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Property Guys come to Yellowknife
Real estate marketing company helps Yellowknifers sell privately

Kevin Allerston
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOIWKNIFE - Yellowknifers looking to buy or sell property have a new resource at their disposal. Signs for online real estate marketing service Property Guys have been popping up around Yellowknife over the last couple of weeks advertising private sales of property.

NNSL photo/graphic

The current location of Eye Candy at 5121 49th Street is one of the properties advertised with Property Guys. - Kevin Allerston/NNSL Photo

"We are a marketing company that specializes in real estate. We supply people with tools to sell their homes privately," said Ryan Sawatzky, owner of Property Guys in Yellowknife. Sawatzky said he got the idea to open the franchise after trying purchase property and becoming frustrated with the process.

"We want to show people it isn't as as hard as they might think to do it privately," he said.

"It comes down to dollars and cents," said Sawatzky, who owns the franchise with his wife Erin. "A lot of people don't feel the traditional way of selling property makes sense for them. With Property Guys they don't have to worry about the commission for the real estate agent. We aren't allowed to take commission on a sale because we are not realtors."

Property Guys is a private Canadian real estate marketing company that allows sellers and buyers purchase a marketing package at a flat rate and avoid paying sometimes hefty commissions to realtors. The Yellowknife franchise opened on March 4th, and already have four Yellowknife listings on their website with two waiting to be listed. Services range, depending on the package, from showing pictures and descriptions of the property online to virtual online tours with audio. Unlike real estate agents, who are paid only after a sale is complete, Property Guys are paid up front.

"We've only been open a week and a half and already have four listings, so we are pretty happy with that," said Sawatzky.

One of those listings belongs to Greg and Mary Ann Miller who are selling their 47th street home through the service.

"We chose to go through Property Guys because we kind of think the real estate agent commission is a little high," said Greg Miller. "Without the commission it gives us the chance to lower the price point that we are selling it at, which is good for the buyer."

He said that he had already received two calls from interested buyers since his listing went up on the 7th.

Rod Stirling, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Yellowknife, said that people trying to sell or buy property on their own have to make sure they do their research.

"There's quite a bit to it. You have to do a survey of the property, understand the zoning, insurance costs, what things can be improved to increase the value of the property. A real estate agent knows all this stuff," said Stirling. "What sometimes happens is a person will save themselves from paying the commission, but if they had used a realtor they could have sold it for more than they are saving."

"It's like if you have a problem with your car you can get out the manual and try to fix it yourself, or you can take it to a mechanic," said Stirling. "The main thing is that we're results driven. We're not paid until it is sold."

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