Our 2% Real Estate Commission Rebate Program
Today’s buyers prefer to begin their search online and then attend open houses without an agent. Our clients are intelligent and savvy homebuyers. They know what they want, conduct their own home search, know how much to spend and have a good understanding of home values. They don’t need a full-commission agent to chauffeur them around town to find and “sell” them a home. We provide honest expert advice throughout the search process. Once you identify a home you would like to purchase, we take over from there and do everything a full-commission agent does plus we give you up to a 2% real estate commission rebate.
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 Buyer Rebate Program Right for You?
When you buy a home through Menlo Atherton Realty you will receive a cash rebate for all commissions received by us in excess of 1% of the purchase price (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 rebate 1.5% – 2.0% back to the buyer. Once you identify a home you would like to purchase, we take over from there and do everything a full-commission agent does, and much 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 a rebate of 1.5% – 2.0% 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. 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 – Full commission agents invest quite a bit of time drumming up new business, and as a consequence, once you contact them they want to close a transaction as a quickly as possible. With me, the buyer sets the timetable – once you see a home you like, contact me to get the process started. I am happy to operate on your schedule without rushing you into a home purchase. I act on homes that you choose.
- Referral-Driven Business Model – Unlike traditional agents, I don’t spend most of my time recruiting new clients. Therfore it’s absolutely critical that I derive my new business from satisfied client refferals.
- 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 We Compare to Discount and Traditional Full-Commission Agents?
How can I provide unbiased advice when other agents cannot?
Realtors who keep 100% of the buyer’s agent commission are inherently biased to get you into a home as quickly as possible. Here is why.
- Full-commission agents invest quite a bit of time drumming up new business, and as a consequence, once you contact them they want to close a transaction as a quickly as possible.
- 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 pressure tactics of a skilled hosting agent.
- All full commission agents are competing against all other full commission agents whereas we at Menlo Atherton Realty are only competing against other rebate realtors who are few and far between.
- Since I do not spend most of my time drumming up new business, showing homes and helping buyers get to know neighborhoods, I don’t feel pressured to rush you into a home purchase. My goal is to provide you with honest and unbiased opinions and information.
- I know that once I speak with a client on the phone they will realize how objective, honest and knowledgeable I am. This realization gives them the power to resist the high-pressure tactics of full-commission hosting agents.
- Since my risk of losing a client is so low, I am able to give honest and unbiased advice.
- I typically do not have any time invested in showing a particular home so I have no bias either way.
How many Realtors can honestly make this claim by offering a California real estate commission rebate?
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 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 commission rebate.
Here’s how we work for you
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 I will manage all aspects of the escrow process including: all paperwork, disclosures, coordinating with the title company, lender, 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 homes are open on the weekend but some open houses are not listed in the MLS. If the home is not listed in the MLS, we will contact the listing agent to find out the exact open house schedule.
- 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 are open the weekend following the broker tour, so the broker tour is mostly a backup in case you are not available to see the home by visiting the open house the weekend after the broker tour.
- 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 can show 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. 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.
Scheduling a tour with us is easy as 1-2-3:
- Search the web for homes you want to tour.
- Send us a list of addresses you are interested in visiting.
- We will create a plan and schedule for visiting each home.
Tours are two hours minimum and require 24-hour notice to setup and are available 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week.
How will I receive my California 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.
For those clients 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 California real estate commission rebate taxable?
NO, California 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 2% ($20k) 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 $20k commission rebate then your cost basis of the home would be $980k and your taxable capital gain would be $120k. 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.