or she really thinks it will help the sale. It won't, but it makes sellers feel better. In my full service listing contracts I do put into the addendum, "Up to three open houses (only if desired by seller)."
Penalty Box
User avatar
Aug 19, 2008
1924 posts
497 upvotes
When you can't compete on quality, you have to compete on price.

Every business model is going to be different, and "buying" customers is about as basic as it gets. What happens to Captain Ron and his "50% cash back offer" when Captain John comes along and offers a 75% cash back offer with all the "same great services"?

I'm surprised so many people are focused on how to lower the transaction fees instead of how to maximize net profits.
Banned
May 7, 2014
188 posts
25 upvotes
Westmount, QC
licenced is one of the most efficient generators of fog screens around here when it comes to real estate information.

The fact is that a determined buyer does not need an open house to contact the sellers agent.
The seller agent can be contacted directly. Most people without agent learn about new listings from MLS.
After that they can contact the seller's agent to show them the house. Make the agent work for his buyer's commission

The open house serves nobody but the real estate to get new contacts
If a buyer has agent then he will use him to see the house when it is convenient for him. You do not need nosy neighbors or by walkers to come into your house. You need the interested buyers. Those will come anyway with their agents.
An educated buyer will avoid the open house crowd just to avoid feeling any pressure due to "so much interest" that the house attracted
The fact is, and any educated buyer who wants the seller's agent to work for him knows this, that in a bidding war there is no more than two or three real offers for an under priced home listed these days. That would be out of ~20 offers.

Again, pay attention to what licenced is saying, take it with a HUGE grain of salt because he is very manipulative.
He always says half of the truth and he great at self promoting! You will always see, "a good real estate agent does that .." followed by " I always do that!"

One have to think, does a good real estate agent need this kind of self promoting?
Moreover, how may good real estate agents are spending their time on this forum.
Just check your neighborhood and see if the most active real estate agent in that area waste their time here or elsewhere.
Banned
May 7, 2014
188 posts
25 upvotes
Westmount, QC
Speedy1 wrote:
May 25th, 2014 8:04 pm
Most top agents who don't have time to do open house simply gets somebody in their office who is not busy to do the open house.

A top agent would have 10 plus listings at any one time so there is obviously no way for him to do open house for more than 2-3 listings on a weekend.

A top 5 Remax agent in Canada once told me he doesn't do open house for various reasons. If a client insists on open house, he will just get somebody from his office to do it.
This is indeed very true. Especially those who are brokers and have people working for them. They are focused on searching new clients not on fights and witch hunting on forums like this.
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
14157 posts
4103 upvotes
Here 'n There
Well, la-di-da! All of a sudden you are providing some 'free advice' because a realtor has agreed with me! :)
licenced wrote:
May 25th, 2014 7:04 pm
Realtor.ca is the first place most buyers will learn of a property for sale, yet Realtors who don’t do open houses automatically remove a 5% (in the GTA) chance of the buyer walking in that door. But they somehow expect that as one of hundreds of thousands of web sites, a buyer will magically see a listing on theirs first.
5%? Where does that number come from. Your estimate or an industry study or ? Agents tell me themselves that it is at best 1%, if that.
licenced wrote:
May 25th, 2014 7:04 pm
No open house means no private buyer walking in to see it and how many times have we seen on RFD members talk about using the open house to talk to the listing Realtor about cutting a deal because they don’t want to use a buyer agent? I‘ve yet to hold an open house without at least one buyer wanting to go this route.
You don't need an open house to see a house. You can just call the agent and ask to see it and cut a deal if you do not have an agent.
licenced wrote:
May 25th, 2014 7:04 pm
Open Houses provide:
- an opportunity for people to walk in casually without their agents and decide if this is the house they want. If it is, they then book another showing.

- the opportunity for a good agent to market all aspects of the home, show them what a buyer's Realtor unfamiliar with the home may not see and sell them on the location.

- neighbours with the opportunity to tell their friends and family they’ve seen a home they might like.

- the opportunity to create buzz

And every once in a while it even causes someone who wasn’t even looking to fall in love with the property and buy it.
You can do all of that without an open house.
licenced wrote:
May 25th, 2014 7:04 pm
The odds of winning just $5 in Lotto 649 prize is 1 in 81.2 or 1.2%, yet millions buy tickets every week and I’m sure even Realtors who don’t believe in open houses. But for them to spend a few hours marketing the biggest asset most people have – well those odds just aren’t worth it.
Now you are comparing lotteries with open houses, lol? Now I've heard it all!

