Frequently Asked Questions
PLEASE NOTE The “friendly” community sales manager is hired by, and represents the best interests of the builder, not you. VERY IMPORTANT You MUST tell the new homes sales rep that Dana Jensen is your agent during your FIRST visit. Otherwise, we will not be able to represent you. Print copy of my business card.
It seems too good to be true. What’s the catch?
There’s no catch! Our program rewards people for doing exactly what they are already doing…starting their home search on the Internet. We offer rebates to home buyers who come to us with a short list of homes they are interested in. Most realtors do not offer this, instead preferring to keep their entire commission regardless of how much time they have to invest in a client. We see this rebate as a way of giving back to those buyers who assist us in shouldering the time-consuming task of locating the right home for them.
Our program is geared toward the “do-it-yourself” segment of the market who takes on a very active role in the initial search. They just want an agent to assist with the negotiation and/or unlock the 3% builder commission so they can get a 2% rebate. However, if you’re not computer savvy or prefer (or expect) an agent to walk you through the home buying process from the beginning, we will be happy to refer you to a traditional agent that does not offer a rebate.
Is your service really free?
Builders offer a 3% realtor commission that is built into the price of the home. This is a marketing expense the builder simply pockets if you choose to purchase without representation. Since the builder pays all our fee to represent you as a buyer, NONE of our services will cost you a penny. However, if your offer is not accepted or we are otherwise unsuccessful in assisting you in your new home purchase, you owe us nothing.
How do you make money by rebating most of your commissions?
Because we do volume transactions, we are able to operate with reduced costs and still be profitable. This is very different than most agents that spend their time and money with listings that don’t sell and buyers that don’t buy. Our up-front approach usually attracts the most serious buyers. Because we only work with ready, able and willing clients, we can eliminate the taxi driving and other unnecessary (but time-consuming) tasks which make the home-sale process more efficient for all parties.
I’m already working with another agent. Does that matter?
Unfortunately if you are already under contract with another real estate agent, you are not eligible for our program. This service is not meant to solicit buyers already working with a buyer agent. However, once your current contract is terminated or expires, we would be happy to assist you.
I’m already registered with or have been taking to a new homebuilder, can I still get a rebate?
The answer is most likely. A builder usually wants to know at the first meeting if you have a real estate agent representing you. If you have already visited a builder, they are not legally bound to compensate a real estate agent, since you are already a potential client. Usually, a builder will allow you to have an agent after you have made contact with them. Please contact us and we will discuss the best way to approach the builder in this situation.
Are rebates legal?
Yes, rebates to home buyers are 100% legal in every state EXCEPT Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey and Oklahoma. Click here to see the United States Department of Justice website that specifically addresses real estate rebates. The harsh reality is that rebates are not very popular among the general population of real estate agents. Most agents make their living by keeping all of their commission, which is typically 3% of the sales price on a home. If an agent tells you rebating is not legal, they are ignorant of the law, or simply they make more money by convincing you otherwise.
Why don't all agents offer rebates?
Brokers and agents across the country are eyeing this trend nervously. Rebates are basically gifts that the buyer can use to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses; however, the buyer’s gain is often seen as a loss to the agent. Most agents earn their sole living based on the commission received from the real estate transaction. Often times, the agent has to split their commission check with their sponsoring broker. So, the misconception among many agents is that providing a rebate is synonymous to leaving a hole in their pockets, which ultimately results in less income for them. We don’t adhere to this belief.
We see a great opportunity in helping buyers that are actually capable of doing a great deal of the initial research and legwork. Our business model is based on volume transactions, and we don’t need to make 3% on each deal to be successful.
What homes qualify for a 2% cash back rebate?
We offer 2% cash back program for any to-be-built new construction homes. Many buyers find it easy to shop for new construction homes on their own without the assistance of an agent. In that scenario, our goal is simply to make sure you are aware of ALL your options. Once you locate a home you would like to purchase, we’re here to help negotiate the absolute lowest price plus rebate you 2% cash back.
What are "immediate delivery" homes? Would I get a rebate if I bought one of these homes?
