What's it like Selling Your Home with a Low Commission REALTOR®?
(Compared to the other guys.)
by Thomas Harrington
If you found this article there's a good chance you are someone looking to sell your property, and have recently found out about the various commission structures different REALTORS® can offer. I've always said real estate commissions are a topic that there can be quite a bit of ambiguity around. SO, today I will be describing the differences between working with a low commission real estate brokerage and a traditional one.
First and foremost, I’ll say that our company’s mission is to provide the entirety of services you’d expect from a traditional real estate brokerage at a fraction of the cost, so I can confidently say that we do the same, if not more, as what other brokerages do for a much lower cost - now that likely isn’t a good enough explanation so I’ll break down the differences and similarities between a low commission brokerage and a traditional one, and just what exactly we do different.
To make this easiest, I’ll answer the most common questions I get about working with me and with our low commission approach - you may find you have some of these similar questions as well.
If you prefer, you watch the video version of this blog post here.
In short, we consistently provide an extremely high level of marketing for any and all properties we list. Regardless of the price or area, we provide the full range of marketing for your home. In our 1% package we include REALTOR.ca, MLS® exposure, 50 professional photos, and traditional marketing like lawnsign and keysafe for ease of showings.
Not only do we provide a high level of marketing for a fraction of the cost, a point of pride of our brokerage is we have clearly defined packages, and provide consistent marketing for every home we list, regardless of price, style, or area. No matter what you may be selling, you’ll receive the type of marketing you’d expect to see on HGTV shows for your property. Conversely, some other companies may adjust their level of marketing based on your sale price, style of home, or location.
For those who may want to have a little extra marketing and have their bases covered, we also have a 1.5% package which offers an HD video tour, a custom social media marketing campaign, on top of ALL the services offered in our 1% package.
If that’s not enough, we do offer fully customized plans for builders and clients who may need a tailored approach.
No matter your needs, we don’t believe in locking you into any parameters, we have several packages to fit your needs and get the level of marketing your property needs, and best of all can offer you thousands of dollars in commission savings.
REVERE: - Consistent marketing - Clearly defined listing packages - Higher levels of marketing than many traditional brokerages - Flexible packages and can choose your marketing and savings
Traditional Agents: - No guarantee of level of marketing or consistent listing packages - Marketing may fluctuate depending on your list price - May not offer additional services like video and social even at the highest price points.
2 – Is my home on the MLS®?
Fair question, and the answer is a resounding YES. What about REALTOR.ca? YES. Are they the same thing - well kind of.
That’s the end of this section ,you can skip to the next if you like. However, if you’re still curious about how the MLS® works I will debunk a few common misconceptions here.
One line I want you to remember that I tell almost all my clients is; “there’s no secret sauce”. All REALTORS® across canada have access to the same Multiple Listing Service®, and the same propagated feed that makes up REALTOR.ca
Without boring you with too many technical details - essentially any given MLS® is administered by that city’s local real estate board, all MLS®’s feed into a centralized feed, which is what is populated on REALTOR.ca, which then feeds into all home search websites.
There is a bit of ambiguity around this issue as there are so many home search websites, BUT, everyone is displaying the exact same listings from the exact same feed. And yes, looking at REALTOR.ca will show you ALL listings currently on the market.
More importantly, YES your home will be on the MLS®, REALTOR.ca, and over 3000 home search websites in the Edmonton area when you list with us.
REVERE: - Your listing on the MLS® and REALTOR.ca
Traditional Agents: - Your listing on the MLS® and REALTOR.ca
(The point here is moreso that there really is only one MLS®, and this actually is part of the reason a company like ours can exist in the first place)
3 – What if I need help? What kind of service do I receive?
We are a FULL SERVICE real estate brokerage, meaning we also provide 100% of the service you should expect from any other real estate agent. Our packages ensure we provide a very high level of service consistently across any and all properties we list. More importantly, you don’t have to do anything yourself.
