Simple. Upfront. Direct.
No monkey business.
first things first
How Agents Get Paid
Before we talk about pricing programs, it’s important that you understand how real estate agents are paid.
It Starts with a Seller
When an individual wants to sell their home, more often than not they hire a listing agent to market and sell the property. Re/Max, Century 21, and Keller Williams are examples of real estate brokerages that specialize in listing homes. Commissions are negotiable but generally range from 5-7% of the final sales price of the home.
When the listing agent enters information about the home into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS – the database of homes for sale used by Realtors), they agree to give a portion of the 5-7% listing fee to the agent who brings the buyer to the transaction. Again, commissions are negotiable, but buyer’s agents most often take 3% of the listing agent’s fee. At closing, all real estate commissions are deducted from the seller’s proceeds and are distributed to each of the agents.
Traditionally, commissions are a seller’s expense, although a strong argument can be made that it’s the buyer who brings the money and – therefore – the commissions to the table. Suffice it to say that commissions are rolled into the sales price of the home.
Here’s an Example
Total Commission Paid by Seller
3% or $24,000
Split Between Agents – 50/50
$12,000 to Seller’s Agent
$12,000 to Buyer’s Agent
Rebates are paid out of the respective agents net share of the commission, after any referral fees are paid.
earn a rebate
Flat-Fee Rebate Program
If you’re the “do-it-yourself” type and have time to do some of the legwork, our flat-fee rebate program might be right for you.
Flat-Fee Rebate Program
We created our flat-fee program to incentivize buyers to help us manage our workload and to enable us to protect the rights of as many home buyers as possible. As such, if you’re willing to do some of the work, we’re willing and eager to share in the reward.
The program is simple.
If we don’t have to show you more than 10 houses and make more than 3 trips, we’ll work for a flat fee of $8,000 for homes priced from $300,000-$650,000, or $12,000 for homes over $650,000. The balance of the commission and any/all bonuses paid by the seller or builder are rebated to you at closing.
Sales price: $400,000
Buyer’s Agent Commission: 3% or $12,000
Rebate to you: $12,000-$8,000 = $4,000
With the exception of trip and showing limits, the rest of the services are the same as the full-service program, including our commitment to helping you find and buy a quality home with good resale potential.
The Fine Print
Rebates are based on our NET commission. If you were sent to us by NAEBA, SkyFor, or another referral source, we owe them a referral fee. Rebates are based on the commissions earned after the referral fee is paid.
Short sales, foreclosures, FSBOs, and new construction (with the exception of finished spec homes) are excluded from the flat-fee program.
leave it to us
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, are relocating from another area, or would simply appreciate a higher level of service, our full-service program might be better for you.
It’s the Same…Only Different
The full-service program is essentially the same as the flat-fee program – less the restrictions. There is no limit to the number of homes we’ll show, and we’ll make as many trips as necessary to find you the right house. You can build your dream home, go fishing for foreclosures, or scoop up a short sale. Or, you can just sift through the resale market until you find something that feels right.
For our full-service clients, we do it all. We help you filter listings, teach you about construction, floorplans, and the like, then help you select a home with good resale potential. We handle negotiations and hold your hand from contract execution through closing.
Our fee for this service is 3% of the sales price of the home, paid out of the seller’s proceeds at closing so there is no cost to you for our services. There is no buyer rebate under this program.
Many of our buyers start as flat-fee buyers and then convert to full service. House hunting is time-consuming and at times very frustrating! Don’t be embarrassed to turn the whole thing over to us if you’re sick of what can seem like a one-step-forward, two-steps-back process.
pick & choose
Unbundled services let you bridge the gap between hiring a full-service, traditional agent and going it alone.
Pay for What You Need
There are times when a buyer or seller doesn’t need all the services that a traditional agent has to offer. You might be purchasing a home that belongs to a friend or family member and just need someone to execute contracts and manage the transaction. Or, you might be selling and need an MLS listing. Or need an expert opinion on the condition and marketability of your home.
The internet has made it possible for a subset of buyers and sellers to conduct some real estate activities on their own or with minimal assistance from a real estate agent.
Our a-la-carte program allows you to pay for only the services you want and need while saving thousands of dollars in real estate commissions. While we don’t act as your fiduciary, we will answer all your questions and provide you with the information you need to make good decisions.
Please contact us for more details about this program.
