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Rock Point Realty
10006 164 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta
P: (780) 757-5000
F: (780) 757-5002
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What is Rock Point Realty?

What is a real estate “brokerage”?

How is Rock Point Realty different from a traditional real estate brokerage?

Are all real estate associates also REALTORS®?

How do real estate commissions work?

What are your commission rates?

There must be a catch – if a lot of industry members use the “7 and 3” formula, why don’t you?

Since your commissions are lower, does that mean you cut back on your services too? Are you a “discount” brokerage?

Do you provide the same types of services as traditional, big-name brokerages?

What services do you provide to sellers?

Why do you offer a flat rate listing commission?

What if my property is worth less than $200,000?

If you list and sell my home, what commission is paid to the agent who brings the buyer?

Will traditional agents avoid showing your listings?

What services do you provide to buyers?

Where does the money come from for the cash back buyer’s incentive?

Do you only offer cash back on your own listings?

If I am interested in a home, do I have to call the agent who listed it?

 

What is Rock Point Realty?

Rock Point Realty is a new real estate brokerage operating in the Edmonton region. We offer full REALTOR® services with programs that are designed to provide significant savings compared to traditional brokerages using typical commission rates.

Visit our Associates link to see who we are, and click on the “Buying” and “Selling” links to learn more about our Cash Back for Buyers program and $5K Flat Rate Listing program


What is a real estate “brokerage”?

The brokerage is the legal entity that is authorized to trade in real estate by the Real Estate Council of Alberta (the governing body for the real estate industry). The brokerage employs or otherwise engages the services of associates who represent the brokerage to the client. Although clients most often deal only with their particular associate, the brokerage is actually the agent of the client. This is why individual industry members are now called real estate “associates” instead of real estate “agents”.

If you become a client of a real estate brokerage, then that brokerage becomes your agent. As your agent, the brokerage (and, by extension, its associates) have important legal duties to you. Some of these duties are set out in legislation and some of them are founded in common law. These legal duties are based on one key concept – your agent must act in your best interests at all times. For more information about the nature of these legal duties, please contact us and we can provide you with a document entitled “Agency Relationships Guide”.

 

How is Rock Point Realty different from a traditional real estate brokerage?

We opened Rock Point Realty specifically to provide an alternative to the traditional brokerage model. Our services are the same, but our Cash Back for Buyers program and Flat Rate Listing commission are designed to set us far apart from the traditional brokerage model when it comes to commissions.

As we are members of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE), our associates offer the same range of services as traditional brokerages: our listings are posted on MLS® just like theirs, and we can search MLS® for buyers just as effectively. Since all members of the RAE have access to the same tools, traditional brokerages offer no advantages in the sale or purchase of a home. What it comes down to is the ability of the individual associate and the support of the brokerage.

Everything we do, from pictures and write-ups to sell your home to searches and showings to find you a home, we do to the highest standard. Sure, cash back for buyers and flat rate listing commissions are great for attracting interest, but we know that the best way to truly earn business is to provide outstanding service – the kind of service that we would expect for ourselves.

So, our commissions might save you money, but we never discount our service. Our only focus is on your best interests, and our only goal is your complete satisfaction. THAT is the path to true success.

So why open a brokerage? Why not just sign on with some brand name? Quite simply, we had to open a brokerage in order to let people know about our commission policies and buyer’s incentive. Incentives can only be offered by and on behalf of brokerages. We couldn’t offer any sort of incentive at all unless the whole brokerage offered it.


Are all real estate associates also REALTORS®?

Not every real estate associate is a REALTOR®. To be a REALTOR® in Alberta, a person must:

1. Be licensed and authorized to trade in real estate by the Real Estate Council of Alberta (the governing body for the real estate industry in the province); and
2. Be a member of the local board of REALTORS® (in the Edmonton area, this is the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton).

A person can be licensed by RECA but choose not to belong to their local board of REALTORS®, however, in order to have access to the Multiple Listing Service® (or “MLS®”) and to be able to use the term REALTOR®, an associate must be a member of their local board.

The Broker and associates of Rock Point Realty are all members of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton and, therefore, have access to MLS®. As such, our access to MLS® to list and market a home, or find homes for buyers, is the same as every other REALTOR®.

For more information about the advantages of using a REALTOR®, please visit the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton website.

 

 How do real estate commissions work?

