Beware of the real estate agent that promotes question #6…

This guy's "premium" marketing is probably his yard sign!

This guy’s “premium” marketing is probably his yard sign!

I was recently at a listing presentation (successful!) for a downtown condo, and one of the questions the seller asked me was “How often do you sell your own listings by bringing the buyer?”. I’m familiar with the questions that any buyer or seller should ask their prospective new Realtor (just Google “10 things to ask your Realtor”), but this is the one that you should think twice about if you think you know the answer. I believe it’s usually question #6. 🙂

About 1-2 of the listings I sell every year, I double end. Formally, this is called “dual agency”, where you represent both the buyer and the seller. Some real estate agents remark on how they sell 25% or more of their own listings. 25%??!! Sounds impressive right? But is it?

There are over 1200 Realtors in the Greater Victoria area, and as you would expect, the majority of the Realtors that list a property for sale reside and work in the area. A few real estate agents are from Vancouver or up island, but it’s fair to say the vast majority are from right here in the Garden City.

I market my properties locally on MLS just like every other Realtor in Victoria, but also in the Times Colonist, and on my various multitude of website domains (everything from to to Throw in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Sotheby’s Realty (.ca and .com). I also take part in substantial marketing campaigns in the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald and Homes and Land Magazine, among others. I’m all over social media, radio and soon TV. I spend a lot of money to attract buyers, and it works.

My goal for my client, as the Realtor they hire, is to secure the highest offer for their home, from the most qualified buyer, from ANYWHERE in the world. And from my experience, virtually all qualified buyers have a Realtor. Whether from Victoria, Vancouver or mainland China, I often get the call from their Realtor first.

My point is… if a Realtor claims to be double ending 25% or more of their own listings, are they doing their seller any justice? Are they only advertising locally (just a yard sign or MLS listing?!), so only to attract local buyers from the area, which arguably wouldn’t be the highest offer for their home if marketed properly? If that Realtor would of marketed that home and spent some good money on getting exposure, wouldn’t that of been better for the seller as to attract a wider audience and perhaps even multiple offers? How many tens of thousands of $ are lost by the seller?

So think twice about the Realtor that has a high percentage of dual-agency sales – in the best interest of you, as the seller, you can expect to overwhelmingly do better with the Realtor that proudly states they sell only a handful of their own listings by bringing the buyers, and the remaining 98% of buyers are brought by the marketing and networking they do to attract the best offer for their seller’s home from the other buyers of the 1199 Realtors in Greater Victoria alone.