Everyday I talk to different kinds of client asking various types of questions depending on their buying needs. I like to share some of those questions which are common to everyone which can help to shed some light on those important topics. Here is a small set of questions related to New Home Buyers.
- I am new to Houston. I know Houston is big so I am puzzled and confused on where to start my New home search?
As you rightly said Houston is a big city, that’s why its named number 4th largest in the country. Being a big city with almost 2.1 million people has lots of options for home buyers with developments going in all directions. In North side, there is Woodlands, West side – Katy – Cinco Ranch, SouthEast side – TelFair, Northwest side – Bridgeland, Townelake,Cypres creek lake and many other master planned communities emerging to provide various housing options for Houstonians.
There area various factors plays role in making a decision about when and where to buy a new home. Depending on your situation, these factors vary in priority. For people with kids, good school district comes first preference whereas old people likes to stay close the closed knit community with accessible to shopping centers. People who like to avoid commute and like to tap into commuter system wants to stay close to bus stops or park and rides. According to the priorities of the factors, your home search criteria will change and based on that you should start figuring out your home base.
- When do I contact or get in touch with a Realtor?
It depends on each individual priority and amount of research you were able to do. If someone is handy with computers can search whole of website available over the net to get all sorts of information about homes available in the market, analyse the price range and so forth. Once you got your criteria’s set and able to narrow down your choices, you can contact the realtor and start working closely. If you don’t have internet access then your only option would be to contact the realtor right away.
- Is a Realtor eligible to give rebate or cash back contribution towards clients transaction?
Yes, it is very much legal for a Realtor to give cash back but in what method is giving the cash back is very important. It is illegal to pay the cash or write a check to the client. It is recommended by law to give cash back or rebate as contribution towards closing. Basically any money paid to the client should be shown under the HUD transaction to be legal.
- Can I ask for cash back or rebate from a Realtor?
You can and there is nothing wrong in it. But not many realtor offer since it’s their livelihood. You should understand that as well. There are other Realtors who are either part-timers or trying to attract customer offer rebates and cash back but be wary and have everything in writing before you proceed.
- How much is the normal cash back or contribution by the Realtor?
By law, all Realtors are eligible to receive 3% commission on most of the transaction except few. But not all Realtor’s are made equal. Some realtors are brokers themselves whereas most of the Realtors are agents under a certain broker or brokerage. If a realtor is a broker, he has all the freedom to do whatever with 3% since brokers are the recipient of the commission on any real estate transaction. If you are dealing with an agent, depending on the broker-agent relationship, agents get a certain part of their commission. So it’s upto an agent to decide whether to give cash back contribution from the portion of commission he/she received from the broker. There is no set on stone rule that every realtor can follow, it’s all by agent-client relationship.
I also offer New Home Buyer Rebates depending on the help needed by the buyers. If the clients take care of everything, I give back upto 3% of commission if there is BTSA(Bonus to Selling Agent) provided by builders. Not many realtors talk about BTSA. If there is no BTSA, I usually take $1000-$2000 from 3% commission depending on the purchase price and rest would be contributed towards the buyers closing cost. I also offer rebates for Resale Home buyers and Investors as well. You can see the rebate section about my cash back contributions.