A new website aims to connect real estate agents and sellers in the competitive real estate market of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, by allowing agents to bid on properties listed by the seller.
According to Home Contender, its service differs from other real estate listings in that it puts sellers in the driver’s seat. Instead of homeowners approaching agents to sell their properties, sellers put their listing up on Home Contender and wait for agents to bid on the chance to represent them in the sale.
“We saw a hole in the Calgary real estate market between sellers and Realtors and hope Home Contender fills it, providing an easy and trustworthy way to find a Realtor,” said David Trinh, Home Contender’s developer.
“Finding a Realtor can be stressful and overwhelming, so we are just trying to ease that tension a bit and make the whole process smoother and less daunting for sellers.”
Agents who use the Web tool register and create a profile, purchase a package of bids that allow them to reach out to homeowners with their commission rates and then access the website’s pool of property listings. One bid is $19.99, 10 bids are $99.99, 20 bids are $149.99 and 50 bids are $239.99.
Bids are active for six months from the date of purchase and remain confidential. Agents are not obligated to represent a homeowner who selects their bid. Agents can decline any further contact with a homeowner at any time and are free to pursue other opportunities on Home Contender.
Currently, the website has nine publicly viewable agent profiles and one property listed.
Home Contender says sellers can also use the tool if they are looking for an efficient way to list a property and find an agent who is best suited to their needs.
Homeowners register for free and list the properties they have to sell, wait for agents to send their commission-based bids and choose the agent who is right for them.
Sellers cannot use Home Contender if they already have a listing with an agent or multiple listing service; if their home doesn’t sell, they can sign up to use it only if their listing agreement has expired.
If sellers decide the agent isn’t a good fit after meeting in person, sellers can go back to the bids they received and select another agent.
Calgary is among Canada’s cities with the highest property values. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, last month’s average home sale price in Calgary was $538,463, a 2.8 percent decrease over the same period in 2014. The median home sale price was $480,000, a 2 percent decrease from May 2014.
There were 1,879 new listings in May, 24 percent fewer than the same period in 2004. The ratio of sales to active listings was 47 percent to 69 percent, respectively. Homes were on the market an average of 39 days, versus 26 days in May 2014.