Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flat fee Commissions and al a Carte Services

CREA ratification of Competition Consent Agreement

Despite all the media hoopla associated with Sunday's vote by CREA members to ratify the Competition Consent Agreement, it will be business as usual for real estate professionals across the country.

The public will continue to access listings on the MLS system or, but any posts to the system remain firmly in the hands of local realtors. Under the terms of the new, 10-year agreement, CREA and the Boards cannot prevent or discriminate against 'mere postings' and members who offer 'mere postings.' CREA does not believe that such rules exist today-but if they do-they must be repealed or Boards will lose their license to operate under the MLS trademark.

So all in all, it's business as usual. Sure, consumers have more choices, but then again, they always have. Discount brokers have been around for years. There is a reason why the MLS system is responsible for 90 per cent of resale housing transactions in the country. Canadians rely on the full-service approach provided by the country's 100,000 real estate professionals. Regardless of alternatives, most people require the services of an experienced agent to sell their home.

All we need to do is look south of the border-where the process is similar-for confirmation of that fact. According to the National Post, "the U.S. Department of Justice negotiated an anti-trust settlement with the National Association of Realtors allowing internet brokers and other agents offering discounted commissions to access the MLS in 2008. Two years later, traditional full-service brokers still control between 70 and 80 per cent of the U.S. housing market, and the average commission has increased to 5.3 per cent of the sale price from five per cent in 2008."

In fact, NAR statistics provided by the National Post show 80 per cent of sellers use a full-service broker, managing most of a transaction from listing to closing. Another nine per cent choose limited services that include discount brokerage and 11 per cent opt for the bare minimum of just listing on MLS.

There's a story to be told here. Consumers place value on the services we provide as realtors and that's not about to change. Why? We have the knowledge and expertise to generate results. Few are willing to take chances with their most valuable asset. As Canada's leading real estate organization, we will continue to do what we do best-assisting buyers and sellers with the biggest financial decision of their lifetime.

Take a moment to look at our new marketing campaign on the critical role of a RE/MAX agent. It is easily found on This timely campaign demonstrates the value of using a professional RE/MAX agent. It should help offset some of the negative press, until things settle.

As I said, business as usual.

Michael Polzler Signature
Michael Polzler
Executive Vice President, Regional Director
RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada Inc.

So what will you do by yourself? FINTRAC / PIPEDA Fulfillment of conditions or create contracts between private sellers that have no hope to close.

Add your comments. Can I charge extra for attending at your closing and inspections?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Flat Fee Commissions; The Race for the Bottom

Consumers are absolutely entitled to the Lowest possible prices for everything that they use. Who has this slogan? " The Lowest Price is the Law" Why not Free?

If a consumer had the choice to pay $4.00 or $8.00 for the same item what would they select? If you were shopping for bed linens and you found the 400 thread count sheets at Winner's or a boutique location at Hazelton Lanes in Yorkville would your selection be any different? So every store in Hazelton Lanes should close!

But... real estate services are not packages that can be delivered off the self. The niche marketing developed by For Sale By Owner sites and the Property Guys have resorted to calling REALTORS robbers to garner your attention. They have the most to lose in this war on rhetoric. FSBO sites will be decimated by agents offering FLAT fee commissions. [why post on a website seen by hundreds when you can post on a website seen by hundreds of thousands daily.]

It sounds wonderful that Buyers can contract for services directly from Real Estate Agents. It is simple. Well Not really, Banks will not pay commissions in addition to a Purchase Contract. So although you have bought a house you cannot add the appraisal, survey, hydro meter, hook ups, development charges and real estate fee to the contract, they are expenses of the sale.

There is no commission at all....

"Quite a lot of agents are going to offer fees for service. If the vendor is listing for a fee, why can't the buyer's agent do the same? Then there's no commission to deal with at all," Mr. Andrew said. "Everybody engaging the services of a real estate agent would have to be on a contract."

