What is a home buyers commission rebate?
When you buy a home, your real estate agent is paid a commission, generally 2.5% - 3.0% of the price of your home. For a typical $2MM Bay Area single family home, the commission would be $50,000. Nice work if you can get it!
Agents can elect to rebate some of their commission back to their client, the buyer. Doing so allows home buyers to re-coup some of the purchase price of their home. Given the escalating costs of home prices in the Bay Area, savvy home buyers are looking for any financial edge to make home ownership more affordable.
Are rebates legal in California?
Yes! Home rebates are legal, and are considered 'pro-consumer'. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Justice has said that "Rebates make home buying less expensive", that rebates "[lead] to lower prices to consumers" and has sued a number of states that have tried to ban buyer commission rebates.
Can I ask my existing real estate agent for a rebate, and are rebate amounts negotiable?
Absolutely! You should ask your real estate agent for a home buyer rebate. If you like working with your existing real estate agent, you should enquire whether they are willing to offer you, or match, a home buying rebate. After all, it is your money that is ultimately paying their commission.
The standard commission rate in the Bay Area is 2.5%. Based on your home buying budget, you can calculate how much your real estate agent is making from your transaction. So, for example, if you are looking to buy a $1.6MM home, your agent's commission is $40,000.
A lot of Bay Area homebuyers are leading a 'self-directed home search', whereby they are using sites like Redfin and Zillow to track the market, and in the interest of efficiency and flexibility, attend open houses by themselves. If the buyer is doing more of the work themselves, it stands to reason that they shouldn't have to pay as much to their agent, and should be able to re-coup some of their purchase price as a home buyer's commission rebate.
How do I get the largest home buyer rebate?
The simplest and easiest way to maximize your home buyer commission rebate is to contact us at Unlocked. We offer our clients a 1% commission rebate. This is the largest home buyer commission rebate in the Bay Area (that we're aware of)!
For a $2.5MM home, we would rebate you $25,500. That is a substantial amount of money that could be used for:
- Renovations and upgrades
- New furniture, appliances or finishings
- Paying down your mortgage