Posted by: Nick Fundytus

Question of the week:

Has anyone used Unreserved Recently?

What was your experience? Is it really full service, did they put in the work?

 

Also, did you negotiate the buyer agent rate / and or what was your final %?

 

Torn between Unreserved and finding a 1% realtor. I’ve also got time – so I could attempt to sell on my my own (thinking about paying for MLS exposure / and using social media). Thoughts?

 

Nick Answers Reddit

Every week, Nick answers a Redditor’s question about buying, selling, renting, investing or living in Ottawa. This week’s question is about whether it’s okay to dump a Realtor that’s not getting the job done in a Redditor’s purchase search.

Nick's Response

Unreserved has a roughly 1-2% share of transactions in my market (Ottawa). They only really started trading under their own brokerage last year; before that they paired with a small local brokerage for access to the MLS. Stats below are what I pulled from our MLS, but if I’m wrong I’m sure that their (very vocal) CEO will be happy to come and correct me.

 

Unreserved Sales in Ottawa, 2022 and 2023

Category2023 to Dec 142022 (all year)
Active43 currently activen/a
Conditionally Sold1n/a
Sold73110
Expired1615
Cancelled3031
Totals163156

 

Caveats

  • Cancellations and expired listings – I didn’t dig in to see how many of these were re-listed by unreserved versus how many sold with a full-service brokerage versus how many decided not to sell. Some Sellers choose to try to sell on their own with a discount brokerage first before going with a more traditional broker, but the table above doesn’t tell to what degree that might be happening.

  • Broker-owned properties – When Unreserved was first looking to gain traction in Ottawa they actually owned (I don’t recall if it was corporately or by another group related to Unreserved) quite a few of their own listings which they had bought and then listed through the auction platform. I didn’t check to what degree (if at all) this was happening by 2022 and 2023. I would suspect that they’ve probably moved away from that now that they’re more of a known quantity in the market.

  • Off-MLS – I’m not sure if Unreserved also offers off-MLS listings on their platform that are only visible on their site. If so, that may add a few to their total.

  • Ottawa-Specific – These are just Ottawa numbers and may vary across the markets that Unreserved serves.

Thoughts/Summary

  • Unreserved has found a niche for a certain kind of Seller who appreciates what they offer and has settled in to capture part of the resale market that is normally served by lower-commission brokerages. The number of homes that it sells each year would be similar to a large team at a traditional brokerage in the city.

  • Under the new TRESA rules introduced in Ontario on December 1st, 2023, Sellers are now permitted to disclose the contents of offers to competing parties, making the process more open if they wish. It will be interesting to see if this affects Unreserved’s traction at all.

  • For the OP, u/Character-Toe5817, the answer is that Unreserved does a lot of the things that a full-fee brokerage may offer, though some of those may be a-la-carte (like physical staging, for example) that might be included in the cost of a full-fee brokerage. I can’t speak to the client experience but I know that there have been a lot of Google ratings and news articles about them, so there should be something recent if there’s not much anecdotal from Reddit.

  • The market (at least in Ottawa, but likely other markets as well) is much slower and balanced than through the pandemic, so preparation is key. Even if going with a discount brokerage, take the time to clean, declutter, do repairs, stage and even a pre-list inspection before taking professional photos and video. As a Seller you’ll have more competition than at almost any time in the last five years, and Buyers know this. Take steps to stand out and look your best.

Good luck in the move, whichever method you use!

Source: I’m a Realtor in Ottawa, Ontario.

3 Essential Preparation Steps for Selling Your Home in 2024

1

Professional Cleaning – Scrub your home like you’re preparing a room for surgery.

2

Staging – Whether it’s a staging consultation or physical staging, use what you’ve got and show it to its best advantage.

3

Pre-List Inspection – Surprises suck. Find out what issues your home may have and get ahead of them now with repairs, touch-ups or even just estimates for the work.

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