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The Power of The Rebate

Believe it or not we have seen a resurgence in situations where multiple buyers are bidding simultaneously on the same home. In these situations buyers need to find a competitive edge when trying to outbid other buyers. There is no more powerful tool in gaining that advantage than "The Rebate".

Here is an example to illustrate the power of The Rebate in these situations:

Home is listed for $275,000 and the seller is offering buyer agents a 3% commission. Buyer X is utilizing the services of an agent that DOES NOT rebate a portion of their commission to the buyer. Buyer Y is utilizing the services of an agent that DOES rebate a portion of their commission to the buyer.

Buyer X offers $275,000 for the home. Buyer Y offers $277,000 for the home. Buyer Y wins the bid.

More importantly because Buyer Y's agent rebates more than $4,000 to Buyer Y, the net purchase price of Buyer Y's offer is less than $273,000.

Not only did Buyer Y win the bid but it did not cost Buyer Y anything relative to what Buyer X was offering.

A rebate is a powerful tool in all buying scenarios but particularly in multiple bid situations.

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            Brief History on Rebating

            In the world of homebuying the term "Rebating" refers to the practice of a real estate brokerage firm returning or refunding a portion of its commission from the seller or seller's agent to their buyer client.

            For many years the large and dominant real estate brokerage firms with the help of the National Association of Realtors fought for rules prohibiting the practice of Rebating. These firms and NAR were very successful for many years. That was until their actions caught the attention of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

            In 2005 the Department of Justice announced it had launched an investigation into two rulings by the South Dakota Real Estate Commission prohibiting brokerage firms from Rebating in South Dakota. Shortly after it began its investigation, the Department of Justice announced that the South Dakota Real Estate Commission had rescinded its rulings and that Rebating was now allowed in South Dakota. Thereafter the Department of Justice began investigating bans on Rebating in other states, resulting in several more states lifting their bans on Rebating.

            Now that the legal framework is set allowing more competition in the real estate industry, we hope that more firms like ours take advantage of that framework to provide consumers more choice when it comes to buying a home. Thank you.

            For more on the Department of Justice's efforts visit their page on Rebating: http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/real_estate/rebates.html

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                      Happy Holidays!

                      Thank you to all of our clients, friends and supporters for making 2013 our best year yet. Happy Holidays to all and we look forward to another great year in 2014.

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                        Bargain Shopping

                        It seems like with every new Holiday Season American consumers are demanding more and more value from retailers. In our technological age shoppers have become ultra savvy when it comes to value and price. No longer are consumers fooled into simply assuming that the most expensive item is the highest quality item. Consumers instinctively understand that value is more important than price and that with just a little extra research they can usually find a high quality item at a better value than the highest price one.

                        The question then for me is why has the American consumer not been more discerning when shopping for a real estate agent or firm? With a little extra research the consumer would realize that the highest price agents and firms are not necessarily the highest quality and that there are far better values available than the highest priced firms and agents.

                        Thanks to advancements in technology and overall efficiency, real estate agents can now provide the same if not higher quality services at a fraction of the cost. Why then have the prices for services not changed for the vast majority of providers over the past 30 plus years?

                        When the precursor to today's modern cellphone was introduced in the 1980's the original model cost $4,000 per phone. Can you imagine if you walked into Best Buy today and saw a cellphone listed for $4,000? Let's see do I buy an Iphone for $300 or the $4,000 phone that takes 10 hours to charge for 30 minutes of talk time? That would be a "no brainer".

                        If consumers were complacent the quality and value of goods in America would never improve. Thanks to American consumer demands the quality of almost every product has improved over time and the value of those products has increased immensely. If consumers start demanding better value and quality out of real estate agents and firms things will change. However, until consumers start flexing their purchasing power, the value provided by most firms will remain poor.

                        We encourage you to demand better value out of today's real estate industry. Thank you.

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