Soon, Your Real Estate Agent Could Be Paying You!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty - East Monmouth

It's illegal right now in New Jersey, but pending legislation would allow real estate brokers to pay clients a portion of their commissions at the close of a deal.

New Jersey is one of just 11 states that don't allow the incentive, said Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Union), one of the bill's sponsors. It would be up to the individual real estate agent to decide whether to pay the client and how much.

"We're trying to help the real estate market and to allow real estate agents and brokers to make deals happen," Scutari said.

The bill (S139/A373) cleared the Senate Commerce Committee. It has passed the Assembly and now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Senator Scutari's comments don't address the fact that the bill would only allow real estate brokers, not most real estate agents, to make rebate offers.  It is not clear if the intent is to allow an individual real estate agent to offer rebates with the permission of his/her broker of record.

There are many consumer rebate real estate firms across the country.  They are typically not full-service real estate agencies, but offer the rebate to home buyers who are willing to do the home search and view properties on their own, making their own appointments and arranging for access, etc.  The real estate agent provides assistance in submitting the offer, answering questions via phone or email and coordinating the closing.

Many first-time home buyers need lots of guidance and people relocating to a new city often want an agent with keen market knowledge of local schools and neighborhoods. But proponents believe a large number of people will embrace a firm offering limited service because it comes with a big rebate. 

What do you think?  Would an incentive like this appeal to you as an option on a menu of services offered?  Would you engage a real estate firm that was not "hands-on" or available to provide real estate expertise face-to-face? 

Susan McLaughlin

New Jersey Real Estate,Jersey Shore real estate,Red Bank real estate,Rumson real estate,rumson homes for sale,red bank for sale,fair haven for sale

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Daniel Bennison
Reece & Nichols Mission Hills - Prairie Village, KS

I think it creates too much oppurtunity for fraud. I think the status quo is fine for now.

Dec 18, 2009 02:36 PM #1
Guy Thomas
WR Starkey Mortgage - Colorado Springs, CO

I think the $8000.00 rebate stimulated Real Estate sales which leads me to believe that if a buyer could get money back, they would be more likely to go for it.

Dec 18, 2009 02:42 PM #2
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN

There are firms that offer 20-30% rebate.  One firm has the client find the home through open houses, or asking the listing agent to show them a property and then they write it up.  The advantage to the buyer is that the firm collects commission and rebates to the client. There is a company, "Almost Free Realty," that lists a home at no cost with the stipulation that the seller become a buyer when their home is sold.  If the seller never becomes a buyer the company has to change their name to "Almost Broke Realty."

Costco has a travel club with discounts, auto club, and real estate club with preferred agents who give back rebates.

Most people think that real estate agents are paid far too much. After being run around by several buyers this year who wanted to see over 50 homes, I recently went over a few buyer's presentations.  They all position the agent as their personal hamster that will spin wheels to find 'the perfect dream home.'   So, how do we really want to educate our clients?  By telling them we will mindlessly taxi them around to 30-50 homes, and list a home for any price the seller 'needs?'  Is our value in how much we rebate, or in how much skill and experience we bring to a transaction? 

Dec 18, 2009 02:45 PM #3
Susan McLaughlin
Keller Williams Realty - East Monmouth - Red Bank, NJ
Monmouth County Real Estate

That's very interesting about Costco partnering with real estate agents who give discounts.  I, too, have been "the personal hamster" running around for buyers who never end up buying.  Deciding who to work with is a skill learned the hard way for most of us.

I agree with your points.  I don't know how to give less to a buyer than I do now and value my time and expertise too much to reduce my commission by a big percentage.  I wonder how agents feel about this in areas where it is prevalent. 


Dec 18, 2009 02:58 PM #4
Dan Tabit
Northstone Real Estate Inc. - Sammamish, WA

We have commission rebate companies in Washington and for the most part, I'm not a fan.  A large number of small shops opened up with this model only to fail.  Some large ones are surviving by claiming full service without full commissions and frankly they don't deliver and they make true full service agents look bad. 

For the consumer, I don't think they work out well.  Most of the ones I've seen have a very poor record of success in getting their listings sold.  The client has too much input, which they want because they think what we do is easy.  After being on the market for 6 months the listings expire and they value has decreased. 

Dec 18, 2009 06:40 PM #5
Jamie Stimpson
Keller Williams West Monmouth - Freehold, NJ

Just  a thought, how many of us ask our car salespeople, Lawyer's, and Doctors how much of the fee they will give us back for using their services.The more they open up our industry to what in all other 's would be considered  an" under the table" transaction the worse we look.

Jun 11, 2010 01:33 PM #6
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Susan McLaughlin

Monmouth County Real Estate
Call me anytime to discuss your plans
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