PropertyGuys.com challenges value of Realtors with new poll

More than 80% of respondents polled for the survey, which was conducted by Harris-Decima, indicated they were interested in learning more about selling their home personally and were more concerned about the capital gains from the sale of their house than its selling price, while 62% said paying 5% commission was hurting their net worth.

Ken LeBlanc, president and CEO of PropertyGuys.com, said the results show consumers are starting to see that “high-fee commissions” charged by Realtors don’t make good financial sense.

“Canadian home sellers are realizing that every dollar they keep can be re-invested in their next home,” he said in a statement.

Kevin Somers, the broker area manager for Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. for Central Toronto, said he found two of the results, namely that respondents indicated their net worth is most important and that they believe a Realtor’s commission is hurting finances, “inherently contradictory.”

Enlisting a Realtor to sell a home is probably the best way to ensure that the seller gets “the best advice, to make the best decision in order to get the best possible outcome,” he told CRE Online.

“With respect to the release itself and some of the stats, I couldn’t agree more that the most important thing at the end of the day is the net to the seller once all costs are addressed. But I would say that the best way to achieve this is through leveraging maximum exposure to the market and enlisting the professional advice and skills of a full-service Realtor.”

While the majority of transactions in Canada are still handled by real estate agents, PropertyGuys.com hopes to continue building on its steadily increasing market share as it partners with more brokerages, said Walter Melanson, director of partnerships for PropertyGuys.com.

Melanson said he couldn’t disclose how much his company’s business has increased since the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Competition Bureau of Canada brokered an agreement late last year that opened up the association’s multiple listing service (MLS) to private sellers.

“I can say that our business has been significantly increased,” Melanson told CRE Online. “But as for the specifics, that’s data that were just not comfortable sharing at this point.”

While home-sellers can contact a listing agent at any real estate brokerage to post their listing on MLS.ca for as little as a $100, their contact details cannot be included with the listing.

Home-sellers who post their listing on PropertyGuys.com, however, can have it linked to one on MLS.ca.

Prospective homebuyers can then click on a link to be redirected back to PropertyGuys.com where they can get more information about the home and directly negotiate with the buyer. Without that link, Melanson said, buyers looking on MLS would have to contact the selling or listing agent.

“And what’s going to happen if you don’t have the [PropertyGuys.com] platform is you’re going to end up paying commission and probably lots of it because you’re giving no chance for direct interaction.”

An entry level listing on PropertyGuys.com is $400, but on average it costs about $1,000.

The Harris/Decima survey polled 1,002 Canadians between March 31 and April 3 and is considered to be accurate to within +/-3.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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