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Justo brokerage model includes lawyer, inspection fees | REM

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Justo, a new technology-based real estate brokerage firm that recently launched in the Greater Toronto Area, says the real estate industry is at a turning point and its model “puts cash back in home buyers’ pockets and gives sellers a better fee and a target price guarantee.”

Daphne De Groot, the company’s CEO, says the brokerage offers premium services, low rates that are fair and transparent and an advanced MLS search engine for both buyers and sellers.




“We use the power of information, technology and efficiency to lower our costs and pass on the savings to our clients.” She says Justo is derived from the Latin word Justus, meaning fair and transparent, which is the foundation upon which the company is built.

It is geared to people frustrated by elite brokerage commissions and high-pressure sales tactics, she says.

“We saw the way things were being done in the real estate field and we thought that there were better ways to do it. So, we dug down to do research,” says De Groot. “We realized that with the help of the real estate agents, who have a lot of knowledge and experience, together with the technology and the data that is available today compared to say 20 years ago, the combination of both can be the ultimate way of doing the process of buying and selling a house.”

Justo’s all-inclusive service model bundles some of the extra fees associated with buying and selling a home at no additional cost including home inspections, staging and lawyers’ fees, allowing customer to have a more efficient and streamlined experience.

This is how Justo explains what it does. In most real estate transactions, the buyer’s agent is paid by the seller and not the buyer. Typically, this commission is 2.5 per cent of the purchase price, plus HST. Justo offers sellers a listing commission of 1.5 per cent with a 30-day target price guarantee. It splits this commission with the buyer, 50/50, when a minimum purchase of $300,000 is made. If it does not sell the property at the target price in 30 days, the company will reduce its fee by another 0.5 per cent to just one per cent.

The average GTA home is selling for approximately $850,000. Using the Justo model, the buyer will be represented by an agent with more than a decade of local experience and get home inspection and lawyers fees included and approximately $6,250 in cashback.

Also included in Justo’s package is photography, a 3D tour and staging at no extra cost.

“Justo’s concept makes a lot of sense. Buyers and sellers are looking for something different, something that is more rewarding for them,” says Vicki Schmidt, Justo broker of record. “Technology and accessibility to data is allowing people to be more involved in the real estate process, so sharing the commission with our clients makes sense.

“The fundamental idea behind everything we do is being very fair and transparent. With that, nothing’s a secret. Our model is posted right on our website. Clients don’t have to worry about negotiating with us or being stressed out because they have enough stress to worry about. They don’t need to be worried about trying to negotiate with their real estate agent. So, we really are an ally to them.”

De Groot says the company is focusing on the GTA because it’s a huge market with an average of 100,000 transactions a year.

“With the average price about $800,000 that’s approximately $80 billion of commissions going to agents. Later on, we hope to get into additional markets,” she says. “Hopefully this model is going to grow beyond the GTA but we want to first establish and focus ourselves, as real estate is a very local market. So, we want to establish ourselves in the GTA and later hopefully go across Canada – and even across the world.”

She says Justo fills a void between a discount brokerage where it costs a consumer less, but has fewer services, to traditional brokerages where a lot of money is being spent and plenty of services are being offered.

“There’s no combination of both where you pay less and you get more. That’s a big point. The other thing is the whole process is more efficient and streamlined. It’s quicker and just more convenient for a person,” says De Groot.

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Real Estate

Couple from Toronto buys dream home in Mushaboom

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MUSHABOOM – A couple who lived and raised a family in downtown Toronto developed a five-year plan in 2015 to purchase their dream home.

In September they moved into the home – located on Malagash Island in Mushaboom on Nova Scotia’s stunning Eastern Shore – that met and exceeded their best dreams for their retirement.

The Camerons, Bruce and Tanya, decided in 2019 they would explore the Maritimes to see what real estate was available to become their potential retirement home. In the spring of 2020, during a global pandemic, the real estate boom hit their city, and they were hearing the same for Nova Scotia. Our province was their first-choice for attaining their desire for an entirely different lifestyle – away from the busyness of the city.

“We had $300,000 to $350,000 as a home value in mind to buy. Our semi-detached located off Danforth in Toronto was priced at $850,000. We wanted to come out ahead, so we would be secure in retirement,” Tanya said.

Their century-old home had prime location near the subway and GO Transit Line for a great 13-minute commute downtown.

“We enjoyed our community,” explains Bruce “… we had great neighbours, young children around and street parties – lots of social activity.”

Bruce says, “Our agent suggested a starting quote of $899,000. We did not do any renovations and only some staging. Fifty couples went through and we received four significant offers. Six days later we sold – with zero conditions – and a price of over a million dollars. We just requested a closing of September 2020 to get the kids off to school – which we got.”

The couple got more than they had anticipated.

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Real Estate

Rabobank Announces Leadership Changes in U.S., Canadian Offices

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NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Rabobank, the leading global food and agribusiness bank, has appointed two of its top executives, Tamira Treffers-Herrera and Robert Sinescu, to become Co-Heads of North American Client Coverage, positioning the Bank for future growth in the region.

