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Online realty adds more bait to hook

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Guest | 27 Mar 2013, 05:04 PM Agree 0

"The industry has long been ripe for revolution,” says UnRealty CEO Anthony Deonarain. “Agent commission fees are the highest in history, and they haven't changed in the past 30 years, despite real estate prices tripling or quadrupling during that time."
That revolution, likely to rile Realtors, is based on the increasingly successful model of other online realties such as, which appeal to the growing number of sellers and buyers looking for a way around the traditional commission structure.
The move is also supported by ongoing legal wrangling that further opened MLS system.  
In UnRealty’s case, it’s using rebates and cash-backs as bait.
For buyers, UnRealty reduces commissions earned by their own buyer agents from sellers by 50 per cent, in turn giving that money to the buyer in the form of a cash-back.
Sellers are, in fact, being charged a fixed fee, “irrespective of their home's value,” according to Deonarain.
He’s also touting the realty’s Buyer Representation Agreement (BRA) that “does not contain certain commission clauses that other brokerages use on the Ontario Real Estate Association's (OREA) standard forms.”
According to Deonarain, that OREA BRA forces buyers to pay any deficiency in commission that the brokerage receives, meaning “the entire commission if no commission is collected.”
Still, traditional real estate agents across Canada are showing increased flexibility in their own pricing structures as the market continues to cool and pressure from online players builds.
  • Jow | 28 Mar 2013, 07:15 PM Agree 0
    and where is it that this brokerage is doing anything new worth mentioning? oh please...

    Have all doctors and lawyers compete and drop their prices. Realtors such as these should leave the business!
  • Doug | 28 Mar 2013, 07:38 PM Agree 0
    Interesting! How long should it take for Seller's to catch onto this and realize they have lost control of the process? Could be a hole in the business model?
  • JenniferS | 28 Mar 2013, 08:03 PM Agree 0
    Couple of thing:
    Where is Mr Deonarain getting the information that commissions are higher than ever? Is it percentage wise? In terms of dollars? I am skeptical of this claim.
    The OREA BRA does indeed include that clause, but many Realtors scrap it, or place a zero dollar amount.

    Competition is great indeed, but it sure is bothersome when the competition is able to make unsubstantiated claims to further confuse the public about a subject they are already terribly confused about. Meanwhile, Realtors, being bound to an incredibly strict code of ethics and complex legislation, are not even legally supposed to advertise a short form of their first name, let alone make baseless claims about their competition.
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