There’s more than one way to sell a house in Canada. With a deal between the Canadian Real Estate Association and the Competition Bureau pending, three competing models have emerged for consumers to consider.
The representative: Tina Forbes, a ReMax agent, Stoney Creek, Ont.
The deal: She usually charges 5-per-cent commission – but that is split between herself and the agent for the buyer. That works out to about $15,000 on the average home. For the money, a seller can expect Ms. Forbes to consult databases to arrive at an asking price, post a lawn sign, arrange a posting on the Multiple Listing Service, create online picture galleries, hire a stager, set up and handle viewings, run open houses, and handle negotiations.
The reason: “I pride myself on the level of service I’m able to provide to my clients. I like how this job allows me to be creative, and really focus on the ways I can help. This is a full-service job, and I’m literally working all the time. If I’m at a family function, I’ll have my phone with me.”
The representative: Mayur Arora of Oneflatfee.ca, Surrey, B.C.
The deal: For $649, Mr. Arora will post any house in the province on MLS. If sellers want additional services, they can buy them à la carte – a lawn sign costs $100; professional photos, $149; handling negotiations, $500. If a seller decides to go the full-service route, it costs $4,999.
The reason: “We offer the best of both worlds – selling on your own and they can also be on the MLS. Without MLS, it’s hard to sell. But if they do it this way, they can offer some sort of commission to the agent that finds a buyer.”
The representative: Mike Shanks, Propertyguys.com, Waterloo, Ont.
The deal: Propertyguys.com helps owners sell their homes without an agent. The basic package gets sellers a lawn sign, a listing on the website and access to local representatives who will point sellers toward additional resources if they have questions. It also offers a more robust package at $3,500 that includes traditional advertising, photo galleries, lawn signs and more hands-on help with things such as staging.
The reason: “We’ve been proving for 14 years that you don’t need the MLS to sell a property, you need product placement and exposure. We do that at a low cost, and leave people in control of their own situations.”