by Simon Giannini
Recently, the Global TV program “16×9” aired a segment regarding homeowners who are selling their home without an agent and listing it privately as a FSBO, or For Sale By Owner.
Although it was an interesting story, it was completely sensationalized and made a number of allegations against the real estate industry as a whole, which were inaccurate or misleading, so I want to give my two cents on some of these allegations and give you my version of the “real story”.
The “16×9” segment implied that agents won’t show private “for sale by owner” homes to their clients. – The REALITY IS that some agents might not know about homes listed privately because they are NOT on MLS. But we have sold HUNDREDS of privately-listed homes over the years.
Real estate agents are scaring private sellers and using scare tactics – With over 30,000 agents in the GTA, I can’t speak for everyone but I can tell you that as a busy agent, I don’t have time to chase a seller who isn’t ready and willing to talk to me. That said, if your home is listed privately and you’re shocked that local agents aren’t bringing their buyers to you for FREE, you probably haven’t thought it through.
Imagine that you listed your 2001 BMW for sale online and put the car in your driveway. Would you expect the salesman at the local dealership to sell YOUR car or THEIR cars? It’s the same thing for agents. We will check on MLS for our clients, sell OUR homes for sale – this is how we earn a living and feed our families.
The “16×9” segment stated that real estate agents try to sabotage private sales. Let me tell you a story: a client of mine saw a home listed privately for sale and asked my opinion. We checked out the house and once we compared it other homes for sale in the area, we noticed that the asking price was at least $30,000 above other similar homes sold in the area. My advice was to try to negotiate a lower price, which in my opinion was to reduce by $30,000 and since the seller wasn’t paying commission, take off another 5%. My client thought it was fair and logical. The Seller wouldn’t budge, and my client bought another home 2 weeks later that WAS fairly priced. The private seller is still trying to sell his home.
The “16×9” segment stated that private sale directional signs were mysteriously disappearing, implying real estate agents were involved. – This is ridiculous – implying that agents are stealing the signs? Fact is, municipalities regulate and enforce signs and routinely remove signs that violate local bylaws regarding location and size. I have lost dozens of signs over the years. Welcome to the real estate business. It costs money to advertise.
The “16×9” segment referred to Realtor.ca as MLS® and went on to refer to information on a hidden area of MLS® that does not exist. The Show displayed a screen shot of Realtor.ca and referred to it as the MLS® and went on to state “…but MLS® has a hidden area reserved exclusively for agents. This agents only area has access to previous offers made on a property, information about a neighbourhood like crime rates, grow-ups, termites, things like that…” – Further proof that the producer of this segment didn’t do their homework, and doesn’t understand the industry.
Such a website does not exist. In order to do all the research and due diligence required with the typical transaction, we have to research our local Board websites, we have to check with Land Registry sites and other sources for the best schools, local companies to find out about termites; we have to do a home inspection to find out about mould, and on and on. This is what’s required to make sure that our clients are buying the right home and it’s why we earn a living.
I put in a call to Global, offering them an “insider” perspective on their story. I did not get a return call. Guess they’re not really interested in the “REAL STORY”. The real shame is that their story will affect the decisions of some homeowners, who are about to enter into one of the biggest transaction of their lives, armed with the wrong information, which could potentially cost them time, aggravation, and MONEY.
Listen in this Saturday to our Radio Show, the REAL ESTATE TALK SHOW, this Saturday 6 – 7 pm on 1010 AM in Toronto, or podcast at www.RealEstateTalkShow.ca for more . . .
About the Author
Simon Giannini is a Broker with Royal LePage Signature in Toronto, Ontario. Simon is also the Author of “Everything You Wanted To Know About Real Estate But Were Afraid To Ask”, “Buy Low, Sell High”, and “Get Rid Of Your Customers”. Simon has over 25 years experience, and is a sought after speaker and trainer for the real estate and mortgage industry. You can check out his BLOG at : www.TheRealEstateCentre.com