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scliffe Aug 9th 2009 12:06 am

realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 
Realtors have a strange concept of their importance on this continent.
Their relationship with their vendors can be quite creepy and bounds people with weird concepts of loyalty
Equally people seem happy to part with vast sums of money in using Canadian realtors

My girlfriend used to be an estate agent in England prior to the crash. Typically the fee to sell a house used to be around 1.5% on the final selling price
Also remax did not take off in England after breaching rules, annoying the ombudsman and basically ripping off vulnerable people.

We have a great Canadian friend here who has just sold her townhouse. She had difficulty in getting viewings and her realtor really was not working for her. She would not change her realtor though in case he would take away her loyalty to him after using him in the past and securing a "great deal" from him on this sale.
Its a weird concept like apartment loyalty cards psychologically making you think that as a customer you must be loyal to the store else you miss out
Our friend feels she must be totaly loyal to her realtor to get a great deal.
Its like some stepford brainwashing experiment but this is the power these people seem to wield. one realtor suggests that she is your professional financial life expert when clearly she looks more like a clone of Sarah Palin together with the thousand yard stare!



When you look at realtors and the cheesy newspaper adverts heralding their overblown expertise.......One must ask who in their right mind would employ these people at the prices they command to sell your house its a joke and ultimately as we all hate estate agents........would an English system of selling houses work and provide greater value for money for the customer ....Thoughts please!

dbd33 Aug 9th 2009 12:11 am

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 

Originally Posted by scliffe (Post 7825669)
Realtors have a strange concept of their importance on this continent.
Their relationship with their vendors can be quite creepy and bounds people with weird concepts of loyalty
Equally people seem happy to part with vast sums of money in using Canadian realtors

My girlfriend used to be an estate agent in England prior to the crash. Typically the fee to sell a house used to be around 1.5% on the final selling price
Also remax did not take off in England after breaching rules, annoying the ombudsman and basically ripping off vulnerable people.

We have a great Canadian friend here who has just sold her townhouse. She had difficulty in getting viewings and her realtor really was not working for her. She would not change her realtor though in case he would take away her loyalty to him after using him in the past and securing a "great deal" from him on this sale.
Its a weird concept like apartment loyalty cards psychologically making you think that as a customer you must be loyal to the store else you miss out
Our friend feels she must be totaly loyal to her realtor to get a great deal.
Its like some stepford brainwashing experiment but this is the power these people seem to wield. one realtor suggests that she is your professional financial life expert when clearly she looks more like a clone of Sarah Palin together with the thousand yard stare!



When you look at realtors and the cheesy newspaper adverts heralding their overblown expertise.......One must ask who in their right mind would employ these people at the prices they command to sell your house its a joke and ultimately as we all hate estate agents........would an English system of selling houses work and provide greater value for money for the customer ....Thoughts please!


If you have a house to sell and don't like the fee a real estate agent will charge to list it use one of the "for sale by owner" services such as The Property Guys.

Auld Yin Aug 9th 2009 2:29 am

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 
It's totally wrong to consider that your friend's loyalty is an across-the-board situation. Personally it has not been my experience that vendors have much, if any, such loyalties. Most people, if R/E agent not working sufficiently hard, will drop them at the expiration of the listing.
The selling fee is negotiable and while I don't have much time for R/E agents in general, some of them work very hard and maintain very unsociable hours.
I'm interested to know what is the British system other than lower selling commissions. What does a UK R/E agent do/not do that a Canadian one does/does not?

Alan2005 Aug 9th 2009 3:00 am

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 

Originally Posted by Auld Yin (Post 7825866)
It's totally wrong to consider that your friend's loyalty is an across-the-board situation. Personally it has not been my experience that vendors have much, if any, such loyalties. Most people, if R/E agent not working sufficiently hard, will drop them at the expiration of the listing.
The selling fee is negotiable and while I don't have much time for R/E agents in general, some of them work very hard and maintain very unsociable hours.
I'm interested to know what is the British system other than lower selling commissions. What does a UK R/E agent do/not do that a Canadian one does/does not?

Typically commissions in the UK are 1.5% or so of sale, but they don't do the legal side. That's done by a lawyer and is a fixed price. The biggest single cost for the purchaser is usually stamp duty which goes in stages up to 4% max.

Sorry if you know this already.

For me the days of both should be numbered - the internet provides enough information for buyers and sellers and the legal stuff is just a process that can be followed by anybody. Probably the only reason they still exist is that they are a 'profession' protected by the government through legistaltion.

Auld Yin Aug 9th 2009 3:28 am

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 

Originally Posted by Alan2005 (Post 7825904)
Typically commissions in the UK are 1.5% or so of sale, but they don't do the legal side. That's done by a lawyer and is a fixed price. The biggest single cost for the purchaser is usually stamp duty which goes in stages up to 4% max.
So other that the commission rate there really is no different because R/E agents don't do the legal here

Sorry if you know this already.

