I don't like writing articles criticizing other Toronto Realtors and I wish there was no place for an article of this magnitude, I really hope that sooner rather than later our industry will clean itself up. Unfortunately that might be wishful thinking as agents continue to break the rules regardless of the fines that RECO hands out.
As a home seller, when you decide to list the home as a Toronto Mls Listing please ask if the property will be promoted on Mls as soon as the sign is erected! It's important to ask as agents are required to promote the home openly on Mls if a home seller signed for Mls exposure.
This is what agents are doing. They come and list your home, sometimes for 5% or less and they explain to the home owner that they will co operate with the buyer’s agent for 2.5% in the event that the buyer is found with another Toronto Realtor. The problem is the erect the sign on the front lawn but don't list it on Mls, and you as the client are paying for Mls exposure. The goal of the seller is to promote the home to all potential buyers; the likely hood of the listing agent already having a qualified buyer for your home is next to zero.
The listing agent is hoping that the lawn sign will be enough to solicit calls from buyers who drive by the property and may be interested in looking at your home. In the event the listing agent finds the buyer through a sign call he or she will double end the deal and earn all the commission. This method is a huge no-no! The issue is that the Toronto real estate market is hot that this method is working for theses unethical agents, the home owners are not aware that this is happening. In the event the agent does not find the buyer within a few days then he or she will then promote the property on Mls. In the intern home buyers who are working with buyer agents drive by and spot the subject property through the lawn sign, they do the correct thing and call their Toronto Realtor to inquire about it, but because the property is not displayed on Mls others Realtors are not aware that A the home is for sale and B they don't know what the property features are.
This poses a great issue for all Toronto Realtors and especially for the home owner whose agent is practicing this method, as potential buyers are out there and can't find the listing. In turn there could be more than 1 or 2 buyers that interested in your home but because the buyers don't have access to it you as the home seller could be missing out with multiple buyers bidding for your home! This in turn equals to less money for your house.
As a home seller if you could attract more than one buyer and create a multiple offer situation for the property that's the ideal position to find you in. That won't happen if prospective buyers are not aware the home is listed.
Realtors who practice this method without the clients knowledge is only looking out for his or her own interests and not their principle. It's a shame that home sellers are subject to this behavior as all Toronto real estate agents must do their part and conduct themselves accordingly for the best interests of our clients.
After all it's our obligation to practice ethically, and it's our duty to protect our clients!