Discount real estate brokers – should you use one? With the Toronto Real Estate market performing at levels that we haven’t seen in many years, if ever, some sellers may be considering putting their homes on the market to take advantage of buyers looking to make moves into bigger spaces.
But with that, comes the critical decision around who you can trust and ultimately work with to sell your home for the most money possible. As you interview agents, many will bring their advantages to the table as to why you should work with them over anyone else.
It’s a competitive market and today, sellers need to be even savvier than in the past, as there are many agents competing to get your listing. There are a lot of tactics that we don’t necessarily agree with that sellers need to be aware of – the risk is too high to pick the wrong agent to represent your property in today’s hot market, because you may be out in the cold if you do.
Pricing, Pricing, Pricing
The number one strategy a discount broker is going to use to get your listing is giving you a sky-high valuation of your property. When this happens, it’s pretty exciting – trust us, we’ve seen it happen. Your dream number you want for your condo is $1.3 Million, but based on the current market, and accurate comps in your building, your condo should be worth about $1.1 Million.
If you’re interviewing agents and the majority of them come in at a list price that is close to and slightly higher than the actual market value, and all of the sudden one agent comes in and says it should be listed at $1.3 Million, your eyes are going to widen with excitement. How can this agent be so far off of what the market predicts and what the majority of the others have recommended? You should be thinking about this long and hard before signing on the dotted line.
Education Is General and Not Always Adequate
Many discount brokers treat Real Estate as a part-time career. They have other sources of income and other priorities that take up their time that should be dedicated to selling your home and getting you the most money possible.
We’ve seen listings on MLS that are from these types of brokers, and nine times out of 10, there are major errors in the listing – something as simple as saying the 1-bedroom condo that’s listed has a den. A MAJOR factor in selling your home.
We’ve also seen mistakes in the number of parking spots included in the listing – 2 parking spaces will make your 1-bedroom + den more expensive than the comps so they should be getting these simple details right.
But when Real Estate is treated as a part-time job, you’re going to be getting part-time attention for your listing. Is that really what you want in the end?
Neighbourhood expertise is also critical – what projects or developments are coming or planned for your area? Are there pre-construction condos coming that will help increase the value? Are there any city developments coming like low-income housing that may impact the value of your home in the future?
A part time broker won’t have the time to dedicate to developing relationships with builders, developers and key city workers that have this information.
Paper knowledge can only get someone so far – it’s the on the ground experience and expertise that sets brokers apart from one another.
It Might Not Be a Discount
When discussing marketing plans and the strategies behind listing your home, make sure you know your cost. Does the commission paid cover all costs?
Many discount real estate brokers pass along marketing costs to the client which ends up being a surprise to many who go in this direction.
Photography, digital tours, Facebook advertising, Instagram advertising, brochures, open houses – all of these costs add up and could end up coming out of your pocket with a discount broker.
Different Discount Real Estate Brokers Offer Varied Levels of Service
There’s no doubt that there are a lot of Real Estate brokers to choose from and each provides a different level of service. Do your research before selecting the best broker for you. Interview several and ask for references. Look at Google Reviews. Check out their Facebook and Instagram accounts – are they active and post daily, or do they post once a month about a recipe they tried. Social media can be very telling about what’s behind a good agent, and a bad one.
Think about it this way – if you’re looking at hiring two people and one says they’ll do it for free, or at a discount, the effort they put forward will represent the compensation being offered. You’d much rather have 100% of the time and attention from someone getting paid over discounted effort for discounted compensation.
Quality over Quantity
Some discount real estate brokers will say or do anything to get your listing – pricing promises, timing promises, the promise of an as-is sale without any improvements to get your more. There are all kinds of tricks out there to get your eyes to widen and make you forget that the market is the market and comps will dictate the pricing of your home.
There are certain strategies that cost plenty of time and effort both on your end and your agents end to get you the highest amount of money for your home in the least amount of time.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So, ask the right questions, look at realistic comps and don’t fall for the lofty promises of someone who just wants to get another listing up on MLS.
The risk you run is far too great to take a chance. You’ve got one opportunity to list your home for the right number at the right time, and it takes a great amount of expertise to get it right.
If you’d like to chat with us about selling your home and what the comps in your neighbourhood look like, simply fill out the form below. We will be in touch right away to set up a time to chat.