We’ve received a number of emails on our main site asking for referrals of rebating realtors in their region. Let us know where you’re looking and what type of rebate you’re hoping to receive and we’ll see what we can do.
Happy home hunting as we leave winter and enter into the spring buying season. Good luck and negotiate well!
As we near the end of February, buyers and sellers are clamoring to finalize their taxes, update their lender pre-approvals and researching school data in preparation for their search. Have you updated your financials to accurately assess whether buying a home makes sense for you?
Many buyers lose sight of the fact that while there is a quality of life aspect to your purchase, it ultimately comes down to a numbers game. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and make sure the return rates make sense for you.
We’ve received a lot of questions regarding leverage once your offer has been accepted. The truth is, you’ll want to prepare in advance for your buyer’s inspection period. Hopefully, prior to submitting your offer, you’ve touched base with your preferred home inspector, termite inspector and contractor regarding their availability. In your offer, your realtor should have built in a inspection contingency period (which ranges by region) which is customarily 10 days in the Los Angeles area. Of course you can lower that number to make your offer more appealing but that’s a different topic to be discussed later.
Now that your offer has been accepted, it’s to your advantage to schedule all of your vendors to perform their services as early as possible into the contingency period. This buyer beware or due diligence period is extremely important and is your “out” for any reason. Thus, you’ll want to make sure your home inspector is EXTREMELY thorough and will provide you with a detailed report with explanations and pictures that can be easily fowarded via email. Here is when you want to go with quality of service over price (rest assured, a quality report will generate more net savings) as these reports and data will as your leverage to negotiate seller credits.
In summary, tip 1, reach out and build your preferred group of vendors. Home inspector, termite, contractor, plumber, rooter service technician, and if necessary a topography/geological survey specialist.
Tip 2, check their availability so that they are all available as soon as your offer is accepted so you can get everything done earlier on into the inspection contingency.
The majority if our posts emphasize the importance of leverage on either side of the transaction. We can ultimately agree that reduced transaction costs and commission amounts are benefits to buyers and sellers. However, what is the impact of the other party knowing that your representative is offering a discount (either a buyer’s rebate or a discounted listing commission) incentive. Will you, on the opposing end, see their offer has having more room to move?
For example, let’s say you are a seller and an offer comes in from “Rebate Realty Group” or a known discount brokerage. Knowing that the buyer will be receiving a rebate, how does that impact your view of the offer? Do you feel they have more room to come up especially since their hard money costs will be reduced?
Or say you are a buyer and find a listing by said Discount Realty Firm, will your offer amount change knowing that they will be netting more due to reduced commissions? Will you then reduce your amount accordingly?
Leverage is key in real estate and keeping aces in your pocket are always to your advantage (on both sides). Buyers and sellers can achieve their goals but negotiating when “traditional” firms the same rebate or discounted commission, thus taking advantage of the savings without sacrificing additional leverage. Everything is negotiable, the worst thing that can happen is they say no, or you receive a counter.
A number of clients have asked us in which areas do you see a rise of commission rebate real estate agents (say that 10x fast) and while you may think this is a new phenomena, it’s actually existed under the radar for many years. Now, agents are incorporating this historically friends and family discount directly into their business model and oftentimes their business names.
Knowledge is always power so in the past, an online, easily accessible (from a UX standpoint) directory of listings didn’t exist so agents controlled what properties were available for sale. Unless there was a huge sign in front of house, most buyers wouldn’t have the slightest idea.
Now, to go back to the original topic, the simplest answer are cities in which there are high property values, low inventory, job growth, specifically in technology/innovation, high concentration of college graduates and modern real estate development projects.Chances are if the homes are being marketed heavily online by developers and agents, savvy buyers in the area are going into the home buying process with knowledge of commission rebates.
Now, the question of whether going with a discount or rebating realtor with that discount in the name is a good idea is a different story, which we’ll tackle next time.
The answer is, it depends. Is your market extremely competitive? If so, we’d recommend viewing your real estate commission rebate as a reduction of your out of pocket hard money costs associated with buying a home. Your goal should be to minimize the amount of money you need to pay out of pocket when purchasing a home. Think of it as the opportunity cost of having $5k in hand or borrowing an additional $5k over 30 years. While your long term holding costs and interest on that $5k will translate to much more, it’s more advantageous (at least in our eyes) to have the $5k in hand now so that you can leverage that to increase your offer amount.
Besides, once you’re in escrow, you can negotiate to recoup the increase in the form of a price reduction in exchange for removing contingencies throughout the process.
Thoughts anyone? It depends on the situation, but it a competitive market, usually the most important part of the offer is the price. End of story.
I just had a discussion with a rebating real estate agent (rebating realtor) colleague of mine and we discussed a new model that he’s been implementing that has saved his clients a lot of time and money.
Firstly, the most important thing for any buyer is to pre-approved by a lender to see what loan amount they qualify for. And at that point, always respond with yes if anyone asks if you are working with a realtor. We can’t emphasize how important that is as our goal is to save time and money.
Now to the model.
Buyers receive a 60% commission rebate if an offer is accepted within the first week
Buyers receive a 40% commission rebate if an offer is accepted within the first month
Buyers receive a 20% commission rebate regardless of time
With firms like redfin.com and upstarts like rebagents.com disrupting traditional real estate prices, it’s your duty as a buyer or seller to do your due diligence and explore all the time (which translates to money) savings you can benefit from.