Buy Homes & Get Maximum Rebate
We take a low fee. The rest is all rebated to you. It can get up to 90% of buyer agent commission.
How does our model work?
It's a Common Misconception
that realtors work for you “for free”. So many buyers don’t think too much when choosing a realtor. But IT’S NEVER FREE!
Buyer realtor’s commission ultimately comes from you, the buyer. By providing you commission rebates, we are able to give you real savings. Let’s look at an example adapted from real life*.
(*Example not including mortgage related cost, prepaid tax and insurance. Numbers adjusted slightly for illustration.)
- Each showing $50
- Initial deposit $500
- Showing fees are paid upfront
- A background check will be performed to ensure agent safety.
Contract to Closing*
- Regular Single Family Home $1500
- Regular Condo/Townhome $1800
- Short Sale/Foreclosure $2500
- Price includes offer negotiation for up to two properties**.
* Due to the complexity of each transaction, pricing could be different. Contact us for a customized quote.
** The pricing is for the “contract to closing” of one transaction. There is a possibility that the offer on the first property is not accepted. In that situation, we provide one complimentary property offer negotiation.
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What is the process of buying a home?
- You identify the properties you would like to visit.
- We will set up the showings for you.
- We provide pricing consultations for the properties you are interested in.
- In the mean time, you should get loan pre-approval or proof of fund for cash offers.
- Once you decide on a property you like, we will help you prepare an offer and present to the seller.
- We will negotiate with the seller for your interest.
- Rest assured all confidential information you provided us are confidential forever.
- You got a contract!
- You need to pay the earnest money.
- We will help you arrange an inspection.
- We will coordinate with the attorney for contract review.
- We will further negotiate on your behalf based on inspection results.
- Your loan is approved.
- Closing date is set. We will let you know what to prepare for closing.
- We will coordinate for you to do a final walk through of the property.
- Closing day.
- We will send you a rebate check.
Why are you offering fixed fee realtor service? What’s wrong with the traditional realtor commission model?
Say you go to your doctor for a checkup. Just because you have 10 times the money as the next guy, is it fair to charge you 10 times the price for the same service? From my own experience as a buyer, seller and realtor, I believe it is unfair and outdated to charge a percentage-based commission for a realtor’s service. Selling a $800K house does not take 8 times the effort of selling a $100K house. The essential services that realtors provide are pretty much fixed from one sale to another.
Realtors “work for free” for buyers is the biggest lie in the industry. I can’t live with lying to my customers.
Realtors often tout they are worth the fee because of their “great service” (always return your call, reply to emails quickly, help you push buyers harder or negotiate with sellers harder, etc.). Well, these are just standard practice for every professional in the industry. The other kind touts “local knowledge and rich experience”. I can’t deny there is some truth to that. But in this day and age, we hardly need “local expert” to tell us that this restaurant has great fish or that road is often congested. We have Google.
This price is what I believe is fair based on the effort a realtor spends on a deal and the cost of technology and office fees. As we evolve, the fees maybe adjusted with new technology or new business methods.
Except realtor fees, what other fees should I expect when buying homes?
Buying a home involves many parties. Depend on whether you need a mortgage, there are different fees to take into consideration when you are setting your budget.
Most of the these fees exist whether you take a loan or not:
- Attorney fees
- Title settlement fee
- Recording fee
- Transfer tax
- Hazard insurance
- Inspection fee
When you take a loan, the bank or other financial institution will charge some or all of the following fees:
- Loan point
- Rate lock fee
- Underwriting fee
- Credit check
- Appraisal fee
- Title insurance
- Flood zone search
- Documentation fee
- Courier fee
- Property tax escrow
- Prepaid interest
Then how much closing fee should one expect? Not that we don’t want to give a number, but the reality is, there are so many different situations that makes the closing fee swing wildly from one property to the next. Any “ball park” figure could be so far off from the reality that it’s misleading. You may see an estimate of 2% – 5% of purchase price for most properties. But depend on your credit, the Bank fees could be over 3%. If the property tax is very high or very low, it could tilt your closing cost heavily. It should be noted that although the property tax and insurance escrow at closing are not necessarily “lending fees” as you have to pay them anyway, Banks usually require some extra money as their reserve. So those have to come our of your pocket at closing.
