Save 50% on commission when you buy a home? This agent specializes in ‘easy buyers’ who do their own searching…
By Mark Samuelson
Anybody who has ever tried to sell a house knows that you’re nuts to try and do it without a real estate agent’s help. But how about if you’re BUYING a house? How about if you already know what you want…have done your own research on neighborhoods…and you know how much you can afford? Do you still need to pay an agent a full buyer’s commission (generally 2.8% of the closing price) to help, if all you really need is somebody to manage the paperwork?
Slice Realty’s Tommy Lorden on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall. Slice serves the Denver metro area, but can usually assist with a purchase anywhere in Colorado.
Jeremy Long and his wife were exactly those kinds of buyers; he writes computer code for a living and with his skills, would need very little help in any internet search. Using the ‘net, he also found licensed broker Tommy Lorden, founder of Buyer’s Slice Realty, who specializes in what agents consider to be the ‘easy ones’ – buyers that do most of the work for themselves, and are likely to purchase without a lot of unexpected problems.
In return for matching that profile, Long and his wife received a trouble-free closing, and 50% of the 3% buyer commission at closing.
“Three percent is a pretty substantial amount of a $200,000 house,” said Long, who’d been troubled by the idea of paying an agent for a job he knew he’d be doing much of the work on. “Even if (we) did a substantial amount of research, a Realtor would still get a substantial commission.” Long added that if he hadn’t found Lorden, he would have paid an attorney, just to “keep everything kosher.”
Slice Realty was the perfect match (Lorden has been an agent 15 years, but has also practiced as an attorney and prosecutor before moving his family to Colorado in 2006). He had the Longs sign his limited-service buyer-broker agreement (a ‘Right-to-Buy’ agreement) and gave the couple some help in searching, including access to the agents’ MultiList system — up-to-date listings as they come on the market, and information to help evaluate whether a home is worth the price.
“My average buyer gets over $5,700 back,” says Lorden, adding that one received back $9,000 (the determining factors are the sale price, amount of co-op offered, and in some cases some lending stipulations). Rebates are made at closing – in 90% of cases as a credit against the buyer’s bottom-line. In a few cases, a lender may arrange to apply a rebate against financing.
What Lorden WON’T do is pick you up at the airport, or spend days driving you around, or sorting through listings over your coffee table. Buyers who need that extra support get their money’s worth by using regular buyer’s agents working on full commission. “My buyer’s agreement is actually a little longer than most buyer-broker agreements,” he told me, over coffee on Pearl Street near his house in Boulder. The objective, he added, is to find that particular buyer that really wants to buy, and that wants to do much of their own searching.
What do the feds say about rebating buyer commissions? The U.S. Justice Department encourages the agreements (they’re allowed by state law in 40 states — Lorden links DOJ’s site to his own web site). Are buyer rebates the way of the future? “Absolutely,” adds Lorden, who like other agents, sees the market’s pace picking up this year. “People have been trying to time it to buy low, but now they’re thinking ‘I want to be able to move quickly, I don’t want to miss it.’” The way to start, he adds, is at ColoradoCommissionRebate.com (you need to sign a Right-to-Buy agreement before you make an offer, not after). Or write Tommy Lorden at Tommy@SliceRealty.com.
IF YOU GO
WHERE: Buyers’ Slice Realty, LLC, limited service buyer-broker that provides a 50% rebate of buyer’s commission according to U.S. Department of Justice guidelines, to purchasers who use the internet or other means to find their own home. Serves all of the Denver metro area and other locations within Colorado.
DISCOUNT: Average purchaser has received over $5,700 at closing
MANAGING BROKER: Tommy Lorden
PHONE: 303-376-6111 EMAIL: Tommy@SliceRealty.com WEB: ColoradoCommissionRebate.com