We’ll start off by apologizing. It’s not that what we’re going to say is offensive, but as good Canadians, we feel awkward about talking about our accomplishments. So, we’re sorry if anything we say here makes you think “Someone thinks highly of themselves, don’t they?”
In general, Canadians can find it difficult to talk about success. Pointing out when we’ve done something very well can come across like we’re highlighting that other people didn’t achieve the same results. As a Canadian, that feels a bit rude and we tend to prefer people who just do their jobs well, who think that is how it should be and don’t make a big fuss out of it.
The real estate industry tends to take a very different approach than this and it could be one reason why real agents are sometimes viewed with a certain level of scepticism. Constantly shouting about how great you are can make the general public wonder if its actually true.
There is a good reason why some real estate agents choose to aggressively promote their results and that’s because it is one way to stand out from the crowd when you’re working in an industry with lots of competition.
Take a look at the chart from Better Dwelling on the number of workers per real estate agents in a few selected geographies. The below can make it seem as if we don’t have as many agents per the population as other areas, but it is actually the other way around.
As of the end of last year (December 30, 2021) there were 62,687 real estate agents licensed with the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. That means that 1 out of 59 workers in the GTA are working as Realtors. In contrast, teachers make up 1 out of every 226 workers, so you’re about four times as likely to encounter a Realtor than a teacher.
If you leave the GTA, you start to encounter far fewer people working as a real estate agent. For Canada as a whole, we have 1 out of every 146 people working as a Realtor. If you pick a well-known US city like New York City (1 out of every 164 people) or Los Angeles (1 out of every 257 people), it is apparent we have more than enough Realtors to go around. Feeling peckish? Take two!
With competition, cost for services can lower, and real estate is no exception. While there is no aggregate data on real estate commissions (check out our article here on the average commission in Ontario for more detail), there are lots of discount options out there. A large number of those 63,000 Realtors are happy to sell your house for less than 5% commission.
We’re actually in favour of a range of options for sellers, including these lower-cost options. Choice is a very good thing, whether it is where you want to eat, who you want to cut your hair, or who you hire to sell your house.
Where we find it difficult, as polite Canadians, is when people equate the results they can get with a low-cost option with the results they can get if they hire us. We hope this doesn’t come across as impolite (sorry), but if you’re treating a service with varying aspects as if it is a product with no differences, then you’re making an error (sorry) and we think you should reconsider (sorry).
If you are buying a chocolate bar, then price is the only consideration. Actually, let’s be specific. If you are buying a Snickers chocolate bar, because you want a Snickers chocolate bar, and you have multiple places where you could buy it, and there is no difference in the process (in terms of proximity of the store to you, payment options, etc.) and no difference in the product (all are in pristine Snickers condition, not melted, not expired, etc.), then naturally you pick the cheapest option.
At the risk of being impolite, selling your house is not the same as buying a Snickers bar. It involves many variables and if the agent you hire doesn’t price it properly, market it effectively and negotiate it aggressively, you end up with a worse result.
We choose to work within the Keller Williams real estate company, not just because it is the largest real estate company in the world (with all the benefits that brings to us as well as our clients), but because the training and approach our agents receive means we get the best results. By best, we mean we sell real estate quicker and for more money.
You won’t see the below charts on any other real estate company’s website, because it makes them look bad. We don’t blame them, it would be awkward to put up a chart that shows how they’re second place or worse.
First off, how much do you get when you sell with Keller Williams?
Let’s look at what percentage of sale price to list price different real estate brands were able to get their seller clients. The below stats are for the last 12 months (October 2021 to September 2022) in the GTA.
We’re not permitted to actually put the other real estate companies that make up the six other firms on the above chart, but in alphabetical order, they are:
- Century 21
- Right at Home
- Royal LePage
- Sutton Group
When you look at the numbers, the range doesn’t seem that huge. The lowest place real estate brand sold for 107.95% of ask price on average, or put another way, their sellers got almost 8% over their asking price.
Keller Williams agents sold for 110.55% of ask price on average, so our clients get about 10.5% over their asking price. With an average sale price in the GTA of $1,086,000 as of September, 2022, a relatively small difference in percentage over asking translates into big money. How big?
If you hired a Keller Williams agent, you would have received, on average, $14,000 more on the sale of your home than if you hired the 2nd best firm out there. If you made the mistake of hiring the lowest achieving firm out there, you would have lost out on over $28,000 on your sale.
Sure, more is better, but how long did it take?
The next chart you won’t see anywhere else is the average days on market. Again, the below stats are for sales in the last 12 months (October 2021 to September 2022) in the GTA.
It’s not a coincidence that Keller Williams again tops this list. The longer a home sits on the market, the lower the price it receives. While a day and half between us and the 2nd place real estate company doesn’t seem like a lot, it translates to higher prices. You can bet that the bottom achieving real estate company on the chart that takes 15 days to sell also gets less money for their clients.