Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Have you seen the ads on TV for "comFree"?

I first thought this was a new entry in the flat-rate listing segment.  Given the timing -- with the recent news items around opening up the MLS® system, etc -- it made sense that somebody would start some heavy promotion.

Early in my initial investigation, I started getting agitated counting up how many Board and  rules they were breaking on their site.  Then I figured it out!

It seems that this is NOT an MLS® listing service.  It is, in fact, a juiced-up "For Sale By Owner" package.  You get photos, signs and some other support.  You also get on their website and in a "magazine" they publish. Even the market comparison to determine price appears largely do-it-yourself.

The packages list from around $500-900, though they are currently heavily discounted.  You can also buy additional ads in their magazine.

As I read it, you DO NOT get listed on any MLS® system. It would not surprise me if their representatives did offer some sort of listing service or referrals while signing you up for the basic stuff -- but I don't know this and don't see anything on the site that suggests it.  Anyone out there know the answer to this one?

You may have seen "By The Owner" signs in the past, with a traffic light logo.  This is in fact the same company, renamed.and relaunched.



Philippines Real Estate said...

This is great. It seems to me that they offer big discounts and the service is excellent. I look forward to this. Thanks for sharing.

Gord said...

I'm sure it will work for some people, but note that you don't get MLS listing (where the vast majority of properties are listed and sell) and you pay upfront whether the property sells or not. Plus, of course, you are doing all the work yourself and need to be quite knowledgable of the ins and outs of real estate in order to succeed.
You can get a really cheap ad in the Nunavut News, but if your product or service is in Toronto, it isn't really money well spent.

Joanna said...

Hi there, in fact, ComFree does offer MLS listings, as well as all the other services.

For anyone who is interested in selling without an agent, ComFree is a great service.

I used them myself when listing my home and sold it within 3 days! At the end of the day, I really believe that price, location and the condition of your home play the biggest roles in the sale of your home. Advertising it is quite easy.

And to be quite honest, I find that the ComFree sight is a lot more intuitive than the MLS site.

Gord said...

With a slight modification, I agree with Joanna's key statement: "For anyone [DETERMINED TO SELL] without an agent, ComFree is a great service. But ... (you knew there would be a "but"}...

Adding MLS to the ComFree service adds another company... and an agent ... to the process and brings the price of the service well over $1000 (there are time-limited discounts), plus the 2.5% you are now likely paying the agent who brings the buyer. [Trying to change the normal system and have the buyer pay their own agent is a whole other discussion]. And of course you still get to do all the work yourself.

Advertising is easy. Advertising well is not. And it can be expensive. The ads need to be good and, more importantly, need to be in places where lots of people will actually notice them.

The ComFree site is lovely. So are the sites of Royal LePage, Re/Max, Zoocasa, etc but none of them have all the listings. This is why the virtually everyone goes to mls.ca/realtor.ca, and the large majority don't go anywhere else.

Maybe this will change. Maybe it isn't ideal. But it is what it is.