DIY trend moves into real estate in HRM
A real estate company in HRM is offering homeowners a variety of services to sell their homes, based on a trend of do-it-yourself.
Stages Real Estate allows homeowners choose the services they want on the sale of a home, rather than take a straight commission.
Realtor Anthony MacNeil offers clients at least five ways to try and sell their homes.
The services range from a sign, to phone or email support from a realtor, to full service which includes a flat rate complete with TV ads, an agent and an MLS listing.
"The prices vary but it starts anywhere from $900 in essence, up to about $5,900 depending on the number of services you purchase."
Gillian Lisson recently bought and sold using Stages.
"If you go by that traditional five per cent, which is what most agents seem to charge, we probably saved about $2,500, which certainly buys you some new furniture for a home," Lisson told CBC News.
The standard in real estate used to be when most people sold their house, they'd pay a percentage of the sale price to the real estate company. That meant the owner of a $400,000 would pay twice the amount as an owner of a $200,000 home for often the same amount of work.
Companies such as Stages aim to change that. It's trying to capitalize on the do-it-yourself trend, now that homebuyers and sellers can access real estate information online.
"They're better educated than they've been in the past, in terms of the different business models that have always been available to them. They're just more aware of them now — which might lead to the perception there are new business models cropping up, when they've been there all along," said Roger Boutilier, executive officer for the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors.
With that awareness, MacNeil says people are asking more questions.
"What's happening now is what's being called into question in the industry is 'What am I paying for through a percentage model?'" said MacNeil. "Some of the commissions are arguably outrageous."
MacNeil said only one or two per cent of his clients buy the basic package, but even with one of the more deluxe options, money can still be saved.