MONTREAL, May 25, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Alerted by the concerns of many clients who say they have been bothered by real estate agents about the choice to sell their homes themselves, DuProprio, the largest commission-free real estate network in Canada, retained the services of independent market research firm Ad Hoc Research in February to get an accurate view of how real estate agents target DuProprio clients.
According to the survey conducted by Ad Hoc Research, 90% of consumers who chose to sell their homes themselves through DuProprio were contacted by an average of eight (8) real estate agents. It was also revealed that the nature of this contact was a source of annoyance. In fact, in Montréal, where competition is the most fierce, more than half of homeowners who were contacted by agents considered this solicitation as high pressure. Again in Montréal, 57% of respondents stated that their choice to sell with DuProprio was blatantly disparaged while 74% of clients contacted by agents found the approach used to be unacceptable, high pressure, disrespectful or disparaging.
"Together, real estate agents, brokers, boards and even the Organisme d'autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) have launched a vast offensive through advertising, direct marketing, social media, phone solicitations and even legal action to undermine the public's confidence in for-sale-by-owner and commission-free real estate services as a way to cast doubt on the choice of not only our clients but also consumers in general," declared DuProprio Co-President and Founder, Mr. Nicolas Bouchard.
Real estate agents use high-pressure tactics—and misinform
Ad Hoc Research also wanted to know the arguments that real estate agents use to disparage DuProprio clients' choice to sell their homes on their own. It was revealed that many agents blatantly use and communicate false information on for-sale-by-owner transactions. The most frequent arguments are:
- In 69% of cases: Without an agent, homeowners will not get enough visibility to sell.
- In 68% of cases: It takes longer to sell a house without an agent.
- In 54% of cases: Selling a house without an agent offers no protection.
"Not only do real estate agents excessively target DuProprio clients, they also give information on for-sale-by-owner transactions that is false, which has more to do with misinforming the public than giving them the facts. This misinformation is unacceptable and has to stop. It misleads consumers and prevents them from making an informed choice about the services that best meet their needs," added Mr. Bouchard.
Taking action to respect people's right to sell their homes themselves
Two thirds of the clients surveyed in the province of Quebec (66%) who had a negative experience with a real estate agent clearly want things to change and would like DuProprio to take steps so that their right to sell their property themselves is respected by the real estate industry.
"Consumers must be able to choose how they want to sell their properties without having to face undue pressure and campaigns of misinformation and fear from real estate agents. The freedom to sell your house yourself is a fundamental right that should never be questioned. Agents must respect the choice of DuProprio clients, and this means they must put an end to their high-pressure tactics and systematic misinformation and stop disparaging the choice of DuProprio clients," concluded Mr. Bouchard.
About the survey
The survey was conducted by Ad Hoc Research from February 10 to March 12, 2012. The data was collected via Web survey given to a sample selected randomly from 1009 DuProprio clients from across Quebec. The data was weighted according to region so that it represented the company's entire clientele. The survey has a margin of error of 2.89%.
With the help of a dedicated team, DuProprio's mission is to help people who decide to sell their homes themselves by offering the tools, advice and visibility they need to make a successful sale and save on the commission. Since its creation in 1997, more than 110,000 Canadians have sold their homes using the services of the DuProprio network. Its website features 16,000 properties for sale and welcomes 5 million visitors every month, which makes it the second most visited real estate site in Canada. The company, which started out with 3 employees in the 2000s, now employs 280 people across the country.
For further information:
Karine Sauvé, CASACOM, 514-286-2145, extension 234