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Through the back door:
Partnership gets private sale listings included on broker site

For years, lack of access to Realtor.ca (formerly MLS) hindered the success of private real estate sales. Simply put, sales is a numbers game: the more people who see your property, the more likely you are to sell it. People who tried to avoid paying Realtor fees by selling their own home or property were at an inherent disadvantage compared to those who registered with a licensed broker. Brokers can list with the national real estate listings on Realtor.ca; private sales cannot. Rather, they could not – until now.

New Brunswick’s ‘for sale by owner’ realty pioneers, Propertyguys.com, have joined forces with maverick real estate broker Lawrence Dale, president and CEO of Realtysellers. Dale, a licensed broker in Toronto who is well known for challenging his industry’s norms, purchased shares of PropertyGuys.com and now lists PropertyGuys.com properties on the national real estate listings website, under his license.

Founded in 1998, PropertyGuys.com provides a sliding scale of services at set fees, all of which can help a property owner sell his or her own real estate. As a result, consumers can now list their properties on the national service for a set fee rather than a commission based on a percentage of the final sale.

What’s the difference? Five per cent commission on the sale of a $300,000 home is $15,000. PropertyGuys.com advertises a basic self-service sales package for $399; it’ll cost another $299 to get listed on realtor.ca – which means a home could be sold for less than $700, regardless of its price tag.

Though the deal could mean huge changes for the traditional real estate industry, a representative of the Canadian Real Estate Association is circumspect in his assessment. “Stories about new entrants or business models are common,” noted Pierre Leduc of CREA media relations. “CREA and its members believe in offering a range of services. Each consumer is unique and has unique needs, but whatever those needs may be, there is a Realtor who can offer an appropriate level of service.”

PropertyGuys.com CEO Ken LeBlanc believes the deal is a harbinger of significant change in the real estate industry. “Most people still use traditional agents to sell their properties. But as more people get used to transacting online, especially younger people, they’re having a hard time swallowing the thousands of dollars in commission fees. I think, over the next four to five years, we’ll see a shift in how people buy and sell real estate, with half opting to do it themselves.”

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