Looking to Buy or Sell your Home? These websites are a must.
Typical commission paid is 2.5% of the selling price to the listing agent and 2.5% to the buyer’s agent. It is not uncommon for these commissions to be negotiated to something much less especially in a hot real estate market where properties sell quickly.
It is a great idea to have three competing agents present their listing packages to you before you make a decision to sell your home. Each one should provide a free home market evaluation as well as detail added services they will provide that may separate them from the completion such as free home staging, open house schedule, a budget for advertising, extra paid staff to offer assistance or just simply a no frills low commission strategy.
“Anyone who has even a passing interest in the real estate market has seen or heard the term MLS®. But few consumers know exactly what MLS® is, or understand the important role it plays in the real estate industry. The MLS® system, also known as the Multiple Listing Service® is a complex information-sharing and cooperative marketing network created by REALTORS® found at Realor.ca, several decades ago to help the public buy and sell homes. While it is computer based today, it began as an exchange of paper listing information and photographs.
The Multiple Listing Service® or MLS® is a member based service, paid for by the REALTOR® members of the local real estate Board. The MLS® mark symbolizes the cooperation among REALTORS® to effect the purchase and sale of real estate, and is much more than a database of property information. It is the local real estate Board that actually administers and operates the local MLS® system. The Canadian Real Estate Association owns the trademark, and licences its use to Boards and Associations across Canada.
The MLS® service makes the real estate industry unique by encouraging a high degree of cooperation among salespeople. For example, if you’re shopping for a car and you visit a local dealer, the salesperson’s goal is to sell you a car from that car lot. They won’t provide you with information on cars available at other competing dealerships. In the real estate industry, the opposite is true. The MLS® service allows for cooperation between all REALTORS® no matter which company they work for.
If you are selling a property, listing with a REALTOR® who uses the MLS® service means your property gets maximum marketing exposure to all other members of the local Board. You’ll have REALTORS® everywhere trying to find a buyer for your property. It is the MLS® computer system that will provide other members of the real estate Board with detailed information about your property.
If you are buying a property, the MLS® system is a valuable research tool for your REALTOR®. They’ll input the criteria you want and generate a list of all properties that meet your needs. These homes might be listed by other REALTORS® from five or ten other companies – to your REALTOR®, it doesn’t matter. Their goal is to help you find the property you want. The MLS® system supplements the in-depth knowledge the REALTOR® has of the neighbourhood and current market conditions to help you make a wise buying decision.
The MLS® system provides REALTORS® with access to much more detailed information than you’ll find on a web site. MLS® information will include room-by-room measurements and specifics on the property condition, renovations, property zoning and rental rates. Through the system, REALTORS® can also access the sales history of a home in order to see how many times it has changed hands and at what prices.”
Caution: This site may not include all properties offered for sale in the City and neighbourhood you may be interested in and may not be the only place a consumer is searching for properties for sale. Here are a few other sites for consideration.
They offer seller packages that start at $99 upwards to including services that will list your property on the MLS realtor website.
In their own words;
“We’re not your parents’ real estate company We’re not agents or brokers. We’re something different – something much better.” Better because we can save you thousands of dollars. Better because we come to your home to show you how our program works. Better because we can take all your listing photos right when you sign up so it can go live lickety-split – if that is what you would like. Because YOU are in the driver’s seat of the sale of your home all the way to the finish line – after we share our recipe for success with you, of course! Better because – it works! With over 50,000 users already through our program and offices all across Canada, you can trust that we’ve become really good at what we do.
Our program helps sellers get their property SOLD and costs much less than using a traditional agent. Instead of commission, we charge an affordable flat fee (that’s not affected by your selling price) for a customizable marketing plan that suits your needs. You’ll get a bold round lawn sign, a detailed listing, online management tools, and lots more. And when your property sells, we collect absolutely nothing. Not a penny. Your marketing plan will include the zesty and enticing combination of local, enthusiastic and informative PropertyGuys.com professionals plus unbeatable technology and tools that has been proven to work time and time again.
Wikipedia …PropertyGuys.com Inc. is a Canadian private sale real estate, or FSBO, marketing company based in Moncton, New Brunswick. With 123 franchise locations across Canada and more than 10,000 active listings on its site, it is the largest private home sale network in North America. The firm acts as the marketing arm for people who want to handle the heavy lifting themselves, such as showing the home, fielding calls from potential buyers, negotiating price and other details
PropertyGuys.com does not collect a commission on homes sold using their services. The company is negotiating agreements to enter the U.S. market
PropertyGuys.com is a member of the Canadian Franchise Association. PropertyGuys.com CEO, Ken LeBlanc, sits on the Canadian Franchise Association’s Board of Directors as one of two Atlantic Region Representatives
like Propertyguys.com, comfree.com offers private sale services along with the ability to list your home on the MLS system. The services are very similar to propertyguys.com
If you are they type that does not like to negotiate commissions than this site may be for you as it handles the referral process and offers discounts on commission built in.
Zoocasa, an upstart real estate company owned by Rogers Communications, has launched a revamped website that aims to compete with Realtor.ca, Canada’s dominant listings site, by presenting property listings in a more user-friendly format and connecting clients with realtors from major agencies.
The website draws on the same MLS database (so far, only for Toronto) used by sites like Realtor.ca, which is run by the Canadian Real Estate Association. What distinguishes Zoocasa, says company president Carolyn Beatty, is the way it presents that data.
