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

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

Old Aug 12th 2009, 12:00 am
  #61  
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by Rob_999 View Post
The system is set up by realtors for realtors. When I come to sell it'll be listed by owner with a flat rate commission offered as carrot for the buying agents, or a discount in price for those with no buying agent....
And I still wouldn't buy from you, because I'm not protected.

I have sold 2 and bought 3 homes in Van.

Here's what my agent did:

-get strata minutes for condos (not always as easy as it sounds)
-get comparables for the area
-get comparables for the building
-advised which buildings to avoid (he told us to avoid certain buildings that have since been condemned by the city and undoubtedly saved us $$$$$thousands)
-on the last purchase, negotiated with 5 middle aged Italian siblings, who had rejected a bunch of offers, who were selling their mother's home, down $80k
-on first sale, we were having trouble getting the strata minutes from the manager (who was also the developer - long story) and the realtor's wife sat in her office for TWELVE HOURS and refused to leave until she got them in her hand (HA!)
-did viewings
-booked appointment for viewings when we were buying

That's just off the top of my head.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 12:10 am
  #62  
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
He has a billboard in Mississauga, on Erin Mills Parkway I think, there or Trafalger Rd. He also has a house for sale on highway 10 north of Orangeville with a huge billboard of himself. No offer of Jiffy Lubing on either of those.
This one was on Winny Churchill between Eglinton and Britannia made me cringe every night. Sometimes took the more painful 401 route to avoid it !!

Last edited by Buchan6; Aug 12th 2009 at 12:13 am.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 12:11 am
  #63  
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
And I still wouldn't buy from you, because I'm not protected.

I have sold 2 and bought 3 homes in Van.

Here's what my agent did:

-get strata minutes for condos (not always as easy as it sounds)
-get comparables for the area
-get comparables for the building
-advised which buildings to avoid (he told us to avoid certain buildings that have since been condemned by the city and undoubtedly saved us $$$$$thousands)
-on the last purchase, negotiated with 5 middle aged Italian siblings, who had rejected a bunch of offers, who were selling their mother's home, down $80k
-on first sale, we were having trouble getting the strata minutes from the manager (who was also the developer - long story) and the realtor's wife sat in her office for TWELVE HOURS and refused to leave until she got them in her hand (HA!)
-did viewings
-booked appointment for viewings when we were buying

That's just off the top of my head.
All very well - but I own a single family home so no strata and I'm not a crazy Italian!

You could still buy from me through a realtor - but you will be paying for it (I'd accept a lower offer from someone without a realtor as there would be no commission to pay)..

End of day it's your choice and you're paying for that service.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 12:17 am
  #64  
 
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
And I still wouldn't buy from you, because I'm not protected.

I have sold 2 and bought 3 homes in Van.

Here's what my agent did:

-get strata minutes for condos (not always as easy as it sounds)
-get comparables for the area
-get comparables for the building
-advised which buildings to avoid (he told us to avoid certain buildings that have since been condemned by the city and undoubtedly saved us $$$$$thousands)
-on the last purchase, negotiated with 5 middle aged Italian siblings, who had rejected a bunch of offers, who were selling their mother's home, down $80k
-on first sale, we were having trouble getting the strata minutes from the manager (who was also the developer - long story) and the realtor's wife sat in her office for TWELVE HOURS and refused to leave until she got them in her hand (HA!)
-did viewings
-booked appointment for viewings when we were buying

That's just off the top of my head.
Sounds like your experience with realtors has been good. I personally would like to have a real choice of using one or not - however, as a purchaser you are kind of forced into it. This is hardly the free market in action.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 12:23 am
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by Rob_999 View Post
but in BC you can only get licensed as a realtor if it's your sole profession
That's actually shocking. I'm guessing this nasty piece of legislation is really there because it stops people just doing the realtor exams to avoid paying the commission (although the reason given will be that it protects buyers in some mysterious way)
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 12:25 am
  #66  
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
And I still wouldn't buy from you, because I'm not protected.

I have sold 2 and bought 3 homes in Van.

Here's what my agent did:

-get strata minutes for condos (not always as easy as it sounds)
-get comparables for the area
-get comparables for the building
-advised which buildings to avoid (he told us to avoid certain buildings that have since been condemned by the city and undoubtedly saved us $$$$$thousands)
-on the last purchase, negotiated with 5 middle aged Italian siblings, who had rejected a bunch of offers, who were selling their mother's home, down $80k
-on first sale, we were having trouble getting the strata minutes from the manager (who was also the developer - long story) and the realtor's wife sat in her office for TWELVE HOURS and refused to leave until she got them in her hand (HA!)
-did viewings
-booked appointment for viewings when we were buying

That's just off the top of my head.