If you want to have an open house and you do a flat fee listing it's easy enough to just do it yourself. Most of the time I have found the agent is just sitting their playing with their iPhone. I can do that too (and not play with my iPhone!). It's not like any expertise goes into an open house, which is why the agent often doesn't do it but an assistant does.
licenced wrote:
May 25th, 2014 7:04 pm
If you don’t want to get as close to 100% marketing effectiveness, then make up excuses why open houses don’t work and don’t hold one. But do put a for sale sign up on your cul-de-sac because you know, everybody will see it.

If you hire a Realtor, don’t contribute to the laziness you would otherwise complain about – make them work!
I would love to know what 'work' you do other than what I have listed that has been corroborated by a realtor on here who publicly identifies himself which you do not.

But, you have nothing to add my comprehensive marketing plan in my first post so it's obvious you also agree with my plan.
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
14157 posts
4103 upvotes
Here 'n There
licenced wrote:
May 25th, 2014 7:51 pm
What does pricing a home have to do with open houses? The purpose of the open house is to attract as many buyers as possible, create buzz, market it to it’s highest extent etc., etc. Just because it is priced lower doesn’t mean you cannot seek out the best and highest price for it.

Maybe in Victoria where what 4,000 homes per year sell, it just might be that spending 2 hours of your time just isn’t worth it to commiserate with potential buyers and show how passionate you are about your client’s sell and talk up all of the pros of same. Maybe it’s just not worth it to try and attract the 80 people (2%) but sales rank close to 90,000 in the GTA and I stand by my opinion, that a client deserves as close to a 100% effort as possible.

I’ve sold them from open houses to buyers who were directed to get their own buyer agent at that.

RFD members consistently talk about walking into open houses because they won’t hire a Realtor. They can’t be both right and wrong about their effectiveness at the same time.

edited to add: and maybe, just maybe, the criticism that listing Realtors are lazy because all they do is fill out some paperwork and stick it on MLS, just might be lessened.
So you are saying that people don't search MLS, don't look at ad listings, don't contact agents to see a house, but leave it to the random chance they'll drive by a home, walk in and it will be there ideal home? Please. It may happen but it's like 1% of the time.

Again, it's easy enough to do an open house yourself if you have a flat fee listing. I've been to hundreds of them. The agent just stands there, sometimes gives me a brochure and sometimes asks me to write down my name and phone $ (and then I start getting hassled with phone calls by them).

Anyway, this is getting away from the main topic of my thread. Licenced: Do you have anything to add to my comprehensive marketing plan in post 1? No? thought so. It's complete.
Jr. Member
User avatar
May 18, 2008
185 posts
68 upvotes
Victoria
This is a survey done on 1276 transactions last year in Victoria, B.C. The survey is completed by the buyer's REALTOR®. The automated listing search service has been the fastest growing segment. Four years ago it was less than 30% and I think for this year we'll be over 40%.

[IMG]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-V2o0 ... rFinds.jpg[/IMG]
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
14157 posts
4103 upvotes
Here 'n There
So, Captain_Ron5, maybe you missed my question but I am curious as to how much there is to signing back offers if one is doing it using a flat rate listing. In all the offers I have been involved with along with an agent when I sold was what was excluded from the purchase price, the closing date, deposit amount and whether or not it was conditional on inspection or financing.
Jr. Member
User avatar
May 18, 2008
185 posts
68 upvotes
Victoria
Donnie740 wrote:
May 25th, 2014 8:18 pm
When you can't compete on quality, you have to compete on price.

Every business model is going to be different, and "buying" customers is about as basic as it gets. What happens to Captain Ron and his "50% cash back offer" when Captain John comes along and offers a 75% cash back offer with all the "same great services"?

I'm surprised so many people are focused on how to lower the transaction fees instead of how to maximize net profits.
I really believe the key to being successful in real estate is to offer top notch quality while offering more reasonable commissions. What lands me a ton of referrals is the combination of the two. If there is a dinner party and people are talking REALTORS® I think the third guy has the best chance of landing a referral.

"We used REALTOR® Bob, and he was not that good."
"We used REALTOR® Susy, and she was awesome."
"We used REALTOR® Tom, he was awesome, and he gave us a $5,000 cheque when we moved in."
"We used REALTOR® Vanessa, she gave us a $6,000 cheque but she was horrible and did not communicate well."