Real estate associates commonly receive remuneration in the form of a commission, which is payment for assisting someone in the sale or purchase of a property. In real estate, it is typical for there to be a “listing” commission paid to the brokerage that represents the seller, and a “buying” commission paid to the brokerage that represents the buyer. When the brokerage receives the commission, it would then pay some or all of that money to the associate involved in the transaction. 

The amount of commission, or the commission rate, is not regulated or determined by any governing authority. In other words, there is no standard commission rate that all real estate associates must charge and it would be both illegal and inappropriate for anyone to suggest otherwise. Individual brokerages are free to set their own commission policies however, and all associates registered with that brokerage would then be bound by those policies. 

Many brokerages use the “7 and 3” formula as the commission rate. Under the “7 and 3” formula, the total commission payable on the sale of a property is 7% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the balance of the sold price, which is then split between the seller’s brokerage and the buyer’s brokerage. As an example, if a property sells for $500,000 then the total commission payable would be $19,000 (plus GST), with the seller’s brokerage and buyer’s brokerage each receiving $9,500 (plus GST). 

If a real estate brokerage represents both the seller and the buyer in a given transaction (with the consent of both parties) then that brokerage would receive the full commission (both the selling side and listing side). 

The commissions to be paid in any given transaction are determined by the seller and the seller’s brokerage. The commissions are then paid by the seller when the deal closes. 
 

What are your commission rates?

When we represent a buyer, our commission is whatever the seller chooses to offer to the buyer’s agent. We will, however, pay 25% of whatever commission we make to anyone who buys a residential property through us. This is our Cash Back for Buyer’s incentive and it applies to any home purchased through us, whether listed by us or by another brokerage.

This incentive offers a distinct advantage compared to the “7 and 3” formula that is used by many industry members. Under the “7 and 3” formula, the total commission payable on the sale of a property is 7% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the balance, which is then split between the seller’s brokerage and the buyer’s brokerage. As an example, if a property sells for $500,000 then the total commission payable would be $19,000 (plus GST), with the seller’s brokerage and buyer’s brokerage each receiving $9,500 (plus GST).

If Rock Point Realty represented you in the purchase of that $500,000 home, our 25% Cash Back for Buyers incentive means you would have received a cheque for 25% of our $9,500 commission, or $2,375. Click on the “Buying” link to learn more.

For sellers, we offer a $5K Flat Rate Listing commission. This applies to any residential property (house, condo, etc.), regardless of value, and can lead to significant savings for the vast majority of home owners. Using the $500,000 home example above, our $5K listing commission would save the seller $4,500 compared to the “7 and 3” formula. Please note, however, that our $5K listing commission does not include GST (which must be added), nor does it include the commission to be paid to the buyer’s agent. Sellers are free to offer any commission they like to the buyer’s agent, although we do suggest offering half of the “7 and 3” formula (3.5% on the first $100,000 and 1.5% on the balance of the sold price).

The point at which our $5K Flat Rate listing commission equals a commission using the “7 and 3” formula is for a home that sells for $200,000. As the vast majority of homes in the Edmonton region are priced well over this amount, our Flat Rate Listing commission will provide significant savings for the vast majority of home owners. Also, the more valuable the property, the more the owner can save by listing with us.

 

There must be a catch – if a lot of industry members use the “7 and 3” formula, why don’t you?

Our approach is simply a different way of doing the same business. Many brokerages use the “7 and 3” formula* because it can be quite lucrative. One simple fact will illustrate this: house prices in the Edmonton area basically doubled from 2002 to 2009**. As most real estate commissions are based on a percentage of the sold price, those commissions also rose dramatically over that same time period.

Our view is that we can provide full REALTOR® services, to the highest standard, without charging the typical “7 and 3” commission. There is a lot of room within that “7 and 3” formula to provide savings to clients while ensuring our future success.

We believe in consumer choice and a competitive marketplace for services such as real estate. The bottom line for us is simple – extremely satisfied clients will be good for business.

*   See “How do real estate commissions work?” above.
** See www.edmonton.ca/business/documents/House_Prices_Edmonton_Region.pdf

 

Since your commissions are lower, does that mean you cut back on your services too? Are you a “discount” brokerage?

We only “discount” our commissions – we absolutely do not discount our services. And when we say that we “discount” our commissions, we mean compared to the “7 and 3” formula used by many brokerages. Click on the “Buying” and “Selling” links to see our 2 key programs that are designed to save you money.

We provide the same types of services that traditional brokerages do, and you still get all the advantages of having a REALTOR® work for you. In fact, we try to exceed your expectations in everything we do.