My experience with buyers agents is that each time I found a property of interest he got lost on the way, by the time he turned up at the one we finally bought we'd made a verbal deal with the vendor. Sociable chap and I wasn't paying him so I don't begrudge his income but, in practical terms, useless.

Much better was a lawyer I called when we were looking at a fsbo property. He charged a flat fee for his time which was primarily spent educating us on possible issues but also on running down the zoning regulations for the property in question. I liked the idea of paying someone directly for his skills and knowledge as I felt he was on our side whereas a buyer's agent is necessarily more interested in making a deal happen than in making a client happy. (Note that I'm not starry eyed about lawyers but better our shyster than yours).

Last edited by dbd33; Aug 12th 2009 at 12:27 am.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 12:29 am
  #67  
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by Alan2005 View Post
I... resent the fact that if you don't use a realtor when purchasing the sellers realtor gets the rest of the commission when it should in fact be discounted.
The buyer is using a realtor - yours. It is not a good position for the buyer to be in because your realtor should be putting your interests first.

There is absolutely nothing to stop you negotiating the commission rates. As a matter of course I offer regular commission rates because I expect my realtor to do a top notch job. If someone does a good job they deserve to earn. However, I always negotiate a reduced commission if the realtor represents the buyer as well. Not half, because they do need to get paid, but a good chunk.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 12:41 am
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by JonboyE View Post
The buyer is using a realtor - yours. It is not a good position for the buyer to be in because your realtor should be putting your interests first.

There is absolutely nothing to stop you negotiating the commission rates. As a matter of course I offer regular commission rates because I expect my realtor to do a top notch job. If someone does a good job they deserve to earn. However, I always negotiate a reduced commission if the realtor represents the buyer as well. Not half, because they do need to get paid, but a good chunk.
That makes sense. I don't object to the existence of realtors, it just seems that there is no meaningful alternative. Say the commission rate is 8%, this seems to be split 50/50 with between the buyer and sellers realtors; I would like the option of being able to say I'm acting on my own, i'll have my 4% discounted please and I'll pay a lawyer a fixed price to do the legal stuff.

I know this won't happen in any kind of timescale that's useful to me - however I would be totally happy buying realtor-free from someone like Rob_999 as I could just organize my own surveys and the like.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 1:51 am
  #69  
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by Alan2005 View Post
That makes sense. I don't object to the existence of realtors, it just seems that there is no meaningful alternative. Say the commission rate is 8%, this seems to be split 50/50 with between the buyer and sellers realtors; I would like the option of being able to say I'm acting on my own, i'll have my 4% discounted please and I'll pay a lawyer a fixed price to do the legal stuff.

I know this won't happen in any kind of timescale that's useful to me - however I would be totally happy buying realtor-free from someone like Rob_999 as I could just organize my own surveys and the like.
And that's the thing. Use an example vendor sells house for $400,000. Listing realtor charges $19,000 ($7,000 + £12,000) and divides this with purchaser's realtor with the result that they both get $9,500 each. Lawyers will probably charge $1,000 to each party and will, usually, have to resolve any legal issues that inevitably arise from the purchase contract. Listing realtor lists property and sits back. Purchaser's realtor (once he has the client) is guaranteed his fee as purchaser is likely to buy a property, even if it is not this particular one.

I appreciate that realtors have to pay extortionate fees to their brokerages and this is where the real costs for them fall. I know it is difficult to become established but that is true of virtually every self employed business venture.

I like the old "Realtors act in their client's best interests" argument. I am involved in 3 Actions where the realtors refused to show potential houses to their clients as the listing realtor had agreed to reduce their fee with their clients as a result of which the purchaser's realtor would have to face a similar reduction - result was, purchaser's realtor refused to bring that property to the attention of their clients. Realtors will represent the best interests of their clients so long as it doesn't affect their bottom line.

Last edited by Almost Canadian; Aug 12th 2009 at 3:06 am. Reason: Terrible maths
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 2:01 am
  #70  
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
And that's the thing. Use an example vendor sells house for $400,000. Listing realtor charges $19,000 ($7,000 + £12,000) and divides this with purchaser's realtor with the result that they both get $9,000 each. Lawyers will probably charge $1,000 to each party and will, usually, have to resolve any legal issues that inevitably arise from the purchase contract. Listing realtor lists property and sits back. Purchaser's realtor (once he has the client) is guaranteed his fee as purchaser is likely to buy a property, even if it is not this particular one.

I appreciate that realtors have to pay extortionate fees to their brokerages and this is where the real costs for them fall. I know it is difficult to become established but that is true of virtually every self employed business venture.

