The rebate is a large sum of money. For example, if we close a home at $1,000,000, the buyer receives a $20,000 rebate. If the rebate is taxable, that reduces the benefit significantly. Please ask your accountant for your final answer. However, we did our own research. Please read this blog on IRS ruling for real estate buyer rebates. Reator Blog: Is Buyer Rebate Taxable?
Another way to minimize the issue with the IRS is to include the rebate into your closing statement and basically reduce your down payment. Therefore, no IRS reporting (1099 form) is needed from Realmart.
Search for properties online using Zillow or Realtor.com. You can save your custom search results and have the search engine send email alerts for new listings. We will also set up automatic alerts depending on your home criteria on the MLS site(s). You will review and only select the ones of interest, this will save time for you and us.
Yes, we will not be able to represent you until you have signed a Buyer Rebate Agreement (you may cancel this agreement anytime). The Buyer Rebate Agreement will protect and guarantee the rebate at closing and our services during the entire transaction. Once you sign a Buyer Rebate Agreement with us, you must disclose, let other parties know you are being represented. When you are asked if you have an agent, the most appropriate response is “YES, I/we have an exclusive buyer-agency agreement“. Never misrepresent yourself to a realtor and/or homeowner or trick him/her into showing you the property, then switch agencies, it’s unethical. We will not be able to represent you if that occurs and you will lose out on the rebate.
After you sign the agreement, we will represent you as your buyers’ agent. We will provide you with business cards, and you can use them to the showing agents. You can also give the card out at public open houses to inform other parties you’re being represented. When driving through neighborhoods you see a home of interest, call us for availability. Only if we are not available and if the homeowner(s) are outside, introduce yourself to them and provide them with our business card, ask them to give it to their agent, so an appointment can be made. Always ask them when the next open house is scheduled. You do NOT need to tell the listing agent or seller that you are getting a Rebate, but you must disclose you are represented. We strongly advise you NOT to knock on peoples doors. We also advise that you sign in with Realmart contact information at ALL open houses, and leave our business card to the showing agent.
YES, open houses are your best opportunity, but you must bring our business cards and sign in our name. Most new listings (<4 weeks old) have open houses. If you are familiar with a particular market, old listings are not what you are looking for. Listings that have significant price change will also have open houses.
Sometimes, open houses are hosted by other agents in the same office. When you are asked to sign any paper or sign in sheet, read carefully before you sign. Always sign in Realmart Realty contact information. Be sure to clarify to the agent that you are working with an agent already and present them with our business cards. Soliciting clients from other agents is strictly prohibited, so if someone tries to represent you after you told him/her that you are already represented, please notify us ASAP.
No, most real estate brokerages do not allow any rebates. The buyer’s agent’s share of the commission is usually half of the total 6% commission. If you buy a house directly through the listing agent, both 3% for the buyer’s agent and 3% for the seller’s agent will go to the listing agent as a disclosed dual agent. Whether or not you deal directly with the seller, the standard 6% listing contract states the listing agent still gets the full commission. No discounts for the seller finding the buyer, even if the buyer is his brother. The standard 6% Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement is biased towards realtors. The other factor is that almost all the big brokers don’t allow their agents to give rebates. Regardless, it still wouldn’t work because after the agent split the 3% with their broker, there wouldn’t even be enough left to give you 2% anyway. Most agents must share 50% of their commission with their broker.. Even if they agreed to work for free, they won’t be able to give you a 2% rebate.
Another important factor, do NOT ask the listing agent to provide you with a rebate, it compromises your negotiation when the sellers know you have a rebate. Let us get your best price first, only after the contract is signed, shall you disclose your cash rebate to all parties.
For some older listings, there might not be any open houses. You can still do your normal open house tour in the neighborhood on Sat or Sun at 1-4pm. We do NOT recommend you knocking on people’s doors, however, if you see the homeowner(s) outside, introduce yourself to them and provide them with our business card and ask the seller:
“…I am on an OPEN HOUSE tour today, and came across your home, and I am very interested. Is it possible for me to preview your home after about an hour? Here is my pre-approval letter and my realtor’s business card. If it is really not convenient, I can ask my agent to contact your realtor to schedule a showing…”
Do not insist on seeing the home right away. Sellers need time to prepare the home. Most of the time, the seller will grant you a courtesy to view the home after 1 hour. In rare cases, the seller says NO, then you can try to contact the listing agent when you are not able to reach us. You MUST check the home from the outside first to make sure you really like that house. Do NOT waste the listing agent’s time. On the call you must be very clear that you already have a buyer’s agent.
“…Dear Ms/Mr ______ My name is ______. I am on an OPEN HOUSE tour today without my agent, and I came across your listing at _________. Is it still available? I have an exclusive buyer agent but I am not able to reach him or his assistant now. The seller is right here, I am wondering if you can speak to the seller to allow me to preview the home in about an hour. I have seen many homes in the neighborhood, I am pre-approved, and I am ready to make an offer…”.
Some agents will appreciate your loyalty and will help you talk to the seller. However, if they are not willing to help you, it is 100% ok. Just ask them when the next open house is scheduled.
If NO OPEN HOUSES are scheduled, Do NOT worry, we will be able to show you the home. See next question:
YES! There is always a way to see the home, as long as it is available. If the listing agent is not having any open houses, we will assign you an agent to show you the home by appointment. You will drive by homes of interest to make sure that the exterior of the home is appealing to you and the location is right for you. When you are ready to view the interior of a home, contact your Realmart agent to arrange an appointment. Operating this way saves time for our agents by skipping homes that are undesirable. Because you are helping us work more efficiently, we can afford to reward you with a portion of our commission in the form of a rebate at closing. The rebate to our Buyer Client will drop when the home is shown by appointment. Realmart will keep a minimum commission of 1.5%. The rest of the commission will be rebated to the Buyer (maximum 1%). Below is an example of how the rebate is calculated:
|Buyer Agent Commission Offered by Seller
(i.e.: $500,000 Home)
|Homes Visited by Buyer at Open Houses||Homes Visited by Appointment with Agent|
|Commission Rate 3.0%: $15000||Buyer Rebate 2.0%: $10000||Buyer Rebate 1%: $5000|
|Commission Rate 2.5%: $12500||Buyer Rebate 1.5%: $7500||Buyer Rebate 1%: $5000|
|Commission Rate 2.0%: $10000||Buyer Rebate 1.0%: $5000||Buyer Rebate 0.5%: $2500|
The rebate program is designed to reward buyers who can help our agents work more efficiently and save time for our agents. Total rebate is linked to the commission offered to the buyer agent.
Note that if you visit a home through an appointment with an agent, you will receive 1% or less rebate, even if you decide to purchase a home visited through an open house later.