For example, when we take pictures of your home, or do a write-up when we list it, we take the time to do it right. It sounds simple, but it’s amazing how a little bit of effort in something like a write-up can make a house stand out. We put in the time to make sure the marketing material is informative, unique and professional, and shows your home in the best possible light. This will not only attract interest in your home, it can help make your home stand out from all the others that buyers are looking at. We also prepare high-quality brochures that are both noticeable and memorable (there’s a reason we chose orange as our main color!), as well as feature cards to highlight attributes of your home that might otherwise be missed on a casual walk-through.

For buyers, we provide automated, up-to-the-minute property searches that are sent straight to your email. We also spend the time to find out what your needs and desires are. This point cannot be stressed enough – we will NOT pressure you into buying, we will NOT steer you towards homes you can’t afford and we WILL provide expert advice on factors you may not have considered when home shopping. For buyers, our only goal is that you end up in a home you love and that meets your needs and budget. So if your needs change or if you change your preferences and you want to look at a large number of properties, we will be with you every step of the way. Then, when you take possession of the home you love, we will pay you 25% of whatever commission we earned for helping you buy it!

These are just examples of some of the ways we work hard for our clients. For more detailed information, see: “What services do you provide to buyers?” and “What services do you provide to sellers?”, below.
 

Do you provide the same types of services as traditional, big-name brokerages?

Absolutely we do. We are members of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton so we have the same access to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) as other REALTORS® working for other brokerages. MLS® is by far the most effective tool for both selling and buying properties and one of the main advantages of using a REALTOR®.

When we say “access” to MLS®, we mean that we can list and search for properties on MLS® in exactly the same way as traditional brokerages. They do not have “extra” or “preferential” access to the system. Common sense tells us that when people look for a property, they look at factors like price, location, amenities, etc., rather than the name of the brokerage that listed it.

Since we all have the same access to MLS®, what really sets industry members apart is the actual work they do for you and the commission they charge for doing it. Our commission policies are compelling and a great way to attract business, however, we know that long term success will only come from extremely satisfied clients. When deals close, we want our clients to have big smiles and to say, “Wow – that Rock Point Realty associate was amazing!” We want that because it makes our jobs vastly more enjoyable. Plus, we also know it’s good for business. If a client is really impressed, chances are they would be willing to refer our services to other people.

For more detailed information, see: “What services do you provide to buyers?” and “What services do you provide to sellers?”, below.
 

What services do you provide to sellers?

We provide the following services to sellers:
 

  • Free CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) to support an estimation of likely market value.
     
  • Considered and carefully supported advice on appropriate listing strategies (e.g. if a quick sale is the client’s primary concern, the price should reflect that need).
     
  • Advice and recommendations on strategies to optimize the presentation of the home.
     
  • Advice on the risk elements in selling a home (e.g. the requirement to disclose material latent defects).
     
  • Interior and exterior photos, carefully taken to show the home to full advantage, will be placed on MLS® and real estate internet sites. This allows potential buyers to view the seller’s property online at any time.
     
  • Attention-getting and thorough descriptions of the home will be prepared for MLS® and other advertising media to generate interest and traffic.
     
  • Advertising in local real estate publications (e.g. the Real Estate Weekly).
     
  • Flat rate listing commission ($5,000 + GST).
     
  • Feature cards to be placed throughout the property to highlight some otherwise hard-to-see features.
     
  • Open houses for other REALTORS® and the public (public open houses will be advertised in newspapers).
     
  • Supra System Computerized Lockboxes for REALTORs® to gain access to the home for scheduled showings.
     
  • Attractive brochures with property information including room dimension, tax information etc.
     
  • Attractive yard signage.
     
  • Coordinating requested showings to ensure the client is informed
     
  • Excellent follow-up system on each showing with feedback relayed to the seller.
     
  • Professional negotiation of the sale of the property, focusing on the client’s best interests.
     

Why do you offer a flat rate listing commission?

We chose a flat rate commission primarily for its simplicity and because, in the vast majority of cases, it will provide significant savings compared to the “7 and 3” formula (see “How do real estate commissions work?”, above). Our fee for listing, marketing and selling your home is $5,000 plus GST, regardless of the value of the home. That amount reflects the cost of our services in most cases and allows for a small profit to ensure our business can continue.

There may be properties that actually cost us more to market and sell than we will earn through our commission. However, that would be true of some properties even if we used the “7 and 3” formula. Such situations are rare, and we look at it as the cost of doing business.

