Discount real estate brokerages vs FULL Service brokerages - the REAL value

Published 03 January 13 09:05 AM | Merv Edinger 

fsbo - discount brokerages - remax #1 real estate brokerage brand

Cheaper is better, right? Would you be happy with this service? So why do you trust your biggest asset, your home, to the "cheaper" discount brokerage?

Our brokerage at Re/Max Halifax real estate - Merv Edinger & Associates - houses for sale recently met to discuss the changes in our industry over the last several years & the fact that as soon as the Real Estate market shows any inkling of taking off, there is a sudden wave of discount brokerages & FSBO programs that pop up. During this discussion, the topic of value came up. This of course got our team thinking, if a member of the public asked us why we thought we were worth a full commission, how would we answer?

Of course, our sales record & stats were #1:

  • The average sale to list ratio in the Halifax Regional Municipality in 2011 was 97% for MLS® listed properties.
  • The average sale to list ratio for Merv Edinger & Associates in 2011 was 98+%!!
  • The average days on the market in HRM in 2011 was 94 days
  • The average days on the market for Re/Max Nova was 82 days
  • The average days on the market for Merv Edinger & Associates in 2011 was 58 days!!
  • 1 in 3 homes listed by a Re/Max Nova agent was also sold by a Re/Max Nova agent!

What other services do we as a FULL Service agency provide? So I decided to work on a list. Needless to say it has turned into a very long one.... Of course, it is ever changing & growing longer.

  1. Prepare comparative Market Analysises
  2. Take measurements of homes, not just for listings but often for buyers too
  3. Collect home data such as utility costs, plot plans, tax information, etc
  4. Input the data of listings onto the ( formerly known as MLS )® mls listing - remax nova - halifax homes for sale
  5. Take photos, again, not just for listings but often for buyers
  6. Prepare virtual tours
  7. Prepare & print feature sheets & handouts
  8. Prepare special feature tent cards to draw a buyer's attention to certain qualities about a listing
  9. Advertise a listing in the Real Estate Book, in the Chronicle Herald, on Kijiji, on the Real Estate Channel Eastlink Channel 13 & their affiliated websites
  10. Maintain a professional website & upload a listing onto the internet to maximize its exposure: currently linked to over 58 affiliated websites & growing daily Some of the websites our listings appear on
  11. Promoting a listing on Social Media including Twitter, Facebook, Active Rain & Linked In
  12. Host open houses, place signs & riders, & advertise the open house
  13. Keep viewing logs
  14. Provide secure lock boxes so that sellers can feel safe while while their home is on the market. Did you know that today's lock boxes actually keep a data base of who openned the lock box & when.
  15. Keep a seller upto date on market changes
  16. Knowing of new developments to areas
  17. Being knowledgeable on types of financing, mortgage rates, lending,foreclosures & bankruptcy
  18. Exploring the community information
  19. Arrange viewings
  20. Being a " pet whisperer "
  21. Child psychology to help kids adjust to a move Helping children adjust to a move - re/max - homes for sale in nova scotia
  22. Negotiating, my strength!
  23. Complete all documents legaly & correctly to avoid complaints & possible lawsuits
  24. Write professional clauses
  25. Complete due diligence, example: financing, insurance, etc
  26. Communicate effectively & clearly
  27. Understanding a client's needs. Its not always about the money. And being able to provide them with a variety of means of obtaining their goal.
  28. Market analysis for buyers on comparative homes
  29. Arrange appointments for viewings, to meet with financial services/lenders, for water tests, building inspections, etc
  30. Show homes to buyers
  31. Being available when a client needs you! This is the great thing about having a sales team of 5 members, we always have a responsible & knowledgeable real estate agent available to look after your needs, anser questions, or to arrange viewings.
  32. Advise buyers on appropriate prices
  33. Prepare amendments if required
  34. Send all documentation to mortgage reps, lawyers, relocation companies & making sure the buyer & seller have their own copies. deeds - mortgages - real estate law
  35. Negotiate in respect to inspections. Negotiations don't just stop with the inital offer. They can continue right up onto closing day.
  36. Know & be able to refer professionals as required: bankers, lawyers, lenders, renovators, babysitters, pet sitting services, daycares, schools, car dealers, car rental services, hotels, restaurants, cleaners, roofers, builders, flooring specialists, plumbers, landscapers, electricians, inspectors, water treatment specialists, septic inspectors, masons, mold rememdiators, security systems providers, cell phone services, vets, computer repairers, designers, home stagers, draftsman, surveyors, property managers, appraisers, snow removal companies, movers, home care services, just to name a few. We get calls from clients, friends & co-workers on a wide range of subjects looking for referrals.
  37. Attend closing
  38. Educated on the variety of concerns when selling or purchasing not only homes but condos, vacant land, farms, large parcels of vacant land, multi-family ( there is a big difference between buying/selling a duplex & a 10 unit building ), waterfront properties, commercial, co-ops, mini homes, foreclosures & bank repossessed properties, tax sales, crown land ( yes, sometimes even it comes on the market ), estate sales, zoning, investing, financing, septic systems, wells, holding tanks, cysterns, the variety of methods of heating, pools, building codes, structure, crime rates, septic inspections - remax nova - Halifax real estateneighborhoods, schools, accessibilty, bus routes, amenities, parks, recreation, access to fire safety, fauna, landscaping, wildlife, farming/agricultural, tax implications, where hst is applicable to a sale, green building techniques, remodelling, electrical wiring, plumbing concerns, pets, children, family law, wills, pest removel, wet land concerns & protection, bylaws, counselling, just to name a few!
  39. Land development
  40. New construction
  41. Enviromental concerns
  42. Enviromental health concerns
  43. Latest designer trends that appeal to buyers
  44. Providing staging advice
  45. Knowledge on the most upto date technology & products for homes
  46. Storage
  47. Approximate costs of upgrades/repairs New home construction - building a home - homes for sale in Dartmouth
  48. Home maintenance
  49. Insurance issues
  50. Home products with safety concerns that were used in the past & how to deal with them.


We do all of this while spending money & our valuable time marketing a seller's home & burning a lot of gas showing buyers potential properties, all WITHOUT A GUARANTEE OF PAYMENT!

Facts all sellers & buyers should know about our Halifax regional Municipality marketplace:

52% of all homes listed in the last year in Nova Scotia failed to sell.

89% of homes in Nova Scotia are sold by Realtors, including those that are For Sale By Owners.

Buyers look at For Sale By Owners & often those listed with discount brokerages as a negotiating strategy. They look at the asking price & immediately knock off 5-6%+HST before they even consider other factors that may affect their offer.

What is more important, how much commission you pay or how much you net out of your home at the end of the day?


Merv Edinger & Associates - ReMax Nova Real Estate

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