Tech company aims to cut out agents

by Justin da Rosa07 Nov 2016
Meet the company trying to make real estate brokering obsolete

A Canadian startup called Seizin likens itself to Uber and Airbnb and claims to give Canadians control of the real estate market by cutting out third-party commissions.

“Seizin is a Canadian startup launching an online platform for residential real estate in Toronto,” Seizin said in a press kit, which was shared with REP. “The Seizin platform is the beginning of true peer-to-peer real estate in Canada, empowering homeowners to market their properties to prospective buyers and cut out agents’ commissions to save tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of dollars.”

The company, which bills itself as a technology company and not a brokerage, allows homeowners to market and sell their homes directly to buyers on a secure platform.

“Commissions add a massive transaction cost to residential real estate sales. Last year in the City of Toronto alone, we estimate there was a $1.2-billion wealth transfer from homeowners in aggregate to real estate brokerages through commissions (based on a $24.6-billion sales volume and an average commission of 5%),” Seizin said. “There is lack of trust in the traditional real estate model resulting from its high cost, bidding wars, dubious practices such as phantom offers, high-pressure environment and misaligned incentives. Canadians want a better way and are not receiving it from discount brokerages or FSBO companies.”

It also operates offline, by offering lawn signs – similar to those used by agents for decades.

“The most exciting part of our launch is that this is just the beginning,” Johnny Henderson, cofounder and CEO of Seizin, wrote in a release. “The development of Seizin continues to be an iterative process and we have big plans for the future as we add functionality and expand our coverage. I hope you’ll follow Seizin as it pursues its mission of disrupting residential real estate and finding new ways to empower Canadians.”

Seizin will also offer market data as well as access to experts that help sellers better market their homes, including; appraisers, painters, and photographers.

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