Save Tens of Thousands of Dollars on Your Next Home Purchase
Our 1% Real Estate Commission Rebate Program for Home Buyers
Today’s intelligent and savvy home buyers prefer to begin their search online and then attend open houses without an agent. They know what they want, conduct their own home search, know how much to spend and have a solid understanding of home values.
They don’t need someone to drive them around town to find and “sell” them a home. Instead, they look to Menlo Atherton Realty to provide honest expert advice throughout the entire search and purchase process. Except for touring around showing you homes, we do everything a full-commission agent does plus we give you a real estate commission rebate of 1% of the purchase price.
Unlike full-commission firms, we reward you for doing the legwork you are already doing. We call it Home Buying 2.0 that can save you tens of thousands of dollars on your next transaction. What buyers really need is honest and objective expert guidance – So they hire us.
Is Our Home Buyer Rebate Program Right for You?
When you buy a home through Menlo Atherton Realty you will receive a cash rebate for all real estate commissions received by us in excess of 1.5% of the purchase price of the home (these figures are subject to a minimum commission of $10,000 to Menlo Atherton Realty). Typically sellers offer a buyer’s agent commission of 2.5% – 3.0% of the purchase price. What makes us different is we then provide a commission refund of 1%-1.5% back to the buyer. We provide expert guidance throughout the search process and once you identify a home you would like to purchase, we take over from there and do everything a full-commission agent does, and MORE!
What is the difference between working with Menlo Atherton Realty versus a traditional full-commission real estate agent?
- Knowledge & Experience – When you compare our combined real estate experience, knowledge and service to other well-established traditional commission agents, you will quickly see we offer all of the same services yet we surpass most of them when it comes to experience and customer service. The most notable difference is with Menlo Atherton Realty you receive real estate rebate of 1-1.5% of the purchase price for doing the same legwork you are already doing today!
- No pressure to close a deal – With Menlo Atherton Realty there is no pressure to close a transaction. We work in partnership with our clients beginning at the search phase and ending with post-purchase support. Most buyers invest a lot of time researching and visiting open houses on their own. When buyers find a home they like, they contact us. Buyers then receive a superior customer service experience where we manage the entire home buying offer and closing process.
- Buyer sets timetable – With me, the buyer sets the timetable. I am happy to operate on your schedule without rushing you into a home purchase. I only act on homes that you choose.
- Referral-Driven Business Model – Unlike traditional agents, I don’t spend most of my time recruiting new clients. Therefore it’s absolutely critical that I derive my new business from satisfied client referrals.
- Objective advice – I know that if a client is calling me wanting to make an offer, they have already convinced themselves it is a great home. This is where I really differentiate myself from other agents. I actually do my best to point out any negatives about the home and/or the neighborhood so my clients can make an educated and objective decision. Since I do not have any upfront time invested in showing the home I have no bias either way.
My goal is to provide my clients with honest and unbiased opinions and information and get you the best deal on the right property to create a satisfied client and earn a referral.
How can I provide unbiased advice?
Due to my business model and low pressure approach I have no bias to get you into a home quickly. Here is why:
- Once a buyer gets serious about their search and starts going to open houses they are exposed to other agents hosting open houses. These “hosting” agents are there for one reason, to get buyer clients! As you probably already know, hosting agents are quite aggressive about trying to steal buyers away from other agents. All Realtors are aware of this and are fearful of losing clients. The longer a buyer is out in the field going to open houses the more likely they will succumb to the high-pressure tactics of a skilled open house hosting agent.
- All full commission agents are competing against all other full commission agents whereas I am only competing against other rebate realtors who are few and far between therefore my risk of losing a client is quite low. This fact enables me to give honest and unbiased advice without pressure.
- Since I do not spend my time showing homes and neighborhoods, I don’t feel pressured to rush you into a home purchase to put an end to the showings. My goal is to provide you with honest and unbiased opinions and information.
