Frequently Asked Questions
What is different about your service compared to a traditional agent?
We work in a different model than the traditional agent. Our clients find their own homes in exchange for substantial amount of cash in the form of a rebate. Once you have found a home that you are interested in buying we will help you figure out whether the home you are interested in really meets your needs, help you with the disclosures, and give you recommendations for structuring your offer to maximize your chance of success. Once you are in contract we will help you manage all of the aspects of your escrow so that everything goes smoothly. So to recap: The biggest difference between our service and that of a traditional agent is that the traditional agent will spend more time helping you find the right home for you, and driving you around to look at homes.
How do I know if your service is right for me?
Signs that our service is right for you are:
1. You are comfortable doing your own internet searches to find homes that you are interested in and researching the different neighborhoods?
2. You willing to visit open houses for the homes you are interested in.
3. You know what neighborhood(s) you want to buy in.
4. You are comfortable using technology to streamline the process (especially email).
Signs that our service might not be right for you are:
1. You haven’t narrowed down your search to a particular area (or areas) or are having a lot of trouble narrowing it down. I know it seems like being open to purchase in a lot of areas is a good thing, but it can be a warning sign that our service is not right for you. (See number 3 below for more details and the FAQ titled “What areas does Andrew specialize in” for more details).
2. You feel like you will need a lot of hand holding during the process.
3. You are interested in buying a home that is out of our usual service area. This most commonly means the East Bay (from Milpitas north), or the northern peninsula above Menlo Park.
What areas does Andrew specialize in?
About 85% of Andrew’s business is between Menlo Park and San Jose. The Cities that I most specialize in are: Menlo Park, Palo Alto (and Hills), Woodside, Los Altos (and Los Altos Hills), Portola Valley, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Campbell and San Jose. In San Jose I generally do business in Willow Glen, Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park, and West San Jose.
What is the average price range of the homes that Andrew closes?
Andrew’s average price range in 2013 is between 1$ Million and $2 Million.
Is your service right for a First Time Home Buyer?
Just over half of our clients are First Time Home Buyers and often they are the happiest with our service. That being said please do read the F.A.Q. above that says “How do I know if your service right for me?”.
Will IntelligentBuyer.com really send me a rebate check?
Yes it is true. We mail you out a rebate check usually within two weeks of closing. We will guarantee this in writing before we write your first offer.
Why do you give your clients a rebate?
We feel that it is time for change in the Real Estate Industry. Real Estate buyers and sellers deserve more options than they currently receive from traditional real estate agents. Driving clients around, and helping them find a home is a very time consuming part of the process. So it makes absolute financial sense for us to charge less, since we are doing less. Andrew is also very old fashioned and believes that the best companies should strive to offer the best service, at the best price they can.
O.K. so Intelligentbuyer.com is going to send me a rebate check. How is your service?
Most of our clients come to us for the rebate check; they refer their friends and family to us for our service. Our agents are experienced. We don’t hire sales people; we don’t want to talk you into anything. We deliver an unique and excellent service that you can’t find anywhere else. In fact, it is not uncommon for one of our intelligent buyers to refer four or five of their friends and family members to us within a year of closing escrow.
Instead of issuing me a check at the end, will intelligent buyer pay my closing costs?
We would be happy to spend your rebate on your closing costs. The only problem is that some lenders won’t allow us to. Lenders feel that your ability to come up with your own closing costs reflects on your ability to pay your new mortgage. For this reason we often have to reimburse you after the transaction.
Is there a cap on the amount of rebate I can receive?
No. There is no cap. We will pay you your full rebate no matter how high your commission check is. Just to give you an example if you buy a $5 million dollar home (if we make 3% commission) we will mail you a check for $90,000 or more.
Can you help me get a loan?
Yes we can. We know hundreds of loan officers with varying specialties. We can help refer you to someone to help you get pre-approved with the best rates on the market, and a loan officer that you can count on. Since Andrew has seen literally thousands of loans with hundreds of different lenders, he has a very strong opinion on who you should use. Many (I would go as far as to say most) lenders are just not dependable enough for Andrew’s tastes. This is especially important in this competitive market where the safety of a buyers deposit is more at risk based on the lenders performance than in a less competitive market. That being said, you don’t have to use a lender we recommend. You can use any lender you want or just pay cash for your home.
Is there ever a situation where I would not receive a full 60% rebate?
Yes. There are two situations in which this could happen.
1. We have a minimum commission that we must make of $8,000. If the total commission from the seller is such that our commission will be less than $8,000, we will take our $8000 and send you a check for the rest. For instance if the total commission received is $10,000, we would take our $8,000, and send you a rebate for the remaining $2,000. This usually only happens is when the home you are buying is of a price less than $800,000, or if the commission is unusually low for some other reason.
2. Short sales are significantly more work than regular sales. For this reason we offer a 25% rebate on short sales, and not a 60% rebate.
How do I earn 60% of the commission from the seller?
This occurs when when a buyer has already found the property they want, and are ready to put in an offer. Because the buyer has done the job of finding the property on their own we believe they deserve more of the commission. Please remember that we still require a minimum commission of $8,000, and on short sales our rebate is 25%.
If you have any other questions please feel free to call us or click on the contact button above. We would love to hear from you.
Frequently Asked Questions