I like the old "Realtors act in their client's best interests" argument. I am involved in 3 Actions where the realtors refused to show potential houses to their clients as the listing realtor had agreed to reduce their fee with their clients as a result of which the purchaser's realtor would have to face a similar reduction - result was, purchaser's realtor refused to bring that property to the attention of their clients. Realtors will represent the best interests of their clients so long as it doesn't affect their bottom line.


You do have rather a biased view, as you get to see all the bad ones.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 2:49 am
  #71  
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
Stewart, please tell me, what does a Canadian realtor do that is different than a UK estate agent when they are selling the house other that complete a pro-forma purchase contract (after they receive it from the purchaser's realtor) - something that most people that can read or write can do?
Value the House, using recent comparables, plus local knowledge.

Prepare a selling strategy to include a release date onto market, open house(s) and an "offers by" date if appropriate, all these are set against the current competition, should we ask for offers before or after this or that house, for instance.

Advise on preparing the home for sale.

Decide what faults with the house need to be actively disclosed in writing, and those that can be safely left for the buyer to observe (Caveat Emptor applies in MB) getting this wrong result in Realtors being sued along with the seller.

Photos, brochure, virtual tour, web site listings etc., etc.

Put-up on MLS. ( I sold a condo today, it went onto the market Thursday, 667 e-mails were sent out direct to interested buyers, offers where tonight, my marketing and the MLS generated multiple offers, resulting in a selling price of 5% above list price. There is an exact same condo in the development (maybe a little nicer as it has a deck) it has been for sale by owner for 5 weeks and they are asking less then our original list price, but they don't want to deal with a Realtor?????).

Fit a Key Safe acessable only by Realtors, it will also tell me who has been into the property and when.

Liaise with other Realtors and the client about showing times.

Get feedback after a showing.

If the property fails to sell look at all the options, the competion etc., do a new valuation etc.

Upon receipt of Offers go over them with the client. Though it is a `fill in the blanks`` Form what goes into those blanks are very important, and it is up to me to explain the clauses, their meanings, and their possible repercussions on the sale, and the aftermath of the sale if a condition survives closing.
For instance in a clause if the words ``sole and absolute discretion`` appeared what effect does that have on that clause compared to it not being there. Or perhaps the sellers boyfriend (they are Gay) has been living with him for 3 years, Can this have an effect on the Sale.
So I have to be able to interpret the clauses written in by other Realtors, be current with the applicable laws that govern the sale of real estate, and to be able to explain this to my client. (This is a major area the UK Estate Agents do not do). It is often failures in these areas that result in Realtors getting sued. Negotiate the offer(s) to get a better deal for the client, be that more money, a condition(s) excluded or amended, a different possession date, all then written-up correctly to form a contract binding on both parties.

If there are conditions I will follow-up to make sure that the conditions are satisfied on time, so that the sale is not voided. Ensure a correct paper and signature trail, If there are problems I have to deal with them.


This is all normally BEFORE a lawyer has been involved. Once all the conditions have been satisfied and the contract is firm, it is passed onto the Lawyers to deal with title transfer and the mortgage.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 3:12 am
  #72  
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by MB-Realtor View Post
Value the House, using recent comparables, plus local knowledge.

Prepare a selling strategy to include a release date onto market, open house(s) and an "offers by" date if appropriate, all these are set against the current competition, should we ask for offers before or after this or that house, for instance.

Advise on preparing the home for sale.

Decide what faults with the house need to be actively disclosed in writing, and those that can be safely left for the buyer to observe (Caveat Emptor applies in MB) getting this wrong result in Realtors being sued along with the seller.

Photos, brochure, virtual tour, web site listings etc., etc.

Put-up on MLS. ( I sold a condo today, it went onto the market Thursday, 667 e-mails were sent out direct to interested buyers, offers where tonight, my marketing and the MLS generated multiple offers, resulting in a selling price of 5% above list price. There is an exact same condo in the development (maybe a little nicer as it has a deck) it has been for sale by owner for 5 weeks and they are asking less then our original list price, but they don't want to deal with a Realtor?????).

Fit a Key Safe acessable only by Realtors, it will also tell me who has been into the property and when.

Liaise with other Realtors and the client about showing times.

Get feedback after a showing.

If the property fails to sell look at all the options, the competion etc., do a new valuation etc.

Upon receipt of Offers go over them with the client. Though it is a `fill in the blanks`` Form what goes into those blanks are very important, and it is up to me to explain the clauses, their meanings, and their possible repercussions on the sale, and the aftermath of the sale if a condition survives closing.
For instance in a clause if the words ``sole and absolute discretion`` appeared what effect does that have on that clause compared to it not being there. Or perhaps the sellers boyfriend (they are Gay) has been living with him for 3 years, Can this have an effect on the Sale.
So I have to be able to interpret the clauses written in by other Realtors, be current with the applicable laws that govern the sale of real estate, and to be able to explain this to my client. (This is a major area the UK Estate Agents do not do). It is often failures in these areas that result in Realtors getting sued. Negotiate the offer(s) to get a better deal for the client, be that more money, a condition(s) excluded or amended, a different possession date, all then written-up correctly to form a contract binding on both parties.