For me the days of both should be numbered - the internet provides enough information for buyers and sellers and the legal stuff is just a process that can be followed by anybody. Probably the only reason they still exist is that they are a 'profession' protected by the government through legistaltion.

I doubt the legal process can be followed by just anyone. For the most part title transfer is reasonably straightforward but many persons do not possess the wherewithal to understand and read title searches where problems are uncovered such as outstanding/undischarged encumbrances. Legal fees are negotiable, certainly in Ontario.

Cookie Aug 9th 2009 3:30 am

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 
Our realtor couldn't do enough for us. I first met her on our reccie 4 months before we moved. They regularly sent homes for sale via email. On the day we emigrated to NS, she even bought a cat litter and tray for us and delivered it to our temp accommodation (not arranged through them) and refused money.

It wasn't until 5 weeks later we saw the house for us. During that time our realtor drove us around showing homes and told us lots about the local area. We received all the info we needed as newcomers.

On the day we bought our home, it was a done deal by 9pm that very same night. Because we bought our home outright, our total fees were approx $300 to our lawyer, around $300-$400 for our survey, and no realtor fees :-)

I think I am right in saying that in Canada, homes can be advertised with one realtor company, but any realtor can sell it and collect the commission.

What I noticed as being different here is that Realtors show you around the homes, the owners always go out.

Alan2005 Aug 9th 2009 3:52 am

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 

Originally Posted by Auld Yin (Post 7825932)
I doubt the legal process can be followed by just anyone. For the most part title transfer is reasonably straightforward but many persons do not possess the wherewithal to understand and read title searches where problems are uncovered such as outstanding/undischarged encumbrances. Legal fees are negotiable, certainly in Ontario.

Agreed - but you should be able to do it yourself if you wish (if you botch it you've only got yourself to blame tho)

Auld Yin Aug 9th 2009 3:59 am

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 

Originally Posted by Cookie (Post 7825933)
Our realtor couldn't do enough for us. I first met her on our reccie 4 months before we moved. They regularly sent homes for sale via email. On the day we emigrated to NS, she even bought a cat litter and tray for us and delivered it to our temp accommodation (not arranged through them) and refused money.

It wasn't until 5 weeks later we saw the house for us. During that time our realtor drove us around showing homes and told us lots about the local area. We received all the info we needed as newcomers.

On the day we bought our home, it was a done deal by 9pm that very same night. Because we bought our home outright, our total fees were approx $300 to our lawyer, around $300-$400 for our survey, and no realtor fees :-)
R/E fees are paid by the vendor
I think I am right in saying that in Canada, homes can be advertised with one realtor company, but any realtor can sell it and collect the commission.
That is correct but the commission is split 50-50 between listing and selling agents
What I noticed as being different here is that Realtors show you around the homes, the owners always go out.

Not always the case. It may be recommended by the agent but not always practical for the vendor

MB-Realtor Aug 9th 2009 3:59 pm

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 
Here is a previous thread on what a Canadian Realtor (me) does:-


http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=527544


The major differences between the UK and Canada.

1) It is illegal in Canada to deal in real estate for a third party unless you are licensed, you must pass exams and be licensed by your Provincial Government. Real estate transactions are governed by many different laws and regulations.

2) The Realtor writes up the contract of sale, which is binding on both parties and not the lawyers. The lawyers ensure that the contract as written by the Realtors is processed correctly, deal with the title transfer and the mortgage.

3) Realtors, from different brokerages, co-operate in the sale process.

It is a system that has been in place since the early 1900's, its a system that works, and its a system that is being continually improved and regulated to further protect both buyer and seller.

Tangram Aug 9th 2009 4:16 pm

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 

Originally Posted by Cookie (Post 7825933)
Our realtor couldn't do enough for us. I first met her on our reccie 4 months before we moved. They regularly sent homes for sale via email. On the day we emigrated to NS, she even bought a cat litter and tray for us and delivered it to our temp accommodation (not arranged through them) and refused money.

It wasn't until 5 weeks later we saw the house for us. During that time our realtor drove us around showing homes and told us lots about the local area. We received all the info we needed as newcomers.

On the day we bought our home, it was a done deal by 9pm that very same night. Because we bought our home outright, our total fees were approx $300 to our lawyer, around $300-$400 for our survey, and no realtor fees :-)

I think I am right in saying that in Canada, homes can be advertised with one realtor company, but any realtor can sell it and collect the commission.

What I noticed as being different here is that Realtors show you around the homes, the owners always go out.

I'd like to know how you feel about it when you are selling. The experience can be a different kettle of fish when you are struggling to sell, instead of when you wash up on these shores with a wad of cash to buy a house and the R/E is merely showing you around a lot of houses within your criteria - obviously in this situation, your R/E is getting the commission from the sellers R/E.