- Write or review earnest money contracts
- Negotiation advice
- Advice and pricing information on a house you purchased through another agent
- Review inspection reports
- Financing guidance
- Review closing statements
- Attend closing
- Pricing reports
- Review title documents
- Attend design center meetings
- Flat-fee MLS listing (free for past/present clients)
- CMA and pricing reports
- Tour your home and provide improvement advice
- Review closing statements
- FSBO transaction management
- Yard sign and key box rental
- Help selecting the most qualified buyer from a multiple offer sales situation
Our Complete Suite of Services
The same extremely high level of service, fiduciary duty, and care are included with every program we offer: a-la-carte, flat fee, and full service.
One Home MLS Access
OneHome gives you direct access to the MLS, which is the database of homes for Realtors. You’ll receive new listings in real-time, sort homes, take virtual tours, and more. It’s the best source for unfiltered, accurate home listings and information.
Guided Home Tours
While you’re deciding whether or not this is the one, we’ll look for problems with the foundation, HVAC, floor plan, neighborhood, etc. We’ll highlight out all the positives and negatives of a property, and point out things you may not have considered.
Review Seller's Disclosures
Sellers are required to disclose everything they know about a home. Do they? Sometimes. We review these disclosures with you carefully and ensure you have as much information as possible before you submit an offer.
Research Property History
How much did the seller pay and how long have they lived in the home? How many prior owners were there? Was the property difficult to resell? We try to get as many of these questions answered for you as we can.
Inspections & Repairs
Most inspection reports are 40-60 pages long! On your own, reading one is an exercise in tedium. We’ll take a deep dive into the report for you and determine which repairs are reasonable to ask the seller to make. Later, we’ll make sure they were completed according to the terms of the contract.
Title Policy Review
Your title policy will tell us if there are any liens that would prevent the seller from closing on time. We’ll review your title commitment on your behalf and work with the title company to ensure a that a clear title is conveyed at closing.
We’re going to hold your hand through all the important steps of the homebuying process. We’ll tell you what to do and when, and make sure you let nothing fall through the cracks.
Appraisals and their contingencies can be complicated and problematic. Should you waive yours? What happens if the house doesn’t appraise? We’ll be here to guide you through it all.
If you’re relying on online valuations to help you determine the how much to pay for a home, you’re doing it wrong. The only accurate source of pricing is via an agent and data stored on the MLS. Running a Comparative Market Analysis/pricing report is one of the most important things we do, and we do it very well.
Review Closing Statements
Your closing statement is an itemized list of all the fees you have to pay in order to close your transaction. We’ll make sure your charges are what you expect and that you receive all the credits to which you’re entitled.
We designed our pricing model to be simple and straightforward. You know exactly what you’re getting, and you won’t be blindsided by any additional fees for our services. When you’re ready to move forward with your house hunt, we’re here to help you bring your goals to fruition.
Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions.
How are you different than a discounter?
Discounters claim to do the same job for less money. They operate on a volume basis and, more often than not, perform low quality services to match. HelpUBuy agents don’t mind earning less money if we can do less of the work that doesn’t require our expertise. You help with the ‘grunt’ work; we do the hard stuff, then we reward you by sharing our commission. Reducing our workload allows us to represent more clients than we could otherwise manage while maintaining our stellar level of service.
Why 10 houses in 3 trips?
Experience has shown that about one in eight houses is a really good house. We round up to ten to give you a little wiggle room. Since we don’t want to take ten trips to show you ten houses, we limit our trips to three. There is no charge for the trip we take for your final walk-thru.
Will I receive a larger rebate if you only show me 6 houses? What if I view 12?
The terms of our agreement are not negotiable. If we show you 6 homes, we will be paid our standard flat-fee commission. If we show you 12 homes, our commission will be 3% of the sales price of the home.
What if I can't find a house in 10 showings?
No worries! If you are unable to purchase one of the first ten homes you view, we’ll ask if you’d like to convert to the full-service program. This is, in fact, what many of our clients end up doing. There are no trip or showing limits under the full-service program; we are paid 3% of the sales price of the home out of the seller’s proceeds at closing.
How will I receive my rebate?
Rebates can be distributed in a variety of ways, the best way being a Realtor contribution toward your closing costs and/or pre-paids. You cannot use your rebate as part of your down payment. We disclose all rebates to your lender and fully comply with all RESPA/TREC procedures.