What many Sellers don’t realize, is that some Toronto real estate agents charge a ‘marketing fee’ to the agent who brings the Buyer. It varies from $25-$250 and comes out of the commission amount they are offering the agent who brings the Buyer. While it’s a small percentage of agents who do this and it doesn’t really amount to that much money, it’s a point of great contention to many agents. Here’s why:

  • Listing agents normally pay the expenses associated with listing properties, and Buyer agents normally pay the expenses associated with representing Buyers. It seems strange (and let’s be honest, a bit insulting) that some agents ask a Buyer agent to pay for both.
  • If a listing agent is spending $25 or even $250 on marketing, I can guarantee you they are NOT doing a good job. Marketing properties costs a lot more than that.
  • The agents who charge the marketing fees are usually those who have taken their photos with their iPhone and aren’t actually doing any marketing. Sometimes, I wonder what they spent the $25 on.

Enter Will Wilkinson of RE/MAX/

Will Wilkonson

I didn’t know Will until today. I found out about him because someone I know came across one of his listings and noticed that he was offering the agent who brings the Buyer a $25 bonus anti-marketing fee.  So instead of charging the Buyer agent the silly fee, he’s actually giving it to them. Classy.

None of Will’s clients will likely ever know he’s doing this. It isn’t a marketing ploy. But it’s a brilliant way to build positive relationships with other agents and help his listings stand out. It’s not the $25 that will make the difference – it’s the awesomeness behind the principle that makes the difference.

And so today, I raise my glass to Will Wilkinson. Today, I’m proud to be an agent and share a profession with someone like him.

UPDATE:

**It has just come to my attention that Thomas Mirkovich (also an agent at RE/MAX) offered an anti-marketing fee in January and may in fact have been the originator of the idea. So really, awesomeness all around.

  1. Thank you for the shout out on your blog. I also know Will very well and we both started doing this on our listings. I started in this business as a Buyer’s Rep and I would constantly see these Marketing Fees pop up.

    What annoyed me was not the amount but the agent behind it because I felt that when an agent puts down a marketing fee there are not only doing a disservice to our clients but also to the industry as a whole. For me, a listing agent who charges a marketing fee was stating that me, the Buyer’s Agent, was not as valuable as the listing agent. That all the time I spent driving, spending money on gas, starbucks coffee and/or lunches, staying up all night because you are one of 20 people in a multiple offer situation only to lose out when the listing agent (Like a Casino in Vegas) always wins. Marketing Fee disrespects the work of a Buyer’s Agent when dollar-for-dollar earned on the amount of time spent with clients, Buyer’s Agents pay more.

    Marketing Fees say to me “I’m a better agent than you because I have the listing and you don’t” So, when I come to a listing that has a marketing fee I always ask the agent to wave it before I bring an offer (multiple or not) because I remind “I’m the one bringing the money to the table. So, unless you can prove to me your client knows that they are paying a marketing fee because you put it on the listing agreement you and/or your client will sign the Co-op agreement without the marketing fee before I show you the offer.”

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