Auld Yin Aug 9th 2009 4:56 pm

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 
It is illegal in Canada to deal in real estate for a third party unless you are licensed, you must pass exams and be licensed by your Provincial Government. Real estate transactions are governed by many different laws and regulations.

So, are UK realtors not licensed or "educated".

Alan2005 Aug 9th 2009 5:24 pm

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 

Originally Posted by Auld Yin (Post 7827060)
It is illegal in Canada to deal in real estate for a third party unless you are licensed, you must pass exams and be licensed by your Provincial Government. Real estate transactions are governed by many different laws and regulations.

So, are UK realtors not licensed or "educated".

No - that's why you use a lawyer. And you use your own lawyer if you have any sense - you don't use one recommended by the estate agent (same goes for mortgage brokers / surveyors). I'd apply the same logic in Canada wherever it applied - I wouldn't trust a realtor to recommend someone to do the building survey (or whatever they call it here).

gibsonslanding Aug 9th 2009 5:25 pm

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 

Originally Posted by Auld Yin (Post 7827060)
It is illegal in Canada to deal in real estate for a third party unless you are licensed, you must pass exams and be licensed by your Provincial Government. Real estate transactions are governed by many different laws and regulations.

So, are UK realtors not licensed or "educated".

NO, they are neither licenced or quite honestly educated either....in my many years of experience in buying and selling many, many house in the UK, the whole UK system is just dreadful...liars, cheats, dishonest estate agents....so, do not mistake my 'take' on the UK market in any other way...

here in canada, very different with realtors. yes, they might be seen as being 'loyal' to you and your needs but actually, at least they do show you a modicum of honesty, they do do the donkey work and they are, most importantly, accountable.

jimf Aug 9th 2009 5:41 pm

Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here
 

Originally Posted by Alan2005 (Post 7825904)
Typically commissions in the UK are 1.5% or so of sale, but they don't do the legal side. That's done by a lawyer and is a fixed price. The biggest single cost for the purchaser is usually stamp duty which goes in stages up to 4% max.

Sorry if you know this already.

For me the days of both should be numbered - the internet provides enough information for buyers and sellers and the legal stuff is just a process that can be followed by anybody. Probably the only reason they still exist is that they are a 'profession' protected by the government through legistaltion.

I agree with you.

Now and again Realtors come up with lists of what they do in Canada. I've not seen anything remotely close to justifying 5% commission on a sale. If it is 5% thats $30,000 for a $600,000 house - I'd be interested to see a breakdown of activities and costs to justify that.

I think it is worthwhile having regulation for businesses undertaking legal aspects of the transaction. In the UK, or England at least don't know about Scotland, that could be a lawyer or a licensed conveyancer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licensed_Conveyancer

The cost of this part of the transaction is relatively small and its easy enough to get fixed fee quotes for this. In my experience the lawyers/conveyancers charge fees in bands in relation to the value of the house. The proportion of the fee to the house value falls with increasing house values.

I've not really followed it but there was a proposal to introduce regulation to the estate agent industry in the UK. Last I had heard it had been dropped which is a good thing. It would just add costs to the customer without adding any value. Essentially it's a sales and marketing operation which needs no regulation. It would also add artificial barriers to entry to new entrants to the market, again elevating prices for the customer.

SarahBC Aug 9th 2009 7:50 pm

Selling Houses Yourself!
 
Hi,

I just wanted to add that many people do sell their own homes.

Our previous home was listed with a realtor for 6 months. When his contract expired, we counted up the 5 (whoopee) viewings and realised he'd only brought one of them - the others came via other realtors. If the house had sold on MLS it would likely have been through the effort of another realtor, not the listing realtor.

We then marketed our house privately, and sold it.

However, what we've learnt though this process is that it's the solicitors who make the difference.

We found an effective solicitor who guided us through the process.

We used a realtor to help us find a new home (because it was in a town we didn't know that well).

He was a ok-guy. Not too spivvy, however, even he seemed guilty of the following behaviour:

(This is all my opinion - apologies to the honest-guy realtors who don't do these!)

1. Realtors avoid showing certain properties if commission is at stake. We tried long and hard to be shown properties marketed by One-Percent Realty - but were put off in a number of vague ways.

2. Realtors don't believe in the British practise 'bunging in a low offer'. I offered $40,000 under the asking price on a house in 2008. The realtor argued it was inappropriate and I had to virtually put a pen in his hand to write the offer. (It wasn't accepted, but eventually sold for less in 2009 - so ha-ha).

Regarding the legal implications of buying a house, our realtor didn't contribute much to this. Our new house is in an area of form coal mining. We researched with the solicitor whether our house was imminently going to disappear down the air shaft on our property. The survey we purchased suggested not.

The realtor industry in North America will carry on, just as it has in recent decades. There is no way to overcome the fixed mindset of the existing system. However, I agree with the the point made previously that the internet is changing the process.

Thats my rant over!

Sarah


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