Menlo Atherton Realty encourages you to search MLS listings and attend open houses on your own, without pressure. We provide you with the online resources and advisory assistance you need to ensure a smooth search and purchase process. We are always committed to our principles of transparency, performance and value for your dollar. This is why we offer excellent customer service and a no-pressure sales approach plus a home buyer commission rebate.
Here’s how we work for you
During the search phase we will provide you with the following:
- Provide you with daily email search results direct from the MLS;
- Access to the weekday “broker tour” open house list;
- Property profiles, comps & disclosures for your properties of interest;
- Honest, expert guidance;
- Access to homes unavailable through open houses.
Once you identify a home you’re interested in we will perform the following action items:
- Come out and examine the home with you, discuss pricing, property condition, the neighborhood, comps etc.;
- Perform a thorough analysis of the disclosures and inspection reports and submit to you a written analysis regarding those documents;
- Analyze sales data to create a thorough market analysis and submit to you a comprehensive report;
- Negotiate and prepare the purchase contract and supporting documentation;
- Once your offer is accepted we will manage all aspects of the escrow process including: all paperwork, disclosures, coordinating with the title company, lender, inspectors, contractors, listing agent and sellers to ensure a smooth transaction.
How can buyers see a home without a realtor?
We offer a number of ways to help you see a specific home:
- Open house – Most open houses are listed in the MLS but some are not. If your home of interest does not have any open houses listed in the MLS we will contact the listing agent to find out if there are any open houses not listed in the MLS. You will be surprised and how many agents fail to enter open houses into the MLS – especially if the home has been on the market for a while.
- Broker tour – All new listings and price reductions greater than 5% are open on a specific weekday from 9:30-1:00. Each region has its own tour day. The tour day for the North Peninsula region (San Bruno down to Menlo Park) is every Tuesday. The Palo Alto, Los Altos and Mountain View regional tour day is every Friday and the South Bay tour day is every Wednesday. Almost all new listings have general public open houses the weekend following the broker tour, so the broker tour is a nice backup in case you are not available to see the home by visiting the regular open house over the weekend.
- Listing agent – we will contact the listing agent to see if it is possible to arrange a special showing directly with the sellers or listing agent.
- We will open for you – If none of the above methods work out for you, we can show you the home provided you have already seen the home from the outside and are comfortable with the neighborhood. For those days you need to see a number of homes, we also provide touring services. If you’d like to see a few homes or a lot of homes, a Menlo Atherton Realty field agent will spend the day opening homes for a nominal hourly fee. Visit as many homes as you’d like, you are never obligated to buy a home through us.
How will I receive my real estate commission rebate?
There are two different ways to receive your commission rebate from Menlo Atherton Realty.
- Credit on your closing statement – this is the preferred method for most of our clients. This means our rebate will show up on your closing statement as a credit, thus requiring you to bring in less cash to close escrow;
- Check after the close of escrow – some clients prefer to receive their commission rebate after the close of escrow in the form of a check directly from Menlo Atherton Realty.
For clients wanting their rebate after the close of escrow, we will send an electronic transfer (ACH) or mail a check the day after the close of escrow – your choice. Whichever your choice, check or escrow credit, you’ll always receive from us our signed commission rebate agreement prior to making an offer.
Is a real estate commission rebate taxable?
NO, real estate commission rebates are not considered a taxable event in the eyes of the IRS. Rebates DO reduce the cost basis of your home when you sell it. For example: let’s assume you purchase a home for $1.0m and receive a 1% ($10k) commission rebate. Let’s also assume you subsequently sell the home for $1.1m. Normally your capital gain would be $100k. However, if you received a $10k commission rebate then your cost basis of the home would be $990k and your taxable capital gain would be $110k (assuming you choose to report the commission rebate). Menlo Atherton Realty does not report California real estate commission rebate to the IRS. It is the responsibility of the buyer to adjust their cost basis when they report the future home sale to the IRS. Click on the links below to learn more about the government’s position on real estate commission rebates: http://www.justice.gov/atr/
* Our 1% commission rebate for home buyers is based on a commission of 2.5% to the buyer’s agent. However, few homes offer 3% which would result in a commission rebate of 1.5% to the home buyer.