The advantage to our seller clients is fairly straightforward – full REALTOR® services for lower cost than the “7 and 3” formula. The advantage to us is also fairly clear – we hope people will choose us if they see they can get full REALTOR® services for lower cost.

Please note, however, that our $5K Flat Rate Listing commission does not include the commission to be paid to the buyer’s agent. We suggest that sellers offer half of the “7 and 3” formula (or 3.5% and 1.5%) to the buyer’s agent.

Please also note that the point at which our $5K Flat Rate listing commission equals a commission using the “7 and 3” formula is for a home that sells for $200,000.
 

What if my property is worth less than $200,000?

For a home that sells for $200,000, our $5K Flat Rate Listing commission will be the same as the commission using the “7 and 3” formula. If your home is valued at less than $200,000, our listing commission rate will actually be slightly higher. However, we will still provide the same level of professional services in relation to that home as we would for every other client, whether their home is worth 2 or 3 times as much. The level we aim for is “above and beyond” – we will do our best to make you feel like you got excellent value for that money.

 

If you list and sell my home, what commission is paid to the agent who brings the buyer?

It is entirely up to you, as the seller, to decide what commission to offer. It has to be a minimum of $1 to list the property on MLS®, however, we suggest offering a commission of 3.5% on the first $100,000 and 1.5% on the balance (half of the “7 and 3” formula – see “How do commissions work?”, above). There are a couple of reasons why we suggest this level of commission (or something close to it):

  1. Associates working with buyers often spend a significant amount of time with them.
     
  2. Some buyers might want to ensure that their representative receives appropriate compensation and this could be a factor in their selection of homes to look at. By offering a commission close to half of the “7 and 3” formula, you will ensure optimal market exposure.

This is simply our suggestion - the choice is really up to you as the seller. We would be happy to discuss this in greater detail with you and we invite you to contact us for more information.
 

Will traditional agents avoid showing your listings?

In a word, no. Industry members are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of commissions offered. To do so would be considered anti-competitive behaviour and an offence under the Competition Act. Besides, we only want to “crush” our own commissions.

 

What services do you provide to buyers?

We provide the following services to buyers:
 

  • Assistance in determining suitable properties for viewing. This is the first and most important step in working with buyers - determining the type of property that would best meet their needs, wants and budget.
     
  • Advice and guidance on desirable neighborhoods, based on the buyer’s criteria. This can involve providing information regarding locations of schools, bus routes, playgrounds, etc., as well as evaluating criteria that the buyer may not have thought of, such as travel time to work or potential future developments in the area.
     
  • Time permitting, previewing properties matching the buyer’s criteria to determine if a further showing would be warranted (in many cases, pictures are simply inadequate for pre-screening).
     
  • Providing market research to determine an appropriate offer amount.
     
  • Negotiating the purchase of the property on the buyer’s behalf, with appropriate conditions where necessary (financing, inspection, etc.)
     
  • Advice and guidance on the home buying process. This would include providing information on home inspections, mortgage applications, moving, utilities, taxes, etc. If requested, the associate will provide the names of at least 3 accredited home inspectors and/or mortgage brokers to assist the buyers. If asked, the associate will also provide the names of 3 law firms who can handle the property transfer and mortgage documentation for the buyers.
     
  • When the deal closes and Rock Point Realty receives its commission as the buyer’s agent, the buyer will receive a payment equal to 25% of Rock Point Realty’s commission.

 

Where does the money come from for the cash back buyer’s incentive?

When a home is successfully, sold, the seller is responsible for paying the offered or agreed-to commissions. If we assist you in the purchase of a property, then we simply pay our client 25% of whatever commission is paid to us as the buyer’s agent.

 

Do you only offer cash back on your own listings?

No. We offer the 25% Cash Back to our clients for the purchase of any property listing on MLS®, not just our own. All that is required is for the residential property to be listed and specify a commission payable to the agent of the buyer.

 

If I am interested in a home, do I have to call the agent who listed it?

If the home is listed on MLS®, then the brokerage that listed the property has agreed to cooperate with other brokerages, so that associates from with other brokerages can show the home and receive a commission if their client purchases it.  Sometimes, a listing is exclusive so only the listing brokerage can bring the buyer, however, this is far less common primarily because exclusive listings cannot be listed on MLS®.  If you have worked with an associate whom you trust and that you are sure will act in your best interests, then let them help you with the home buying process. They can tell you if a home you are interested in is exclusive or not.

The data included in this display is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. Data last Updated: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:11:44 America/Edmonton
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The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service®, and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.

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