The other major ramification of the agreement could be a gradually squeezing of for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sites, which could find themselves competing more and more as discount models on the MLS. That was one of the fears of National FSBO Network, whose vice-president of operations, Stephen Skelly, had argued in a letter to the Competition Tribunal that if agents list property on the MLS for a one-time fee and provide no additional service, his members would not be able to compete.
Read more:
There was the nugget; If agents list on the MLS and offer no other [additional] services. No Pricing, Presentation, Marketing, Negotiation or Transaction Management?

So if there is a mortgage or debt against the property and the owner has bills to pay... The agent has offered you CASH back post closing; where does that come from?

It all sounds great, but Real Estate is a service that some people need and some people don't. If you drive, you hate filling up. You hate gas prices, Great. Don't fill up. Don't Drive.

But if you do need to sell, you do need the services of a professional realtor, to explain your options, ensure that you understand your choices, make your decisions and complete those promises that you made contractually to the other party. We will need to book, organize and record showings, inspections, appraisals. Confirm financing. Deal with your lawyer to confirm they have received your documentation and have completed their obligations to search title, check for municipal work orders, purchase title insurance and verify taxes. Hand over the survey of the property, not a photocopy of a fax of a copy you received. You need and want my Errors and Omissions Insurance.

Your word to your bank that you have registered your mortgage properly and that the bank has a proper 1st Mortgage is not enough, they want your lawyer to sign off, with photo ID's and Passports? Why? Fraud is rampant in our electronic fast paced lifestyle.

Everything in life may be found for less from someone, But I am able to answer my own phone before the third ring, and will visit you after 9 PM if need be.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Where is IT better than Bloor West Village?

When is one location superior to another; Ok ok we are firmly in the Bloor West Village Toronto neighbourhood and comparing Beresford to Armadale or is Colbeck a superior location. Is it OK to pay this much money for Runnymede?

What about the side of the street to the west of Jane; Where does it become Old Mill? Past the bridge? On the South Side it is called Brule Gardens, the street and neighbourhood is referred to as Riverside Dr., as riverside follows the top and bank south from Baby Point to Lake Ontario at Ellis Avenue.

So a ravine lot backing on the south Kingsway, that is the top of bank called Mossom Road is a superior location. There is a listing there at 13 Mossom Road that is a renovation. An updated wiring, heating, lighting, flooring, kitchen, granite, bathrooms OH and a ravine lot.

This is offered at $885.0

I am watching with dismay as buyers are paying $ 900k plus for non ravine lots on lesser streets. How can you boycott a ravine lot in Brule Gardens?

If you would like view this property, Hurry Give me a call at 647 218 2414

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I will guarantee even Less!

While everyone with a real estate license and a pulse wants to promise you more;
I want to guarantee you less.

I will provide less drama in your life that you have ever had selling a property.
We will never argue because you have the last word.

We will have less showings because your property will be priced closer to the market value for a quick sale.

We will achieve the highest possible sales dollar.

Less showings at the right price mean more qualified buyers.

Less disappointed Shoppers as they will have seen your house on YouTube and Slideshows

You will have less discount from the asking price to the selling price.

Less time spent on fabricated stories of in completions.
Less time in your life wasted on making beds and cleaning empty rooms.
Less effort corralling the pets and landscaping.

We will have less change with price reductions.

Guaranteed less time for sale.

I promise you less aggravation.

We will spend less time with your lawyer as I will attend the closing with you.
We will waste less time seeking financing as I already have the best relationships established.

For times like this when Less really is MORE

In addition we offer a Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are at all unhappy with your purchase for whatever reason in the next year, we will sell your property for free.

If you are living in Toronto and would like to connect Call me at 647 218 2414 we can have a coffee together or drop me an email at

Maybe a comment here;

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dealing with Buyers Remorse

Do suffer from Buyers Remorse? Sorry for what you bought? Can you get a guarantee?

When Pamela Herring bought her first home she didn’t open a bottle of wine to celebrate.

“I regretted [the purchase] the day after I moved in,” she said. “I had a meltdown and hated my home for a few months.”

