Agents sacrificing commission on the QT

by Vernon Clement Jones02 Sep 2015
Psst! Your friend and colleagues may be using feeDuck at this very moment, but mum’s the word, say owners of the controversial bidding site.

“Agents work hard to build strong brands,” feeDuck co-founder Sharn Kandola told Toronto Star personal finance columnist Ellen Roseman for her recent news piece on the website. “In our experience, they are willing to negotiate but they don’t necessarily want to be marketed by feeDuck as such.”

That desire for anonymity is in large part a desire to escape the scorn of their peers, argue agents opposed to the site in speaking to REP. They see involvement in discount bidding sites as betrayal of the industry and its efforts to protect commissions, traditionally set at between 2.5% and 3% in Ontario.

Still, a growing number of agents are turning to feeDuck to participate in what some of their colleagues call the “race to the bottom.”

Billed as a match-making website that encourages Realtors to reverse bid for the right to represent a client, feeDuck has drawn very public criticism from industry players almost from the get-go.

“If any Realtor is so desperate to discount or slash their own income upfront with their seller,” writes agent Bill Lafferty, “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?”

In essence, he concludes, “Discount agents are weak negotiators.”

But not all industry players agree.

“I can see where other Realtors might disagree but there’s enough opportunity out there for everyone,” Nick Karadza, broker of record at Rockstar Realty, told REP for an earlier article. “It’s what they do in the US and it’s what should be done here.”

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