If there are conditions I will follow-up to make sure that the conditions are satisfied on time, so that the sale is not voided. Ensure a correct paper and signature trail, If there are problems I have to deal with them.


This is all normally BEFORE a lawyer has been involved. Once all the conditions have been satisfied and the contract is firm, it is passed onto the Lawyers to deal with title transfer and the mortgage.
Stewart

I have no doubt at all that you give exemplary service to your clients and my comments above are no way aimed at you. And you are correct, as a litigator and during my Articles when doing real estate I did see some truly shocking work on the part of realtors. I also accept that all lawyers are far from perfect.

But...... most of what you have described is also performed by English estate agents (except for the preparation of the contract and the lock boxes).

I do find it amazing how many realtors write contracts without making reference to specifics. The classic one is the inclusion of "washer and dryer" but without specifying the serial/model description. So the nice new washer/dryer that was in the property at the time of viewing is replaced by less sexy models at the time of completion. Truly shocking
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
Stewart


I do find it amazing how many realtors write contracts without making reference to specifics. The classic one is the inclusion of "washer and dryer" but without specifying the serial/model description. So the nice new washer/dryer that was in the property at the time of viewing is replaced by less sexy models at the time of completion. Truly shocking
I always take photo's during the house inspection of appliances, fixtures and fittings etc.. The home inspector also details the appliances in his report, so I've never had that problem. I also add "in working condition at time of possession" to the clause.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 1:40 pm
  #74  
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

The three biggest differences between here and the UK are:

1) Realtors deal with the contract to purchase, and pass a completed contract onto the Lawyers.

2) The whole principle of co-operation with other Realtors to form the very powerful "Multiple Listing Service" that allows us to sell each others listings. This is also slowly changing our roles to those of Buyers Agent & Sellers Agent, many provinces have already made this change so that there is a clear client relationship in every transaction.

3) Realtors have to be trained and licensed by their Provincial Governments who also oversea their continuing education (we have to take a course each year before our licence is renewed) We are also accountable by specific legislation in MB "The Real Estate Act" as well as other general laws.
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Old Aug 12th 2009, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: realtors......would a British estate agent system do well here

A very interesting thread indeed.

We had been looking at houses for a few years whilst renting, and did not employ a realtor to act for us. We just felt it easier to jump on MLS and have a look around and if we saw something we liked we'd either go to an open house or make a viewing appointment.

Most of the realtors we met were very friendly and knowledgeable. They were all happy to send us listings of properties that matched what we were looking for.

In the end, after a long, exhausting day of viewing houses we happened to stumble across a rather nice house that was being privately sold by the owners. We decided to have a look and have to say head won over heart when we walked into the place, but alas it was out of our price range.

We continued our search and a month or so later happened upon another house for sale in the same street we'd seen the other one. We'd expected the original place to have been sold, but it was still for sale. We looked at both places and the original one was still the one we liked, and the price had dropped and was right in our sweet spot.

We asked why they were selling privately and the owners made no bones that they disliked realtors, I believe "blood sucking bastards" was the exact phrase used. Obviously the chap didn't have much love for realtors for various reasons which they didn't really discuss.

We were somewhat daunted at this point, because we wanted to put in an offer, but we're first time buyers and as there would be no realtors involved we were not sure what to do. Thankfully our Mortgage Broker (Tom Hogg) went above and beyond the call of duty to help us out. Obviously he secured us a mortgage, but he also had a realtor colleague run the comparibles for the area, showed us the info and we agreed that we were getting a very good deal. He also recommended a lawyer (D. Kevin Haxell) and home inspector (Marco Ganassini) (he knew and had used both, for professional basis' and also personally for his own home - can't get a better recommendation than that!).

The offer was written up and put in, and barring exceptions (finance and inspection), and accepted. We then had the inspector come in and look the place over. He gave it an A rating, and said it was a very good house. Finance was sorted and the deal was done!

I cannot thank Tom enough, as I think he played the part a realtor would have done and that's not his major function.

From a buyers point of view it was relatively painless, and we do wonder what a realtor would have done differently for us. My guess is they would have dealt directly with the sellers/lawyers/inspectors and given us papers to sign, but I could be wrong.

I will say that we probably will use a realtor when selling as I think that side of things is way more time consuming and complex than buying.
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