Homebuyers and sellers in the Greater Toronto Area have been stuck with an outdated model for decades, costing customers thousands of unnecessary dollars.
Home prices have increased dramatically in just a decade, meaning agent commissions have also increased. The workload hasn’t improved, if anything. Technology and access to online information have made buying and selling homes more comfortable than ever. Someone selling a home for $1 million is paying out $50,000 in commissions. That’s more than a year’s salary for some people.
Fortunately, some fresh alternatives are emerging. A deluge of new players has entered the GTA residential real estate market in recent weeks, promising changes to a stagnant industry.
However, not all disruptors are created equal, and consumers must pay close attention to what is offered to ensure they make the right choice to suit their needs.
All-inclusive services and fair, transparent fees
Justo Inc., Brokerage is the first to disrupt the industry, focusing on fairness and transparency. The Canadian-owned company offers low listing fees for sellers and large cashback bonuses for buyers. Sellers working with a Justo agent pay only 50 percent of the standard listing fee (typically 2.5 percent) most agents take. When Justo represents a buyer, they split their commission (produced by the seller) 50/50, giving a buyer thousands in cash back. We feel Canadians deserve better service and reasonable fees.
We’ve hit on something with our new model because demand is even stronger than we anticipated,” said Daphne de Groot, CEO and co-founder of Justo. “It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the industry starts to adjust their pricing, but those getting into the market now should consider what we’re offering. Otherwise, they’re just losing a lot of money.
Justo also bundles in many extra services at no additional cost. Sellers get free staging or virtual staging, 3D virtual tours, professional photography, and enhanced advertising for their listings, while buyers receive free home inspections and lawyer services. Best of all, Justo customers are under no obligation and can change agents anytime.
Justo has also just launched a new program for those seeking to purchase new construction condominiums, beginning with an arrangement with CentreCourt Developments on its Transit City 4 project. Following its massive success with the resale market, Justo is applying its cashback model to the new construction space. As with resale homes, they split their commission (typically four percent of the unit cost) with their buyers 50/50. Justo’s website lets visitors view all MLS listings and immediately see the amount of cashback bonus they can expect for each property.