Canadian real estate agents are being targeted by a new website, iBidBroker.com, that would have them compete for listings and possibly lower their commissions, reports the Vancouver Sun. Sellers can post a description of their homes on the website for no charge. For a fee, real estate agents can make a formal offer to list the property for sale.
Ajay Jain, who launched the website, is a 29-year-old real estate professional who once worked in land acquisitions for SmartCentres Inc., one of Canada’s largest shopping-center developers. He said his goal is not to lower commissions. A seller might choose a person with the most experience over the one with the lowest commission, he said. “The general concept is, if agents compete, the homeowner is going to win,” he said.
The business plan calls for the real estate agent to pay an average of $30 to make a proposal to a homeowner. To participate on the site, a Realtor needs to be a member of CREA with access to the MLS. The company will require that all licenses be verified by the agent’s brokerage.
Phil Soper, chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., said referral websites like Jain’s already exist in the United States. An example of which includes HomeGain.com, based in Emeryville, California, this 11-year-old company is a provider of online marketing programs that connect real estate agents and brokers with homebuyers and sellers. In Canada, consumers looking to compare proposals from agents must do so on their own.