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.”


  • by 9/2/2015 12:16:00 PM

    Rock Star Realty says it all ! Maybe you should go back to making noise on stage not in the Real Estate community.

  • by 9/2/2015 3:33:45 PM

    The entire article was completely insulting and not even accurate about commission structures. I am tired of the Toronto STAR trashing agents in the numerous articles they have published. In fact I called their office and said it is about time they stop this practice considering the thousands of dollars REALTORS spend in advertising in their paper. I also checked out Fee Duck. Agents are bidding down to 2%. This does not pay the buyer agent and also does not even cover their expenses. What is the point of even taking the listing?

  • by 9/2/2015 3:42:13 PM

    I wonder if any of these discounters have ever executed a professional listing including simple things like a full CMA package, newspaper/magazine advertising, "Just Listed"/"Just Sold" flyers, professional photographer, staging, would they spend the best part of a weekend (mid day Saturday and Sunday) at an open house, not to mention eliminating the possibility of doing anything else those days? Closing gifts? I think the answer to most of these items is no as 1% (less their broker split) probably would just cover the total cost of these fees!
    Q: What kind of business model generates zero income?
    A: A bad one. 1%ers fall into this category.
    I guess part timer 1%ers aren't trying to feed their family, pay their mortgages from their Real Estate revenue, they have full time jobs to do that, Real Estate is just for fun and it doesn't really matter to them! Why do they think they can screw with peoples greatest investment of their lives "just for fun"??? Why do they screw with the incomes of full time, professional agents. Part timers should be eliminated. Discounters should be eliminated. Bad Agents should be eliminated. The process to get a Real Estate license needs to become more difficult and if you fail, you're done. Try another career!
    This is a difficult business and these Discounting Clowns are making a mockery of it. Something needs to happen to shake the trees to get the rotten fruit out.
    Discounters, get a life outside of Real Estate! Work in the Gas industry. Introduce the competition bureau to Petro Canada!!

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