We’re also local agents with our boots on the ground. You don’t have to phone a 1-800 number to get ahold of someone, you get my personal cell. This also differs from sell by owner and other low commission companies where you may have to arrange showings and get feedback yourself.
On top of that we seek out feedback from every showing. Now, we don’t always receive feedback from the agents who show, but when we do we provide that valuable feedback to you. Typically I make 2-3 attempts for feedback on showings, speaking purely in anecdotes, this is significantly more than what many higher cost agents do.
REVERE: - Showings and feedback - Local agents - Direct contact and personalized service - 7 days a week availability
Traditional Agents: - May have to do showings yourself - Central phone lines etc - May not have consistent feedback system and methodology
4 – How much will I save?
Well this does depends on the sale price of your home as we use a flat percentage rate. That being said, the average customer of mine over my career has saved just over $4800 on their sale. Typically, our low commission plans will save you around 50% on the listing commission side of the sale of your home, and about 25% off the total commission when compared to traditional brokerages.
I’d recommend heading over to the commission calculator section of my website to find a more specific amount of savings for your home price.
Furthermore, we do have the opportunity to provide additional savings when our brokerage represents the buyer. This only happens a small percentage of the time, but in that scenario we are able to provide additional commission savings.
REVERE: - Average savings of just over $4800 - Potential savings on buyer agent commissions too - Significant savings over traditional agents on most home prices
Traditional Agents: - Little to no savings - No guarantee of savings or set commission plans (maybe they’ll negotiate a deal with you, who knows) - Collect full buyer’s agent commissions on double ends
5 – What about buyer’s agents? Do you have full cooperation from other agents and brokerages?
That’s the best part about our company - we have FULL cooperation with other brokerages. Why? Well, we always recommend offering a competitive cooperative commission to other agents. This simply is part of my philosophy of giving you the best and most straight-up advice. Some other companies promise savings on the buyer agent side, but these are not guaranteed, nor are they rarely an effective strategy.
And furthermore, our marketing is directed at the buyer and showing off your property. Buyers only care about the home and if it fits their needs, ultimately they couldn’t care less about who the listing agent is at the end of the day.
REVERE: - Full cooperation from other brokerages
Traditional Agents: - May encourage offering lower commissions, even if detrimental to your sale (if a low fee company or Sale By-Owner company) - Full cooperation from other brokerages if they’re a traditional brokerage
The finale: Is there ANYTHING you do different than a traditional agent?
In theory, no. In fact we often do much MORE than many agents at traditional brokerages - why? Well our business model is consistent and scaleable, which allows us to provide more services, more and better marketing, consistently for all clients
So, if you’re considering selling your home, and want to know what your home would sell for in this current market and what our company can do for you, fill out the home valuation form below, or get in touch with me at 780-918-8036 or email@example.com
About The Author
Hi! I'm Thomas and I'm your Low Fee Edmonton Real Estate Professional. Early in my career I realized that the methods of much of the realty industry were extremely dated and charged outrageous commissions. I chose to make a move that allows me to better serve clients at a much more reasonable rate. I am committed to saving every client thousands on fees in every transaction, buy or sell. You can see what my past clients have to say about selling with me below!
Information Courtesy of Thomas Harrington - Broker, REALTOR® at Black Sheep Realty. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers under contract REALTOR® , MLS® , and REALTOR.ca are property of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Commission savings are based on a commission of 7% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the balance. "Saving thousands on commissions" is based on our 1% lising fee comparaed to the traditional costs of 7/3 or 3.5/1.5. All commissions may be subject to a minimum fee. Our packages are only for Black Sheep Realty as the listing brokerage and do not include renumeration to be paid to a buyers agent, if any.
Average savings of $4800 is calculated by comparing actual listing commissions paid on 1% or flat fee packages to a traditional commission of 3.5% on the first $100,000 and 1.5% on the remaining balance of the sale price + GST
Trademarks are owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and indentify real estate professionals who are members of CREA (REALTOR®) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS®).
Our 1% listing commissions are subject to minimum charges for homes under $300,000. 1% fee may not be available in all regions and may vary, ask us for details.