I have recieved quite a few emails from people who are trying to sell their own homes lately. Some are from people who are truly trying to sell their homes on their own (or with the aid of one of those "For Sale By Owner" companies) and some are from people who have their homes listed with one of those flat fee minimum commission agencies in Toronto, Ottawa, or Hamilton.
These emails are pretty similar and I suspect that the people who are emailing me have been told to do so (and even told what to say) by the people who they have paid to help sell their home. I believe that contacting local real estate agents is a part of their strategy.
The gist of these emails (about five or six a week) is that they admire my web presence and would like me to promote their homes. Of course they insist that I "will be treated fairly", and some go so far as to offer me the 2.5% buyer's commission if I can promote their house and put together a deal with the buyer.
I know why I get these emails, it's my web presence. It's virtually impossible to google anything having to do with real estate in Trenton Ontario and not stumble across one of my many websites, blogs or articles. It's also pretty easy to figure out that my web presence is designed to attract buyers - and guess what, I do attract buyers, lots of them. I'm in the business of attracting buyers.
I don't reply to these emails, they are of no more interest to me than the ones trying to interest me in buying Viagra online. These emails, while technically are not spam, are quite annoying. Someone seems to have a template for these unsolicited emails.
I will make something clear. I am not opposed to people trying to sell their own homes in whatever manner they see fit. If someone can sell their own home and keep more money in their pockets, kudos to them. I have sold cars privately and I wouldn't expect people who own car lots to be mad at me for doing so. There are also dozens of real estate deals that take place on a weekly basis in the Quinte board that don't involve me, so a few more or less that don't involve me won't make me lose any sleep. If people want to sell their own homes or pay $199 to have it listed on the MLS by the dollar-store equivalent of a real estate brokerage, that's all well and good - more power to them. Truthfully, they are getting what they paid for, a coroplast sign and a few inches of space on a website that is on page 32 of Google.
I just don't understand why these people think that I would be interested in promoting the sale of their homes. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I have invested tens of thousands of hours and dollars building my web presence (and also the presence that the locals have come to know and love in all the print media outlets). I have built this presence to benefit my clients, the people who's homes I DO have listed. It would be very short sighted of me to offer this platform to any Tom Dick or Harry who wants to promote their own home on my websites for the sake of an odd commission cheque here and there. Why would I want to do that? Why would the clients who are willing to pay me 5% commission (and you would have trouble finding anybody who would tell you that I wasn't worth that) continue to be willing to use my services if I offered them to the next fellow for free? I might earn a cheque every once in a while, but I'd be cutting my own legs out from under me (and the clients who have agreed to pay me what I'm worth) in the long run. Seems silly, doesn't it?
So, if you are one of those people selling your own home (or trying to with the aid of a bargain basement brokerage), here's the deal - stop bothering me with your emails and I will promise not to bother you with mine. Fair enough? If you're looking for someone to promote your property, why not start with the people who you have paid to do so in the first place. Give them a call, maybe they will come around and make you a nice virtual tour or host an open house or two.