The concept is simple: The prospective Buyer obtains a pre-qualifying loan letter from a lender up to the high price of homes being targeted. Most of the lenders can produce such type of letters within 24 hours and are usually good for 90 days from issue date. The Buyer then performs initial legwork of identifying homes on the market by visiting public web sites such as zillow.com. trulia.com, realtor.com, etc. Please do not initiate any inquiry on those sites as that will result in assigning buyer’s agent. We put in the offer and do all the paperwork and negotiations. Upon closing, you get up to 2.25% back from commission paid to the buyer’s agent.
Almost all MLS listed properties in Texas offer a 3% commission to a buyer’s agent. As your agent, we give you 2.25%, and we keep 0.75%. If the commission offered is ever less than 3%, your rebate is correspondingly less.
New builder homes
- They are the easiest to deal with!
- The salesman gets paid the same whether you have an agent or not
- They never object to paying a commission
- You never get a discount for not having an agent.
So it’s crazy not use us and get the rebate! Just give the salesperson our name and contact information on your first visit to the model home. Let us know in advance so we can be ready when they call us.
Getting in to see existing homes
You have several options in getting in to see a home.
- Open house is the most convenient
- Listing agent – most are willing to show it, but some may ask whether you have a Buyer’s agent. At that point mention that you do have one but is not available. The listing agent may ask for something in writing to ensure they get the entire commission. Most get 3% for the listing half of the commission, and another 3% if they also represent the buyer. Don’t sign anything!
- Paid showing – you can pay $50 to $100 to have an agent show you the home with no further obligations.
- Any other agent who is willing to show it to you without you signing any paperwork.
The big real estate websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia are intentionally misleading because their business is to sell leads.
They display the listing agent name, but not always the listing agent phone number (unless the agent pays for this). There is a link by each listing that says “Contact Agent”. This is meant to mislead you to believe this is the listing agent. It’s actually a paid advertising link. When you click on that link and enter your contact information, your “lead” goes to multiple agents who pay for your lead. They pay a flat monthly fee per zip code, and are usually very eager to get new business and show your home.
Don’t be surprised if you get phone calls from 3 agents eager to show you the home within 10 minutes of entering your information!
On Realtor.com, the agent and office name is at the top of the listing and sometimes includes a phone number. If not, then the contact information is inconveniently located towards the bottom.
On Zillow, Trulia, and others, the agent name will be labeled as “Presented by Bob Smith with ABC Realty” or “Courtesy ABC Realty”. You’ll need to google it to get the contact information.
Most property search sites sponsored by brokerage offices will have one of their agents appear as the listing agent. You’ll have to search the listing page for small print hidden somewhere with the actual listing office name.
We have some great resources on our website for finding out more about neighborhoods, schools, or a particular property. Browse Neighborhood Information Links, and Tax Appraisal Districts and get familiar with the information available.