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Agents facing ‘toughest’ fight to protect commissions

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Real Estate Professional | 10 Aug 2015, 08:37 AM Agree 0
In what has become the strongest sellers’ market in years for Toronto and Vancouver, agents are finding their voice for negotiations on the size of their commissions
  • Old Timer | 10 Aug 2015, 01:46 PM Agree 0
    I didn't really get any 'solution' advice from this column.......When houses are selling within a week or two of listing date it is hard to justify
    the 'normal' commission generally charged by Realtors. The Sellers have a point! In many cases the Realtor doesn't have to spend a dime on advertising, etc. only their time to prepare the listing and take a few pictures. When this happens, it is difficult to 'prove your worth' as a Realtor. The Seller looks at the selling time frame and probably thinks he could have gone FSBO and sold just as fast with minus the big commission. We know that a Realtor who has been in the business for years has lasted the 'slow' markets where it took months to sell a listing and meant hours of work and often advertising and etc. expenses. So when a 'brisk' market is going on, this same Realtor's expenses
    go down and the commissions earned even out or 'balance' the good and the bad times in this business. Having said this, sadly, the Seller in a good market doesn't want to take this into consideration. It is all about dollars and cents to the Seller. The only action that will satisfy
    such a person who makes this complaint is: lower your commission in proportion to the time it takes to sell and the amount of work and money spent to bring about a sale.
  • Christine Crockett | 10 Aug 2015, 04:22 PM Agree 0
    As a seasoned realtor, most of my work is accomplished "weeks prior" to going live on the mls and behind the scenes. So, although the house might sell in a matter of days, many might perceive my value as being insignificant from an outside perspective alongside such a strong market. That being said, I can honestly say that many of my client's extraordinary success stories have hinged on the extra mile we took in today's market. I can understand the public's perception as stated but many houses are "not" selling quickly. As a prudent consumer, it's always wise to do extra research on whom you hire for such an important investment regardless of the market.
  • Sheldon Zacharias | 10 Aug 2015, 05:59 PM Agree 0
    Excellent point Christine Crockett! Often we will sell one of our own listings in a relatively quick looks like quick and easy to the public. But in fact, we may have worked with the buyer for 6 months prior to that and put in many hours to develop that buyer for that property. One of the reasons our sellers list with us, is the fact we work our area and may have potential buyers. That in it self is worth a premium. Christine also points out that much of the value of a great agent occurs way before the listing hits MLS and the sign goes up!!
  • Pamela Steunenberg | 12 Aug 2015, 10:29 AM Agree 0
    What a lot of people forget is that as Real Estate agents we are small business owners. Our overhead does not change if we sell or don't sell a home. The fees we charge don't only pay us for the work we do on that one sale but pay for the systems we have in place to ensure our sellers and buyers get professional service that protects them legally and ensures the sale runs as smoothly as possible. When we do get a sale there will be anywhere from 5 to 8 people that have dealt with that sale in one way or another just from our or office. We don't get any health benefit, pensions...... All of those expenses along with running our business come from our fees. People that cut their fees on a regular basis perhaps need to re access if this is a viable business for them. I am a full time agent that works with a partner. We keep our focus on our clients and make sure we are helping them achieve their Real Estate goals. If we do that then we get our job done and we have happy clients for life.
  • djd | 13 Aug 2015, 04:21 PM Agree 0
    Being a real estate agent is no different than any other service provider. The day of the fixed 5% listing is gone the way of all other market monopolies.

    Get over it - Bell Canada did.

    Agents now need to compete in the open market like any other service provider. Ironically, they must now behave in the same manner as their clients. The home owner offers a house at a price determined by the market, and not based on what the seller decides. The agent offers a service dictated by the market, and not what has arbitrarily been forced upon the market in the good old days.

    It's now time to demonstrate how skilled we really are at negotiation because it now begins with our fee. It's that simple. It's that Darwinian.
  • Veej | 20 Aug 2015, 09:20 AM Agree 0
    The powers that be should look at these comments and reassess their fees that they charge us as realtors because of all the competition we have. They powers that be are not looking for professionals anymore in the Real Estate Business, they are looking to make more money by allowing the sale of a property by any means regardless of who the seller is. In this business now, we have professional Realtor and Street Market sellers because as Professional we go through training and education, we pay fees, insurance, and other expenses to carry on business but as street sellers they do not have to pay any fees and go through scrutiny in whatever they do. No, those agent who undercut themselves should know that lower commission will only give them acknowledgement in this hot market. it will take skills and experience to sell in the cool market which I believe that many of them does not possess. Some agent got in the business just because they heard that there is a lot of money but those agents that accepts low commission are the one that make the expression "Cat eat your dinner" or "Dog eat Dog" or " Every man for himself" a reality. They do not care of the other Agents in the business. This is a Business of PROFESSIONALISM and if we cannot do our job and charge our fees as professionals then we should get out of the business. Financial Planners charge their fees but do not undercut others. So why Real Estate Professionals cannot do the same. The reason that low commissions are now making a headway is because we allow it. I f the Real Estate Board was working on behalf of their members this would have not happened. I made a simple mistake on year of just putting on my listing as per my client instruction that I should not show the property for 1 week because they were going away which I did instead of Suspending the listing and was fined for this. Not a slap on my hand. So who are the Real Estate Authorities working for; Themselves to make money. I don't think they care what is going on out there. They should have put their foot down a long time ago. Why not standardize the Fees.
  • Veej | 20 Aug 2015, 09:25 AM Agree 0
    As for the person that said that' Being a real estate agent is no different than any other service provider. The day of the fixed 5% listing is gone the way of all other market monopolies".

    This person should go work for Rogers or Bell. I do believe that this person is working as a Part-time realtor and probably working with a Service Provider because in their right frame of mind they would not make that type of comment comparing a profession with a Service Provider. Would they compare a Certified Financial Planner with a Service Provider or with A Registered Realtor.
  • comfree supporter | 20 Aug 2015, 04:23 PM Agree 0
    Hmmm realtors are professionals it takes 4 simple courses to become a realtor with no previous education requirements. If this is the definition of a profession perhaps the word professional shouldn't be held in high regard. I bought my current home on comfree and it was the easiest thing i have ever done including the difficult paperwork that realtors want you to believe. I did not need a realtor to tell me that this is the kitchen, this is thy washroom etc etc. To pay$ 35000 commission on the purchase of my then 650k is outrageous. I purchased the hou for less as the seller did not have to pay two agents, whom the buyer actually pays as it is built into the price I personally would never use an agent as i think their value is far over stated. Most of them are dishonest and only care for their commissions as was told to me years ago by a realtor
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