Leesburg Company Offers Commission Rebates to Homebuyers

Much like Uber has altered the taxi industry and Airbnb changed the travel bookings, internet services, too, have challenged many real estate traditions. A Leesburg broker is among those seeking to push the envelope—and put more cash in buyer’s hands.

Don Devine has operated a brokerage company for 27 years and has seen plenty of changes. A key one is that fewer prospective homebuyers are spending time riding in the back seat of a Realtor’s SUV touring numerous homes on their wish list. More common today, he said, is for house seekers to scan the internet and pick the houses they want to see. Once they’ve made their selection, they’re likely to find an agent to help them through closing. Traditionally, that agent collects a 3 percent commission for the service.

Devine says that in many cases, there’s no need for a buyer’s agent, particularly in sales involving experienced buyers. He said the details of the transaction and the buyer’s legal protections are mainly handled by a settlement company and its attorneys, not the agent. However, if a buyer goes to the table without an agent, that 3 percent commission typically doesn’t come off the settlement sheet; it just reverts to the seller’s agent.

A new web platform Devine launched this year, belowcontract.com, offers to ensure buyers get a piece of that commission—money that even could qualify as down payments at the settlement table. It’s not a small amount. On the sale of a $600,000 home, 3 percent is $18,000. If buyers enlist belowcontract.com as their agent, Devine said the company would rebate 80 percent of the commission back to the buyer. That’s $14,400 in this example.

While a departure from the traditional real estate model, rebates are permitted in all but 10 states. And services like Devine’s have gained traction elsewhere.

“If you find the house yourself, why do you need an agent,” Devine said. He does caution that the DYI approach is best for experienced real estate buyers; newbies may get value from the hand-holding and advice an experienced agent can provide. And the company does offer to provide referrals to qualified title companies, settlement lawyers, home inspectors, and other professionals who may be needed to help with the transaction.

Devine will be marketing the service statewide.

For details, go to belowcontract.com.

One thought on “Leesburg Company Offers Commission Rebates to Homebuyers

  • 2018-07-17 at 11:31 am

    The internet has changed this industry dramatically over the past 18 years I have been practicing. In this time, I have seen handwritten offers being replaced by faxed ones and now to digitally signed and transmitted from agent to agent from smart phones, Brokerages going store to store sharing their listings to dial up CD Rom based MLS systems to 70+ internet sites that are one click away from offering more information about available properties than one could imagine. Just in this short time frame there has been so many changes and they seem to change daily, it has become full time job staying on top of the market and its trends. Will there be a need for Real Estate Agents in the near future? My answer is YES, the need for quality, well educated professional is more important now than ever. Although the internet giants like Zillow, Facebook and surely Amazon will try to source their millions of followers and clients to use them for these types of services, and I have no doubt that this is the way things are going, they can’t be “boots on the ground” with every market. Hands on advice and consultation for buyer and sellers can’t be replaced by them, reliable sound advice in real time per transaction can’t be generated by algorithms, it can only be given with experience and education. The internet can provide all the forms you will need in a transaction, but will they be able to sit at your dining room table with you and your family and advise you of the pitfalls and intricacies involved with it. Hands on service is the one thing that will never be duplicated by them, empathy, patience’s, due diligence, loyalty and honesty are not going to be tabs to click on. I once heard “You can represent yourself in court as well, but its not something that is recommended”, this is true for real estate. Real estate is and will continue to evolve, but the human factor stays consistent and it will always have its place in this industry. When things go off track in a real estate transaction, and they often do, how hard will these discounted services work to protect your interest? How hard will they negotiate in your behalf? Having a trusted and well rounded advisor on your side is never a bad idea no matter if its your first home or 10th, good sound advice is worth something. I tell my clients that you are paying me for my experience and not my time, so by the math of this article you are only getting 20% guidance and attention in which you are paying 3600.00 for.
    Chance Harrison, Principal Broker/CEO Green Lawn Realty

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