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The Toronto Real Estate Market

Bumbaclat

TRIBE Member
So far I haven't heard any reasons for using a Realtor when selling your house other than to list on MLS: MLS is a giant monopoly and listing on it, as opposed to CL / kijiji, may attract more buyers thus raising the price.
If you have any sense about staging your property, the main value a realtor adds is in being able to post your listing on mls. It's a total monopoly and it makes me angry.
So far it seems that the only value added by the realtor is for sellers - to be able to list your house on MLS. Paying a percentage of your sale to be able to advertise on some popular online database seems like an expensive monopoly.
I still don't understand why buyers would ever want to pay a percentage of their purchase to realtors.
Here is a few things a real estate agent does for you besides adding your property to the MLS.

1. knowledge about real estate law. You can hire a lawyer to cover this base but it won't be cheap.
2. Assumes legal and financial liability for the quality of service they provide to you. When you and Joe Moron hammer out your own deal you will not be protected.
3. Has insurance to protect you.
4. Has an instituted code of ethics that holds them to a higher standard than the law would. Joe Moron is not bound to this.
5. Knowledge of contract law. This is a huge benefit.
6. knowledge of the local market/laws/zoning/taxation etc.
7. the ability to accurately price your home
8. house closing calculations.

For the record I am not a residential Realtor. Where are the Realtors in this thread to defend their industry?

From what I recall, a Toronto Star ad to list a house for sale is a G note per week - although I could be totally wrong. A G note!.
This could get pricey if your house sits on the market for 6 months.


Does anyone know if any realtors would be willing to significantly lower their commission and just post the house on MLS rather than provide any other services (that i'm still not sure what they are)?
I sincerely hope not. Buying a home is the biggest purchase most people will ever make. Let's stop paying people with talent so they will go to other industries.
 
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groovespinna

TRIBE Member
For the record I am not a residential Realtor. Where are the Realtors in this thread to defend their industry?

Ive found it's best to let people dead set on selling private to find out how that goes for themselves. you'll get a sizable series of agents calling constantly, and a series (or a bit less than a series) of truely insulting low-ball offers from other cheap people.
in the end, the money you 'saved' on using an agent was surely lost in the inaccurate valuation of your home.

on to other things, why is MLS being called a monopoly on here? Ive honestly never heard anything like this ever. if I want to know about my tax return, I go to the government site (name escapes me now). I dont call that a monopoly. I call that the site which has the info I need.
MLS isnt making money. it's a localized database. all listings on one nice search. who wants to fuck with that, and why?
please explain.
 

groovespinna

TRIBE Member
Does anyone know if any realtors would be willing to significantly lower their commission and just post the house on MLS rather than provide any other services (that i'm still not sure what they are)?
there are a few that will list your place for a flat fee. google for them. good luck and whatnot.
google to find out about all the court cases they get into as well.
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
So far I haven't heard any reasons for using a Realtor when selling your house other than to list on MLS: MLS is a giant monopoly and listing on it, as opposed to CL / kijiji, may attract more buyers thus raising the price.

Does anyone know if any realtors would be willing to significantly lower their commission and just post the house on MLS rather than provide any other services (that i'm still not sure what they are)?
Well if you arent convinced of using a monopoly, where do you buy your vodka from if not from LCBO?

Agents are able to post listings for cheaper, depending on what their agencies charge. You're asking for a bottom-barrel agent though, and you'll get what you (don't) pay for: bottom-barrel service.

If you are not desperate to sell, and have a firm price set, then you may get away with a lower fee. I negotiated out sale to 3.5% from 5%, for both agents- but I also am getting the use of an amazing realtor.

*no disrespect meant to other agents on the board, of which I'm sure there are plenty and they are good*

It's a tough call but try going privatrely first. Build a website, make nice pics, post on CL/ kijiji/ by the owner, and go from there...
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
what bumbaclat said

adam, i was only mentioning the star in a supremely white hot market / area, you might be ok getting away with posting it for a week to sell fast

when we were selling our old house - believe me, i ran the 5% calculation through my head, saw the houses sold in days, and thought WTF

then decided no, i'm going to stick with our agent. SURE GLAD I DID. inevitable happened, terrible weekend rain on the open house, minor leakage in basement, etc etc. everything that could go wrong, did. we got an offer (lowball) but only one offer. worked with it, and managed to get 97% of asking, to that point the highest sale price on the street.

so in the end, i was sure as F glad I went with our agent, and for that reason I am a backer of the industry. like groovespinna said, try it privately, you'll probably fail, and end up using an agent anyways.
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
Real estate commissions can definitely be worth the money.

Mutual fund commissions on the other hand ... don't get me started!
 

Lil'Timmy

TRIBE Promoter
I just bought a house.
And I'll tell you my agent was/is awesome! She walked me through everything, didn't bullshit me at all, and is still, now, even though I've bought, helping me out.

not going with an agent, I think, is suicide.
 

madnezz

TRIBE Member
We bought our second house privately without agents on either side. We were looking to buy a place and I happened to see hand-painted open house signs on the sidewalk in the neighbourhood. Stopped by and fell in love. It was a brother and sister selling their house on a park in our neighbourhood and they clearly knew what they were doing. Lots of people were walking through, they had done a house inspection in advance and were happy to talk about the process of making an offer to them. We ended up probably paying less than they would have gotten with an agent, but they didn't have to pay nearly $30k in commission either. It was all very civilized and professional, and they left us nice bottle of champagne in the fridge when we took possession.