Treffers-Herrera has also assumed the role of Vice Chairperson and Head of the Atlanta office, where she additionally oversees Rabobank Mexico, which is led by Eduardo Palacios. Sinescu is the Head of the Chicago office, and also oversees Rabobank Canada, led by Marc Drouin, who was recently appointed as Canada’s General Manager.

Treffers-Herrera and Sinescu report to David Bassett, Head of Wholesale Banking North America, the Bank’s corporate and investment banking business for the region based in New York.

“Both Tamira and Robert have a demonstrated history of strong leadership, operational excellence and passion for our clients,” Bassett said. “Their broad experience and deep sector expertise will be invaluable in delivering dynamic results for clients while accelerating our growth trajectory in North America.”

Each office will have an even greater focus on key Food & Agribusiness sectors and clients: The Chicago office will drive growth in sectors including Dairy, Farm Inputs and Grains & Oilseeds, which are also key areas of focus for the Canada office. The Atlanta office will focus heavily on sectors such as Animal Protein, Beverages, Sugar, and Supply Chains, which are important sectors in Mexico as well.

“Rabobank is fully committed to our clients throughout North America, and we believe our new sector-focused coverage will improve our ability to provide knowledge-based, value-added solutions that benefit our clients,” Bassett said.

Treffers-Herrera was most recently based in London as CEO of Rabobank’s European Region from 2016-2020, where she took the organization through Brexit. Prior to that, she worked in the Atlanta office from 2002-2016. During her tenure in Atlanta, Treffers-Herrera served as Global Sector Head – Consumer Food & Beverages, and prior to that she was a senior banker for a portfolio of large beverage and consumer foods clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Arts from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and has studied at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Harvard Business School.

Sinescu has been with Rabobank for over 21 years and was previously General Manager of Rabobank Canada, where he oversaw all operations, business development, commercial strategy and relationships with regulators. In addition, he continues to serve as CEO of Rabo Securities Canada Inc. Prior to Canada, he was a senior banker, Head of Corporate Banking, European Sector Head for Sugar, and a member of the Management Team for Rabobank France. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Bucharest School of Business, a Master of Business Administration & Management and a Master of Science in Banking and Corporate Finance from Sorbonne University in Paris, and has studied at Brown University.

Drouin has worked with Rabobank’s Canadian team for more than nine years and most recently served as a senior banker, Head of Rabobank Canada’s AgVendor Program and a member of Rabobank Canada’s Management Team. He brings extensive wholesale banking experience within the Dairy, G&O, CPG and Supply Chain sectors. Drouin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration in International Finance, Marketing and Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

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Greybrook Realty Partners & Marlin Spring Brand Jointly Owned Asset Manager – Greyspring Apartments

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TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Greybrook Realty Partners and Marlin Spring are pleased to announce the new branding of their jointly owned investment and asset management firm, Greyspring Apartments. With a portfolio of more than 2,000 units and CAD$375 million in assets under management, Greyspring Apartments is focused on the acquisition and repositioning of multi-family assets throughout Canada.

The new name and branding is an important step in Greyspring’s evolution as an independent operating business. Formed in 2018 by long standing-partners Marlin Spring and Greybrook Realty Partners, Greyspring Apartments was established with the goal of building a leading asset management firm with a robust portfolio of residential rental real estate assets in primary and secondary markets across Canada.

Greyspring’s talented team of real estate, asset management and finance professionals is overseen and guided by the Management Board, whose members include Benjamin Bakst, CEO, Marlin Spring; Elliot Kazarnovksy, CFO, Marlin Spring; Sasha Cucuz, CEO, Greybrook Securities Inc.; Peter Politis, CEO, Greybrook Realty Partners; Chris Salapoutis, President & COO, Greybrook Realty Partners; Ashi Mathur, President, Marlin Spring; and Karl Brady. In addition to his role on the Management Board, Karl Brady leads Greyspring Apartments as its President. 

“We are pleased to announce the official name and branding of a business we formed with our partners at Marlin Spring a few years ago,” said Peter Politis, CEO, Greybrook Realty Partners. “Greyspring has been diligently focused on the execution of strategic value-add programs across its portfolio that are improving the quality of housing for tenants and overall asset values. For Greybrook investors, expanding from our core business in real estate development to the value-add space through Greyspring, has allowed us to provide our clients with investment opportunities that diversify their real estate investment portfolios.”

“Marlin Spring and Greybrook have partnered on many residential real estate projects in recent years,” said Benjamin Bakst, CEO and Cofounder, Marlin Spring. “To a great extent, Greyspring illustrates our approach to partnerships. We believe in, and strive for, responsible growth through deepening our relationships with our trusted partners. With Greyspring, we’ve formalized our focus on providing better and more affordable living experiences for Canadians. This vision aligns with our mission to deliver exceptional real estate value to all our stakeholders with an uncompromising adherence to our core values.”

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