The maximizing profit argument is a weak argument in my opinion. The market sets the price...paying a huge amount of commission does not increase the sale price of a home when the sale medium (the internet and MLS®) is the same avenue of marketing for every single property. It is a very simple concept in my opinion.
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 9:22 pm
So, Captain_Ron5, maybe you missed my question but I am curious as to how much there is to signing back offers if one is doing it using a flat rate listing. In all the offers I have been involved with along with an agent when I sold was what was excluded from the purchase price, the closing date, deposit amount and whether or not it was conditional on inspection or financing.
There isn't much signing back to do as typically the buyer's REALTOR® drafts the contract. You typically just counter price, closing dates, deposit, and conditions as you noted above or a combination of those.

With my flat fee listings in Victoria I just give the sellers a "subject to seller's lawyer review" clause to insert into every offer they are dealing with. Some lawyers in Victoria will review the contract for the seller free of charge (if seller plans on using them for conveyancing services) and some will charge around $100 to review the contract.

There are a million and one scare tactics used towards mere postings such as "you'll get sued," which I find hilarious. If you don't disclose that your basement floods every year it doesn't matter if you flat fee list or full service list, you'll get sued either way.
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
14157 posts
4103 upvotes
Here 'n There
Thanks, such thorough and common sense answers. That excerpt you posted from the REALTOR® Market Survey 2013 Annual Summary was very interesting. Is the entire document publicly available? I went to the REALTOR® website and also googled it but nothing came up. I am hoping to find a similar study for the Toronto market.
Jr. Member
User avatar
May 18, 2008
185 posts
68 upvotes
Victoria
eonibm wrote:
May 25th, 2014 9:36 pm
Thanks, such thorough and common sense answers. That excerpt you posted from the REALTOR® Market Survey 2013 Annual Summary was very interesting. Is the entire document publicly available? I went to the REALTOR® website and also googled it but nothing came up. I am hoping to find a similar study for the Toronto market.
The REALTOR® Market Survey 2013 I posted is specific to the Victoria Real Estate Board and carried out by the Victoria Board so you won't find anything on the CREA website. I don't know if the Toronto board does a similar survey?
Marko Juras, REALTOR® & Associate Broker @ Fair Realty, Victoria, BC - "I believe in a competitive marketplace and real estate commissions should be no exception."
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
10553 posts
1652 upvotes
Toronto
My question is why does the buyer's agent get so much? It seems that aspect of the business is less changed then the selling part which has seen huge strides compared to before.

Basically, it is "I as your seller agent will offer a flat rate of $100, but I will still charge the 2.5% that the buyer's agent will get"

In the old days, when you really had to rely on an agent to get listings, and give you the address, arrangemet meet ups. Today, viewings are often first seen on MLS (maybe in hot areas, Agents get that email first), pretty much the address is shown (in the old days, they would hide the address often) and trying to arrange to go see a house is done electronically. People had less cars back then so even the Agent would drive the prospective buyer around more often.

Paperwork is done more electronically, communication electronically. Yet that aspect of the Buyer's side is written in stone it seems. Is it the last vestige of the old guard system?
Jr. Member
User avatar
May 18, 2008
185 posts
68 upvotes
Victoria
at1212b wrote:
May 25th, 2014 9:57 pm
My question is why does the buyer's agent get so much? It seems that aspect of the business is less changed then the selling part which has seen huge strides compared to before.

Basically, it is "I as your seller agent will offer a flat rate of $100, but I will still charge the 2.5% that the buyer's agent will get"

In the old days, when you really had to rely on an agent to get listings, and give you the address, arrangemet meet ups. Today, viewings are often first seen on MLS (maybe in hot areas, Agents get that email first), pretty much the address is shown (in the old days, they would hide the address often) and trying to arrange to go see a house is done electronically. People had less cars back then so even the Agent would drive the prospective buyer around more often.

Paperwork is done more electronically, communication electronically. Yet that aspect of the Buyer's side is written in stone it seems. Is it the last vestige of the old guard system?
Buyers are just much more work than listings. You physically have to be present at each showing (often 20 plus). Here in Victoria sometimes you have 3-5 inspections to attend (home inspection, drain tile inspection, asbestos testing, septic plus water well inspection if not in the city core, etc.), often you need to write multiple offers before one is actually accepted.

With condos sometimes you have 200 plus pages worth of strata documents to read, etc.

List you just list and book showings, you don't have to be present at showings, inspections, you don't draft the offer, etc.
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
14157 posts
4103 upvotes
Here 'n There
Captain_Ron5 wrote:
May 25th, 2014 9:46 pm
The REALTOR® Market Survey 2013 I posted is specific to the Victoria Real Estate Board and carried out by the Victoria Board so you won't find anything on the CREA website. I don't know if the Toronto board does a similar survey?
I am going to contact them tomorrow to find out. There are many reports available on there website but none have this information. I would think the results would be similar.

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