An immediate delivery home is a brand new home that was customized for a particular buyer, but at some point during construction, the buyer backed out for whatever reason (financing fell through, loss of job, job transfers, death in the immediate family, medical problems, etc.) These homes are typically loaded with many beautiful interior/exterior upgrades and are priced very low for quick sale. The bottom line is that the builder is stuck with a home that is completed, but they no longer have a buyer. In this scenario, the builder is highly motivated to sell these homes as quickly as possible, even if that means selling at a loss!!!
As you can see why, these homes represent the best value on the market…if you can find them. The problem is that most buyers (and agents) don’t even know about these homes because many are not advertised or listed on the MLS. However, we have developed an exclusive system for locating these new home bargains and can assist in helping you find one that meets your criteria. Yes, we offer 2% cash back for immediate delivery homes. For these types of homes, we typically save our buyers $20,000 off the listing price PLUS get the builder to pay all your closing costs! Please REGISTER and tell us what you are looking for.
What if I want to buy a resale/existing home, do I still get a rebate?
You still get a rebate! The rebate amount is 1% of the purchase price provided we are compensated at 3% of the purchase price. The rebate is less than new homes because there is much more time and effort involved in buying an existing home. However, the main purpose for us to be involved is to negotiate the absolute lowest price on your new home. Think of your rebate as a bonus. Please register and tell us what you are looking for.
What are the best home search websites?
That depends on whether you’re looking for new homes only or resale/existing homes listed by a real estate agent. For New Homes, you can search ALL new home communities by ALL regional and national homebuilders in the U.S. here – FREE NEW HOME SEARCH. This is the MOST complete new home community search available. For Resale/Existing Homes, you can search ALL homes listed by ALL real estate companies including resale, short sale and bank-owned properties here – FREE MLS HOME SEARCH. Inventory refreshed every 15 minutes.
How do I see homes in person?
Once you find a home that interests you, here’s how to schedule a showing:
New Homes: Once you find a NEW home you would like to view, no appointment is needed. Simply visit the community sales center at your earliest convenience and speak directly with the builder’s community sales manager.
IMPORTANT: The “friendly” community sales manager is hired by and represents the best interests of the builder, not you.
VERY IMPORTANT: You MUST tell the new homes sales rep that Dana Jensen is your agent during your FIRST visit. Otherwise, we will not be able to represent you. Print copy of business card here.
Resale/Existing Homes: If you find an existing home you would like to view, simply contact your assigned agent to check availability and schedule a showing.
PLEASE NOTE: For resale homes, there will be a $100 showing fee (deducted from final rebate) for each home you request a showing appointment for through your agent. This includes wanting to view the same property multiple times. However, there is NO additional fee for REQUIRED visits to the property, such as home inspection and/or final walk-thru inspection.
To avoid having to pay a $100 showing fee, many of our buyers prefer to see homes on their own. There are 2 ways to do this: 1. Request a private showing through the listing agent by visiting FREE MLS HOME SEARCH and click on “Schedule a visit” next to the listing you’re interested in viewing. 2. Visit home during weekend open houses.
Will I pay more for my new home if you represent me?
NO! Your home will not cost you anymore whether you use us to represent you or you represent yourself. Builders typically pay a 3% commission to agents who bring them a buyer. But many buyers find it easy to shop for newly constructed homes on their own and don’t bother to enlist an agent. The irony is that the builders own company policy, requires the price of the home to be the same whether the buyer uses the service of an agent or not. Compensation provided to the agent is recognized by the builder as a marketing cost and has no impact on the final price of the home. In fact, most builders expect and encourage agents to participate in their home sales. Otherwise, the builder simply pockets this unused expense. There is no discount or price reduction if you purchase your new home without an agent.
Do you also represent the homebuilder or seller?
No, we only represent you. You are our client, not the homebuilder or seller.
Do I need to get pre-approved by a lender?
Yes, you need to get pre-approved before we can begin showing you homes. If you don’t have a lender, we can help you with the process of getting pre-approved. Some major builders will give you additional incentives if you use their lender of choice, such as help with closing costs.
Can you also help me sell my current home?
Yes, as fully licensed brokers we can also assist you with the sale of your current home. If we don’t serve your area, we’ll help find you a top-rated local agent that can help you sell your home fast and for top dollar. Start here FREE INSTANT HOME PRICE to find out the true value and suggested asking price of your home INSTANTLY for free! It’s fast, easy and 100% free. Just enter your address and instantly receive your home’s current value.
The $martest Way to Buy a Home!™