That said, not everyone can sell their house privately, and it has to be a great location for people to come see it. It helps if both buyers and sellers know what they're doing and aren't out to screw each other.

When time comes to sell some property, however, we will probably use an agent, only because of the added benefits of using the listing service.
 

madnezz

TRIBE Member
MLS isnt making money. it's a localized database. all listings on one nice search. who wants to fuck with that, and why?
please explain.
MLS doesn't make money? Are you sure about that?

The reason people want to mess with it is because it forces people to use an agent just to get their house listed on the site. If it wasn't a monopoly in existence to support realtors, they would offer people the opportunity to list their house privately for a set fee.

Didn't MLS sue a bunch of websites out of business for using its data to create a cool interactive map long before they made one? I remember a site called 123realestate or something like that that was so much better a long time ago...
 

bitchass

TRIBE Member
Didn't MLS sue a bunch of websites out of business for using its data to create a cool interactive map long before they made one? I remember a site called 123realestate or something like that that was so much better a long time ago...
I don't believe the Canadian Real Estate Association makes money off "MLS" - its a service provided by its members, not a database.

And yes, any company that uses the MLS data without permission will get sued. The latest is Zoocasa - which is a really cool looking system but they are scraping the data from MLS.ca and other Realtor sites without approval.

Maybe it doesn't sound like a big deal but when a seller lists their house, the Realtor is governed by federal privacy regulations, and all kinds of real estate board rules to certain standards and what can be done with the information. Just because its posted on a website doesn't mean it can be reused by other companies.

For example: A Realtor lists a house and sizes it at 2500square feet but then has to correct it to 1900square feet. He makes the correction on his local MLS and it propagates to all connected sites within the regulated amount of time. (Realtor owned sites with MLS listing searches are allowed because the providers have signed an agreement to keep the data secure and up to date). Sites like Zoocasa are a nightmare because they scrape once and then never update and don't care. I've tried to correct mistakes of my own listings with them and there is no one to help keep their data reliable.
 
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groovespinna

TRIBE Member
oh, you guys are talking about the publicly viewed advertising sites.
ya, i dont know much about those. when I list, I check a box that says 'advertise on internet' or some such and it goes to realtor.ca (formerly mls.ca, a truly bad name that caused much confusion) which I dont think Ive ever checked out.
I thought you meant our MLS. www.torontomls.net carry on.
 

jazzsax

TRIBE Member
There's also an article in the Globe today about Brad Lamb and another developer getting caught up (supposedly unknowingly) in some huge issues in the Turks and Caicos....
 

2canplay

TRIBE Member
I think selling your house privately would eliminate a lot of buyers from taking a look...likely reducing your sale price. As well, beyond the obvious effects of getting exposed to less buyers, I'd expect some people might make the calculation that if you are cheap enough to attempt to sell privately, you're probably also cheap enough to skimp on any purchases/upgrades you made to the house during your ownership. I for one, would make that leap: I'd think twice (three times?) if the house I was prospectively purchasing had a hand painted "for sale" sign out front. There would have to be very special circumstances for me to think otherwise.
 

madnezz

TRIBE Member
It's scardy-cats like you that allowed us to buy a beautiful house on the park for less than we would have if they'd gone with a realtor. Thanks! ;)
 

bitchass

TRIBE Member
I'm not against change - and I think some of the changes are needed for MLS to remain relevant BUT I have a big problem with opening the MLS service to the public.

The information on MLS can only be updated by members that are regulated (yes, the industry is mostly self-regulated but at least there is consequences for noncompliance). Incorrect information is quickly identified and fixed and there is someone to hold accountable and liable when needed.

There are standards in place in each region so that measurements and descriptions are entered properly so that fair comparisons can be made and statistics kept.

The MLS SERVICE is so much more than a website that shows which houses are for sale.

I've looked at many for sale by owner websites and, while MLS info isn't always perfect, the owner-input sites are usually a disaster.
 

Puma

TRIBE Member
well some people can buy and sell property on their own without an agent and be successfully at it. Is it for everybody??

There are people out there who work on their own cars and don't need an auto mechanic. Is that for everybody??

I would rather trust an agent who has been in business for 10-20+ years then some armature trying to sell a house for the first time.

and for the person who says that bought a privately listed house with an inspection done by the seller and thinking that was a good thing and saved 150 bucks. you should take a few seconds and think about that. there are lots of crooked inspectors out there and I personally would get my own inspector and pay the 150 bucks then to trust the sellers inspector.
 

Flashy_McFlash

Well-Known TRIBEr
If I came into a house that already had a pre-inspection, and it was by a reputable company like Carson Dunlop or something, what would be the problem?

Also, I have to say it, it's 'then' =/= ''than'.
 

Puma

TRIBE Member
I would get my own inspector even if the seller claims that their inspector was Jesus him self.
 
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