Toronto Real Estate Tips and Advice

The Costco Realtor vs The Nordstrom Realtor

Avoid the hype – look at the details

Is the person with all the signs in the neighbourhood be your best choice to sell your home?

Avoid the underselling agent – look for the sales PSF (price per square foot)

One thing that has been coming to the forefront are the differences in agents working in the GTA.

Some are operating in a world of 1995 prices – they can sell a home in a week, over asking, but their PSF is in the last century.

What does this mean?  For the Seller, it means that they are leaving money on the table, not in their pocket.  After all its about getting the most money for your home, Isn’t it?

Here’s an example.  A condo in mid-town on the market for 1 week, sold conditionally (likely for time to look at the status certificate of the unit).  The unit is 1000 square foot with a view, listing at $600 a square foot.  View suits have been sold in the last year in the building for upwards of $700 PSF (per square foot).  That’s a difference of $100 PSF or $100,000 left on the table (given to the buyer) not in the pocket of the seller.  If I were a seller I’d be very angry at losing $100K.  The agent is happy, they’ve got their commission but that is not to goal (at least not my goal).  My goal is to get you the lost money for your home, with the least amount of stress possible.

Now this agent may be able to sell quickly but appears to be working from last century’s PSF guideline.  As we all know prices, even for condos, have increased steadily in the last few years.  Suites without views tend to go for less PSF then do view suites. 

One thing to ask your agent is how many units do they sell a year and what is their sales average PSF. An agent that has listings all over the neighbourhood, may be a great quantity of units but may be under pricing them to get them sold.  It’s like being the Costco of salespeople – large quantity, cheap prices.

I, for one. see the Holts/Saks/Nordstrom sale practices a better option for the seller.  Good quality (higher PSF), fewer sales but more in the pocket of the seller = less money left on the table for the buyers to pick up.

I’ve seen this practice with agents from very well known and unknown brokerages – don’t let the brokerage name fool you – most real estate sales people in the GTA are independent contractors – paying the brokerage to use their name- like hanging on the coattails to get some of the spoils.

Take your time, do some research, ask around.  Just because an agent has a billboard, a bus shelter sign or sends you a postcard to announce their latest “Sold” does mean that they are getting the most money PSF and the most for homes in your area.

Choose Nordstrom for service and quality, Costco of quantity and low prices.  Just because an agent has sold “X” quantity of units, doesn’t make them the best at getting the most money for Your home.