The bottom line is, all fees are eclipsed by realtor fees. And with our rebate, you can expect much less burden at closing.
The buying fee does seem low, but what kind of market research would I need to do to narrow down my search? Isn’t it a realtor’s job to advise and find properties for me?
Traditionally, people rely on realtors to recommend properties to them, and arrange showings. Some people would even see hundreds of houses before making a decision, and maybe they decide not to buy, or not to buy with this realtor. The poor realtor, having worked for months counting on the deal closing to get the commission, ended up not being compensated at all. It was precisely because of this reason that realtors charge an exorbitant fee since they need to hedge for those people leaning heavily on them.
But, if you are capable of finding a house with minimal realtor’s help, why should you pay more? Especially with lots of online resources available, buyers can do just as well without a realtor’s input.
What kind of market research do you need? First of all, ask yourself what do you want from a house. Do you value short commute time, or space for a growing family, or a potential to flip the house for profit? Then research different neighborhoods. As they say, location is the most important feature of a house. Which neighborhood you choose will directly affects your future lifestyle. When you have a vague idea of what properties might interest you, go to different open houses to get a feel. You’ll get first hand experience of further details of different properties, e.g. street parking, neighbors, yard work, oldness or newness, smells, sunlight exposure, room layouts, etc. Then you’ll further narrow down what you like and what you can’t tolerate. I would recommend set up a search alert on real estate websites, so you’ll get notified immediately when new properties hit the market. (Of course, we can also help you set up an MLS alert, but let’s face it, MLS technology isn’t as user friendly as the mainstream websites, like Redfin or Trulia) At the same time, make sure to get your finance in order during the house searching process. When you are ready to offer, a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter from a bank is necessary.
It might seem a daunting task, but trust me, you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
The reason why we don’t involve too much in the market research process is mainly because people’s preference is vastly different. Finding a home is an extremely emotional process, and it’s best done by the buyer in the comfort of his/her home, maybe with inputs from friends and family, reflecting on the past and imagining the future, coffee or wine in hand. A realtor can help with some subjective aspects, but if you google them, there’s a lot of resources online addressing all your questions. Frankly, I think a realtor’s interference with house searching could get intrusive: when you want to linger a little more at a neighborhood, realtors will rush you to the next appointment; when you already decide a property is a no-no, realtors still ramble on about the specifics. Therefore, the process works best when you already have a few candidates in mind, and come to us for showings. This will significantly reduce the emotional stress and wasted time on both parties.
Can I only choose partial realtor service when buying homes? Say, I already found a home I want to buy, and I’m willing and capable to handle all the financing, inspection, and negotiation, etc. I only need help with the contract, for a minimal fee.
There are two scenarios to your question.
First, it is the law in Illinois that requires minimum services provided by one realtor representing his client. That means, if I represent you in this transaction, I am obligated to provide a bundle of service (drafting contract, negotiation, closing coordination, etc). It is only through my representation that I could get my commission, and provide you with maximum rebate.
The second scenario is I only provide consultation service on drafting the contract, which I think is your target. However, I wouldn’t be “representing” you as agent to client. (I will cut the crap where other realtors will talk about not acting out of your interest without representation) The key problem here is that the Seller’s realtor, seeing there’s no Buyer’s realtor, will keep all commission (6%) to himself, or they’ll push to represent you as a dual agent. Occasionally, you can negotiate directly with the Seller’s realtor to let him refund you. But I’ve never seen a realtor willing to let go as much as our rebate.
Are the fees refundable if I change my mind mid-transaction?
An initial payment of $500 is due before we start property showings. If you find the property to buy in the first 11 properties you visited, there is no further charges, and you will expect a rebate at closing. If you can’t identify a property after seeing 11, there will be further charges based on how many properties you see. This is to ensure that our agents are compensated for their time. Similarly, when we enter the contract stage, there is no further charges. The showing costs are non-refundable.
If the deal closes successfully, buyer doesn’t need to pay out of pocket, as the remaining of the fee will be collected at closing. Buyer will get a rebate after we clear the closing check.
If we’ve worked on a transaction for a while and the buyer decides to cancel, it will depend on the substance of our work. To prevent abuse, we would need to be compensated fairly. But if the cancellation is a result of our fault or negligence, there’s no charge. After all, my goal is to try to save you money.