It’s always bothered me that real agent performance statistics aren’t publicly available in Toronto. It’s all “#1 Agent” and Some-Random-Award-You-Don’t-Understand – but no real concrete numbers. In fact, performance stats aren’t available from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board within the industry either – if you want the real numbers, you have to pay thousands of dollars a year to an external company that collects the data via exclusive access to the back-end of the MLS system.
Back in 2013, I wrote a blog about how many homes the average real estate agent sells in Toronto. At the time, there were around 38,000 REALTORS and 87,000 homes were recorded as sold in the GTA by the Toronto Real Estate Board that year. The statistics were kinda terrifying.
Fast forward to 2022 – and things are just as scary. Except we now have over 60,000 agents in the GTA and 121,000 sales were recorded in 2021. Each sale usually consists of 2 agents – the one who represents the Buyer and the other who represents the Seller – so really, those 60,000 agents completed 242,000 transactions in 2021.
So what do the stats look like for 2021?
- More than 32% of agents (almost 20,000 people) recorded ZERO sales. ZERO. That’s a lot of agents.
- Another 30% recorded 1 or 2 sales during the year.
- 17% successfully helped 3-5 buyers or sellers.
Yes…you’re reading that right. 79% of REALTORS in the GTA sold fewer than 5 homes last year. Yikes!
Which of course, means that the top 20% of REALTORS completed almost 75% of all sales.
But it gets even more interesting.
- Fewer than 10% of Toronto agents sold more than 10 homes in 2021.
- To be in the top 5% of agents in 2021, an agent needed to sell 15 homes.
- The top 5% of Toronto agents sold 38% of the homes.
It gets even more interesting when we delve into the data and look at the number of agents who helped Sellers in 2021:
- 48% of agents represented ZERO Sellers
- 30% represented 1 or 2 Sellers
- Less than 9% of agents helped more than 5 Sellers last year
- The top 3% of agents listed 34% of the homes for sale in 2021
These numbers frighten me and they should frighten you. The skills and experience of your agent are even more important when you’re a Seller…and that only comes from actually listing homes for sale. The cost for the Sellers? Tens of thousands of dollars or more.
Now in fairness, the stats don’t tell the whole story. Here’s why:
- Included in the 60,000 agents are non-working agents including appraisers or retirees who’ve maintained their licenses
- Many teams (not us) report all their sales under the name of one person in order to qualify for internal awards and/or confuse the public. Don’t get me started on this. But it does mean that some agents on teams appear as having sold zero homes and why some look like they’ve sold 100.
- Some homes are sold exclusively, and never listed on the MLS
- The Toronto MLS doesn’t track pre-construction sales
While these stats are scary, I’m sharing them today to encourage you to ask questions. If an agent makes claims while trying to earn your business, ask them what those statistics and awards really mean.
Pro Tip: Don’t hire an agent still wearing training wheels or not 100% committed to real estate as a career. It’s just not worth the risk. Let them learn the ropes by working with somebody else’s money.