New website could slash agents’ commissions

by Jordan Maxwell21 Jan 2015
A match-making website encouraging Realtors to bid for the right to represent a client is drawing mixed reviews from sales reps.
FeeDuck, a website devised to counteract and deal with the struggle of finding a competent and trustworthy agent, is a real-time auction that allows people to connect with Realtors. However, the service and general websites like it are drawing the ire of local agents who say sites such as this undercut their commissions and undervalue their services.
“We make it look easy because we are trained and we are professionals,” writes real estate agent Jerry Snel in a recent post on the REP forum. “Of course there are agents out there who can’t sell themselves because they don't really know what they're doing so they will list your home for little commission.
“If an agent can’t even negotiate his commission and show his value then why would anyone consider hiring that agent to negotiate and show the value of their home?”
Sharn Kandola, one of four creators of FeeDuck and the company’s VP of marketing, said that she and her partners came up with the idea after the arduous task of buying a house in Oakville, Ont.
“We came up with the idea because it was a challenge for us to find an agent when we were going through the buying process,” said Kandola, whose co-founders all live on the same street and were looking for houses last year.
“So we decided to create an alternative and challenge people to use our site to find a good Realtor. We’re not here for everyone and agents don’t have to agree to represent a client if they feel their commissions and value are being compromised. This is a tool to help consumers and set them up with good Realtors and allows agents to directly connect with sellers.”  
The site serves as a middleman between buyers or sellers and an agent. The company does background checks and gathers as much information as possible on an agent before recommending them to compete for the client’s business.
The selected Realtors can then bid for the right to represent a client based on their needs and within 72 hours, FeeDuck presents the consumer with the top bidder. What’s more, the agents have no idea who the other agents they’re competing against are – only the buyers and sellers.
Nick Karadza, broker of record at Rockstar Realty, said that his brokerage is interested in the website and sees it as a positive tool for rookie agents trying to expand their client base.
“It’s another alternative for Realtors just starting out trying to connect with clients,” he said. “I can see where other Realtors might disagree but there’s enough opportunity out there for everyone. It’s what they do in the U.S. and it’s what should be done here.”
Ralph Fox, a real estate broker and director of new development at Sage Realty, said that while the website is a good thing, adding new competition to the market, there is a pendulum effect that’s most likely to occur.
“Everything is a pendulum,” he said.
“People begin to discover how hard it is to sell a property on websites like this [or meet the right agent] and when your margin for error is small, I think a lot of people will circle back to the conventional method of finding Realtors.”


  • by Greg 1/21/2015 11:46:19 AM

    No different than a few of the sites out there already. In the past I have used these auction sites, paid my fee, "won" some listings and made money. Generally the people I represented were difficult to deal with, had many misconceptions about real estate, and were somewhat unrealistic. I have chosen to put my money in other places to generate leads. I can't see this particular site gaining much traction. I could be wrong, but I believe it will more or less just compete with the "Sale by Owner" sites out there now (PropertyGuys, Discount Realtors, Comfree, etc.) who have been around for a while.

  • by Bill Lafferty 1/21/2015 11:52:38 AM

    If any Realtor is so desperate to discount or slash their own income upfront with their seller, what do you realistically think they are going to do with that seller's asking price when they are out there negotiating an offer on their seller's home?

    When does a discount agent stop being a discount agent, when does he stop his discounting? When he's negotiating an offer on their seller's home?
    I hardly think so, do you?

    Real estate experts say, "To get the best service and highest price possible for a home, always choose an agent based on marketing strategy and powerful negotiating skills, never choose an agent based on price alone or commission alone."

    Discount agents are weak negotiators.

    Learn how to defend your commission by going to...defend your and watch the powerful video " 30 powerful techniques to overcome listing objections."

  • by 1/21/2015 12:38:09 PM

    This type of sale representative selection makes absolutely no sense to me.. there's more to hiring a real estate agent then just the commission. Hiring the right real estate sales representative should be more about finding the right fit for you- someone you feel has integrity, someone who knows what they are doing; knows the real estate market and has the experience to showcase your home to ensure it attracts as many buyers as possible and an agent who will in turn work hard to get you the best price. This method of agent selection is equal to buying the cheapest piece of steak you can find - its pretty unlikely that you are going to get quality and i doubt you are going to enjoy the outcome. At the end of the day the bottom line is what sellers need to focus on. If a full service agent gets you a great price paying them a little more commission generally means more money in your pocket vs a lower price achieved by a discount agent equating to lesser end dollars for the seller. I've been in competition with big discount agents before and one key thing i have noticed was that their listing price suggestion was much lower than what I got for the clients who in turn made a much larger profit working with me then the outcome would of been with the other guy.


Is a Toronto foreign sales tax a good idea?