The site tries to make data easy to find and use by integrating information about the neighbourhood — demographics, average income, housing prices and availability — with each listing, using catchy, colourful graphics.
“We did some research on what really matters to consumers — things like size of visuals, the ability to look at a Street View of each of the listings, the way that the data is presented on the page so it’s a lot easier for people to digest it and understand it,” Beatty said. “It’s a variety of different things that we believe all, ultimately, add up to an experience that is fundamentally designed with the consumer in mind.” Consumer experience is focus of site
Zoocasa has branded itself as a consumer-oriented site that, because it doesn’t have its own agents, can focus all its energies on making the house hunting or selling experience as painless as possible for the people doing the buying and selling.
“We don’t have any sort of constraints vis-à-vis a site that’s operated by a trade association; we are strictly focused on the consumer,” said Lawrence Dale, Zoocasa’s group head of real estate business.
An example shows the neighbourhood information that appears with a property listing on Zoocasa.com. It lists everything from average income in the area to which ethnic groups live there. (Zoocasa.com)
Earlier this year, Zoocasa obtained brokerage licences in six provinces (Alberta, B.C., Ontario and the Maritimes, and it intends to get licensed in all regions eventually) and became a member of the major real estate boards so that it could access MLS listings across the country. Prior to that, it had existed — since 2008 — primarily as a search site that had arrangements with specific brokers and agents who got additional exposure by posting their clients’ properties on the site.
The company says the site had more than six million unique visitors last year.
Along with opening up the whole range of MLS listings, the new Zoocasa site will also recommend specific real estate agents in the areas where consumers are looking. The agents are vetted by Zoocasa and come from a range of established agencies, including big national names like Re/Max and Century 21 and smaller, local independents like Harvey Kalles. “We’re looking for a top agent — to us, what that means is they’re experienced, they’re service-focused, they have local knowledge in the areas that they’re purporting to have expertise [in] and they’re productive,” Dale said.Those who use the services of a recommended agent can rate and review that agent on the site.
Referral fees for Zoocasa, rebates for users
Agents can’t buy their way onto the recommended list, Dale said, and the company only makes money once an agent makes a sale.
The agents pay a referral fee to Zoocasa that is equivalent to the industry standard of roughly 35 per cent of the commission they make, which in Toronto is about 2.5 per cent of the selling price, Dale said.
Zoocasa passes some of that on to consumers by giving a rebate to those who use an agent recommended on the site. The rebate is equivalent to about 15 per cent of the commission — although some of the rebate will come in the form of gift cards for businesses such as Home Depot, Canadian Tire or Best Buy.
A house that sold for $400,000 would generate a $1,500 rebate, about $200 of which would come in the form of gift cards, Dale said.
Other sites, such as CommissionPitch, BidComHomes and iBidBroker, are already employing similar models of connecting customers and agents and putting the client at the centre of the house hunting and selling process by offering rebates, competitive commissions and having agents bid for their business.
More pressure to provide detailed real estate data
These type of sites are getting more attention as the underlying business model of how real estate is sold and what kind of housing data is available to the public is coming under greater scrutiny — largely thanks to a case launched by the Competition Bureau two years ago.
The federal agency argued before the Competition Tribunal that the Toronto Real Estate Board should allow its members to provide more detailed housing information — such as demographic data and historical pricing information — to their clients and has appealed a ruling by the tribunal, which had dismissed the case earlier this year.
Dale said if the Competition Bureau is successful in its appeal and more information does become available, Zoocasa will happily post it on its site.
Zoocasa was last in the news about two years ago when it launched Zoopraisal, a feature that allows you to estimate the market value of a given property. The service, which is run by Centract, came under some criticism from the Appraisal Institute of Canada, which argued that property owners should have to consent to their home appraisals being circulated online.
But Dale said the company stands by the feature and considers it just another way of helping people navigate their way through a real estate transaction.www.kijiji.ca and www.ebay.com
These sites offer free basic no frills catalogue listing of your home along with other items you may have for sale. Sometimes real estate agents will also list your home for sale on these sites along with mls services as an add on.
forums such as http://forums.redflagdeals.com/archive/index.php/t-1201507.html offer real reviews by actual users of these services. It may be a good idea to read these before you make a decision to make sure it is right for you.
What Would I do?
Today I would use the services of a real estate professional and engage A broker or agent with a reputable firm. This would be with Someone who I have screened, been referred to, and have listened to their listing presentation. I would marry this with the use of the above mentioned private sale companies. If I happened to find a property for sale that was not on the MLS I would ask my agent to contact the home owner to try and negotiate the purchase for me in exchange of the home owner paying my realtor a fee.
In addition I would get approved for a new mortgage using the services of a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker will offer unbiased advice, the lowest mortgage rates in the industry and professional free service. It’s free because they are paid as subcontractor by the lender/bank that you accept the mortgage from. Darick Battaglia is a licensed mortgage broker and also includes licensing and education as a Real estate broker and Canadian real estate appraiser. In addition Darick has been involved in commercial and residential infill projects and has helped build one of Canada’s newest banks known as Canadian First Bank by sitting on the inaugural board of directors. Darick’s 30 year history in the industry will help ensure that you receive professional advice like no other.