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180 James Sreet South, Suite 402
Hamilton, ON, L8P 4V1

A resource for home buyers and sellers to learn about the process without BS or fluff.

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Recent Thoughts

Do Realtors Earn Too Much Money?

Thomas Brown

If you watch Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, you’ll see a trio of pampered “professionals” driving around the city in a Rolls Royce or Range Rover, doing yoga and drinking smoothies, seemingly working hard to sell their clients’ homes.  The show regularly flashes projected commissions of $100,000 or more on a single deal, leading viewers to the idea that Realtors are overpaid.  But are they?  How much do they really earn?

These TV shows use flashy images to boost their ratings, but let’s dive into the truth behind real estate commissions.  There are a number of ways to sell your home, some companies offering a-la-carte services while others are full-service brokerages.

How I Operate: I’m at a full-service brokerage, handling everything for my clients.  In addition to typical agents, we offer professional photography (no iPhone pictures, come on), house cleaning, staging consultation, pre-listing plan, as well as bunch of other services to make selling your home a breeze.

For this article, I will use the full service model (5% commission) and a typical $400,000 home in Hamilton:

Co-operating (Buyer’s) Brokerage: $10,000

Listing Brokerage: $2,500 (Every Realtor has a different split agreement with their brokerage, I used 25% for this example)

Marketing & Home Preparation: $1,500 (Photos, cleaning service, staging consult, advertising, etc)

Overhead Expenses:  $1,500 (office expenses, licensing fees, insurance, car/gas/parking, etc)

Taxes: $1,800

Profit: $2,700

This graph is based on averages that I see with full-service Realtors.  There are plenty of “professionals” out there that spend far less to sell your home in an attempt to pocket the most for themselves. This article isn’t about them or an attempt to justify commissions paid to Realtors, it’s purpose is to show you that there are real expenses that come with running a truly professional business.  As with everything in life, you get what you pay for! To learn more about how I operate, feel free to reach out anytime.  Call/text (647-502-8355) or email (


A Hot Market is Bad for Business

Thomas Brown

    If you’ve purchased a home in the GTA or Hamilton-area at any time in the past 20 years, you probably love hearing about how hot the housing market is.  Truth is, an insanely hot market like this is bad for business.  It creates cut-throat bidding wars, poor service from selling realtors, houses not appraising at sale prices, questionable behaviour by the mortgage industry, among other negatives.

    While bidding wars seem like a great opportunity for sellers, there are circumstances where it doesn’t work out well.  Sure, a buyer can purchase your home without a condition on financing, but what if they run into trouble getting a mortgage? Yes, you can request to keep their deposit and sell the house again, hopefully for more money, but thats a headache most people would like to avoid.

    Another challenge stemming from constant record-breaking sales is that the bank appraisers struggle to grasp the changing prices.  While a $500,000 sale in a certain area makes sense to a buyer for subjective reasons, a bank might look at the numbers and think “that price is way too high, there’s no way we’ll be able to sell it if the borrower can’t make their payments”.  I’ve only heard of this happening a handful of times in Hamilton, but its occurring more often than ever in Toronto and it forces the buyer to come up with cash for the difference or walk away from the deal.

    I think the worst consequence is how this market allows incompetent real estate agents to survive.  As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all ships”.  This applies to an insanely hot real estate market because it lets agents put properties on MLS without pictures, without much info, or ridiculous showing requests, and these properties still sell because buyers simply have no other choice.

    I called about a listing like this on Hamilton Mountain and asked why there were no pictures, to which the agent’s assistant said “we didn’t bother with pictures because we thought it would just sell right away”.  Seriously?  Do clients know this is what they’re paying for?  Does this agent roll the dice with every client’s home, just hoping it sells?  The process of selling a home should not change based on the market and how easily an agent thinks they can sell your home.  

    To ensure my clients achieve a consistent, predictable result, I always follow the process of my Documented Approach.  Following a process, regardless of external factors, is the way Starbucks ensures your experience will be the same in Hamilton as it will be in Hamburg, Germany. If you want to work with someone who speaks the truth and fulfills promises, or learn more about my approach, I’d love to meet you.   Feel free to send me an email ( or call/text (647-502-8355).

Free Home Evaluations are BS

Thomas Brown

    They’re all over Facebook, bus stops, billboards, newspapers, radio commercials, and they’re all BS.  The gimmick of the “free home evaluation” is one that real estate agents have been using for decades, and it’s not designed to primarily serve you. So, what do they really mean for you, the client?

    Since many Canadians have the bulk of their net worth in their home, it's only natural that we have an insatiable desire to know what our homes are worth. The problem with establishing the value of a home is that there’s no standard formula.  The price of gold is $X per oz, so it’s very easy to know how much 10oz would be worth.  Same with the stocks of a public company.  Homes are much different.  There are countless factors that effect the value, all of which mean different things to different buyers. 

    Despite what you may think or what might be peddled, a home evaluation isn’t to help you establish the current value of your home.  It’s designed for a real estate agent to start a dialogue with you, hoping to eventually list and sell your home.  While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, it isn’t what a potential seller should be looking for in an agent.

    The truth about home values is that agents never actually know what a home is worth.  If you’re lucky, the agent has done a statistical analysis of your area and gives you an accurate value range, but even that is just a guesstimate.  A more likely situation is the agent did a quick scan of recent sales in the area and gave you the average. The only person that truly determines the value of your home is the buyer.  A true professional won't be focused on telling you how much you might be able to sell your home for, they'll focus on helping you develop a strategy to maximize the value of your home.

    When looking for an agent, a potential seller should be looking for, above all else, someone they trust. The real estate industry is full of gimmicks and worthless “guarantees”, none of which will help you sell your home for the most profit.  The best way to achieve predictable results is to work with someone that has a Documented Approach to develop a strategy to sell your home for the most profit.  If you'd like to work with someone that speaks the truth and uses a proven system, I'd love to meet you.  To learn more about my approach, send me an email ( or text (647-502-8355).