New Year Brings New Option for Real Estate Sales with Commission Free Brokerage Service

New poll findings show that Canadians have mixed feelings on maximizing home value

TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - ComFree, the largest commission-free real estate network in Canada, today released findings from a survey showing that 58 per cent of Canadians polled would rather make a purchase from someone who is not working on commission. Nearly one quarter (22 per cent) of Canadians strongly agree with this sentiment. The findings were announced today together with the launch of two new commission free brokerages operating in Ontario and Alberta under the name of Commonsense Network Brokerage, part of the ComFree Network.

"Twenty years ago you had to use a broker to purchase and sell stocks, but advances in technology and information has made it possible for Canadians to do it themselves with support and no longer require that intermediary - the same is now true of buying or selling a home," said Patrick Sullivan, general manager and vice-president of ComFree. "At the end of the day, home-owners who sell commission free have more money in their pocket."

Benefits of the New Brokerage Service

"It is common sense that homeowners should be in the driver's seat when it comes time to selling their own home," said Sullivan. "The Commonsense Network Brokerage allows homeowners to keep the full amount of the sale of their home, while providing support with the marketing, legal and administrative aspects of the home sale - all of which helps to put the power into the hands of homeowners so they remain in control of the sale."

The change allows customers to continue to have their properties appear on the ComFree Network website, but also enables them to list their homes on REALTOR.ca, through a board's MLS® system, via the Commonsense Network Brokerage in both Ontario and Alberta, thereby providing the greatest visibility in the industry by posting on the two most visited Canadian real estate websites1.

It also removes the barriers to commission free home sales, allowing customers to access a full suite of owner-directed services including advice on appraisals.

It's Not Just a Game Show - Get the Price Right for your Home

Getting the price right is the single most important aspect of a successful home sale, and there are a number of tools available at ComFree that can help with comparative pricing, marketing and industry information to make informed decisions about buying and selling.

In order to maximize the value of the home, Canadians need to take advantage of all the innovative tools available, and communicate the price and information widely. Despite this new era of transparency, four in ten Canadians (41 per cent) are hesitant to talk about the value of their home with friends and family. Of these respondents, 34 per cent listed the reason for their secrecy being that it isn't polite to talk about money, a reason that could very well impact important negotiations without the right advice.

According to financial expert and author, Lesley Scorgie, keeping quiet about one's financial situation will only work against Canadians.

"In order for Canadians to achieve their financial goals and make smart choices around homeownership - both buying and selling - they need to be honest with themselves and others," said Scorgie. "Once we begin to open up about our finances overall, we can be more realistic about what makes sense for our individuals goals."

Additional recommendations from Scorgie:

  • Top 3 ways to save when selling a home - smart pricing, effective negotiations and considering commission free.
  • Top 3 ways to save money when buying a home - recognizing value, buying within your means, using a broker for the mortgage.
  • Do your research - for a transaction as large as home, sellers and buyers alike must be informed and seek information from qualified sources. No matter who you're working with, some research should always be conducted independently.
  • Avoid becoming house-poor by re-prioritizing your expenses - pay attention to the little things such as your daily specialty coffee. Omitting one of those every day could add up to $15,000 over 13 years.
  • Politeness has no place in personal finance - let's lose the stereotype Canadians are sometimes known for when it comes to money matters.

Other Survey Highlights

  • Manners matter most in BC and Ontario - British Columbians and Ontarians were more likely (44 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively) to say that it isn't polite to talk about finances.
  • It's none of your business - Three in ten (30 per cent) of respondents said they did not want others to know that their financial situation because it may not be as strong as perceived  while a quarter (26 per cent) indicated it was because their finances may be stronger than others may have thought.

For more information on ComFree and to view an infographic depicting what Canadians could purchase with the amount of money saved by not paying commission on a home sale please visit www.ComFree.com/commonsense.

About the Research

The ComFree study was conducted by Harris/Decima from December 8th through December 18th 2011 via teleVox, the company's national telephone omnibus survey. A total of 2,011 Canadians were surveyed, of which 1,477 are homeowners. A sample of this size has a margin of error of +/- 2.2 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively, 19 times out of 20.

About the ComFree Network

ComFree offers Canadian homeowners a professional, honest and innovative service to assist them through the sale of their property, so they can do it in a smart, effective and profitable way.

Since its initial launch in 1997, more than 100,000 homes have been sold through the ComFree Network, saving Canadians $1.5 billion in commissions. Starting in January 2012, the Commonsense Network brokerages will be hosted on ComFree's website in Ontario and Alberta.

Today, ComFree.com lists more than 14,000 properties for sale, and the website receives more than 3 million visits monthly. With offices in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the ComFree network employs more than 220 people across Canada.

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1 Traffic source : http://www.hitwise.com/ca/datacenter/main/dashboard-10557.html

SOURCE ComFree Network

For further information:

To arrange an interview or for more information, contact:

Vanessa Ciccone or Amy Greenshields
vciccone@environicspr.com or agreenshields@environicspr.com
416-920-9000

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ComFree Network

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