Video – For Sale by Owner franchises, what exactly are you paying for?

soldFor sale by owner franchises (like The Property Guys or ByTheOwner) are not exactly in the business of real estate. They are advertising and marketing agencies whose product is likely your most valuable asset – your home. They are selling a product (sign, website) and sometimes a service (advice).

And that’s OK.

I just wanted to point out that they are not realtors and they do not have the same knowledge, licensing and liabilities of realtors.

Home selling franchises have flooded into that segment of the market where home sellers have always existed – those who want to sell their homes by themselves.

About 10-15% of homes sell privately.

Selling privately is about saving commission. That makes sense. We all understand that (even the buyer). Why pay a realtor thousands of dollars when you could spend $1833+HST (upfront) or less with a home selling franchise.

A visit to the Property Guys site reveals a couple things I don’t agree with.

They claim to be “Canada’s best online listing”.  — But isn’t the MLS the best listing service?

With their more expensive packages, “Your listing never expires”. — But wouldn’t you want your home to sell in less than six months?

Those two, in particular, don’t make sense to me. And, I could go on about all the misleading information contained on their site, but as the Property Guys own site says “You’re not an idiot”. I’m sure you can see the benefits of a $5 sign from Canadian Tire and some free advice from your favorite uncle, over a dog and pony show.

There are some good tips in this video for private home sellers.

Keith Marshall is a Realtor with Prudential Grand Valley Realty, serving Kitchener Waterloo and Cambridge. If you’ve been trying to sell your home for 12 weeks and are thinking about hiring a professional realtor, please give me a call. You will save $500 with this special certificate of promise.

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  1. says: Steve

    How about simply pricing it right? Come on Keith give your head a shake. If someone is on the market for 12 weeks with you what advice are you giving them? All that “schooling” you have gone through and your best advice is “lower your price”. Why is that? Because a house not priced right, no matter where it’s listed, won’t sell.

    Oh and tell me why all the listings on “your site” are listed with Re/max and Coldwell Banker and not you?


  2. Steve

    Thanks for your comment.
    Pricing a house right is very important. Most home shoppers are very well informed. They’ve trawled through the MLS, gone to open houses, perhaps called listing agents for viewings and/or are even working actively with a Realtor. Buyers have great knowledge of what houses are worth. Pricing a house 20% above it’s market value will be obvious to almost anyone.
    Home sellers have the same information. Maybe they’ve done many of the same things as the homebuyers above have done, (they should). But home sellers also have more at stake financially and emotionally.
    I’m sure you’ll agree that we all tend to overvalue the things we love (like our own home) and find lots of faults in the choices others make. A good Realtor will help a home seller find the right price, based on what the home seller is trying to accomplish.

    You asked about the listing on my site. They are supplied by way of a Google feed and include not only Re/max, Coldwell Banker, Prudential and all other local brokerages but also property developers, builders, home selling franchises and even private sellers who are web savvy enough to get their houses onto Google. When I’m working with homebuyers, just showing them my own listings would be very limiting. As far as I’m concerned, the MLS is the be all and end all for home shopping. The listings on my site are basically “eye candy” for those thinking about buying or selling to give an idea of what’s out there.

  3. My listings have all sold.
    Steve, you seem really interested in real estate. Would it be safe to assume you’re buying and/or selling currently or in the near future? Would you like to have a chat?

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