Herring found support with her family and friends. “My family and friends helped a great deal. My sister told me I could come visit her any time. My parents told me I could stay with them any time I wanted. Everyone invited me over for dinner a lot, knowing how miserable I was. My friends were supportive and told me of their own home buying woes. I didn’t spend much time there if I could help it. I told myself I could always rent it out and move in with my parents again if it got too bad. My dad supported this.”

And in the end, sometimes the situation improves.

Herring said, “I still have relapses. It’s been a year and I like it much better now. I tell myself I can find a roommate if I get too lonely or if I’m mad about the house itself, I tell myself I can renovate or find another in a few years. It’s all negotiating with myself, but the feelings come and go now. It’s getting better … or I’m getting used to it.”

So what do you do? I have a simple solution. Although we do a market evaluation to ensure value, I also provide a Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are unhappy with what you have purchased I will sell it for free and help you select something else that may be more suitable.

Very often we buy from a plan, then decide that its too big or too small or faces the sunset daily; Maybe the transit and commuting just takes too long, or maybe its too far to work or simply your circumstances have changed. In any of these events it would be wonderful to have a solution standing by....

Give me a call at 647 218 2414

Monday, October 11, 2010

Linking Boomers Events Toronto

Toronto This Week

Week of October 11th – 17th

Welcome to the weekly newsletter - helping people 50+ connect

to the community through events, volunteering, classifieds and meeting other people.


Mon Oct 11 - HarbourKIDS: Harvest (Free Grandparent Outing)

Tues Oct 12 - Isabella Rossellini on Voyage in Italy (TIFF Event $15-$18)

Wed Oct 13 - Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the Musical ($35-$130)

Thurs Oct 14 - Researching the News Online @ Toronto Reference Library (Free)

Fri Oct 15 - Canada's Walk of Fame Festival (Various Prices)

Sat Oct 16 - Singsation Saturday - Come out and sing Bach's St. John Passion ($10)
Sun Oct 17 - 5K Your Way ($10-$45)
View other Events at


Relay For Life Committee Posting, Canadian Cancer Society, Part Time

Customer Services Volunteer, Canadian Cancer Society, Part Time

Courtesy Volunteer, St. Joseph's Health Centre, Part Time

Administrative Assistants, Osteoporosis Canada, Part Time

View all Volunteer Opportunities at

Other News at

§ Classifieds – We have updated this section to include Jobs to make it easier

for people to find them!

§ We’re now on Twitter. We are ‘Tweeting’ a few times a day to keep you connected
to the latest events, volunteer postings, or interesting articles.

§ If you already have a Facebook account, click “like it” on the

Facebook page to stay connected and give us feedback on how we’re doing!


Looking to connect with others 50+ in Toronto for friendship, dating, travelling,

or to do activities with? Use our easy-to-use system and create a profile in
People section today!

Forward to a Friend!

We would really appreciate your help spreading the word about this free and easy-to-use
community web site for anyone 50+. Simply forward this email. Thank you!

Friday, October 8, 2010

You may need to double up on Garage Space

The New Toronto parking bylaw came into effect; you may just need to improve the functionality and space inside your garage;

Parking in Toronto just got a little more complicated thanks to a new bylaw that restricts how many vehicles homeowners can park on their driveways.

City council quietly passed the regulation, part of the new harmonized zoning bylaw, at its last meeting of the summer, CTV has learned. The bylaw took effect Oct. 1.

The law allows residents with a single-car garage to park one vehicle in the garage and one on the driveway. Those with double garages may park two vehicles in the garage and two on the driveway.

Details can be found in the online version of the bylaws. The parking section (10.5.80) begins on page 29.

One option is to look how you can double your garage space and automobile lifts.

You can raise your summer car up and out of the way, yet it is accessible within minutes for that spur of the moment Fall drive to see the colours along the 401 or Niagara Escarpment. Garage Organizers from 1st Choice Garage Outfitters can provide wall hanging systems to complete tool and drawer cupboard or cabinets.

If you are looking for ways to improve the last domain of man, the final frontier, other than adding a bar fridge and a home built tool bench, you might want to have a look at some complete systems for flooring, and wall storage. If you need a bigger garage with a house attached and would like to talk to me, I can be reached at 647 218 2414