Buyer Frequently Asked Questions
Do you charge any upfront fees?
We never charge upfront fees. Equity First Realty® never charges our buyers anything. We rebate our commission to you at closing.
Is it legal for Equity First Realty® to rebate such a large portion of their commission to consumers in Virginia?
Yes, Virginia law allows real estate rebates, but not all states allow rebates according to the Department of Justice.
How can you rebate so much of your commission and still make a profit?
Equity First Realty’s® business model is built around the needs of buyers and sellers. We created and designed state of the art micro offices that minimize our expenses, so we can pass these savings to our clients. Most real estate firms create models around the needs of their organization and expect consumers to pay for out dated business models. We are able to meet our client’s profit margin goals when we lower are operating expenses which in turn maximizes our return as well. We all win with Equity First Realty®.
Should I call the listing agent to show me a home?
No, please do not call the listing agent. Call us to schedule a private showing. Some listing agents may claim that they deserve to keep the entire commission since they opened the door for you, thus we would not get paid and you would not receive a rebate.
Can I still use Equity First Realty® if I already have an agent?
No, if you’ve signed an exclusive buyer-broker agreement then you will have to wait for that agreement to expire before you use our services. If you did not sign an agency agreement but were shown a particular property by another agent, then you cannot use Equity First Realty® to purchase that property. If you did not sign an agency contract and you find another property on your own, then you can use Equity First Realty® to purchase your next home.
Can I use Equity First Realty® if I’m purchasing new construction?
Yes, the Buyer Reward Rebate Program is available for new construction, but you must have one of our agents accompany you on your first visit to the new construction office so we can register as your buyer’s agent and receive a commission for your 1.5% rebate.
What about any bonus offered to the buyer’s agent? Is that part of the rebate?
Agent bonuses are not part of the rebate.
Can I get a rebate if I am using an Equity First Realty® listing program?
No. If you are buying a home and selling your home using one of our listing programs, you are not eligible for a buyer rebate from Equity First Realty®.
What if I find a For Sale by Owner home?
If the For Sale by Owner seller is offering a brokers co-op fee of at least 2.5%, we will be able to work with you on this particular purchase. If they are not offering a commission, then we will not be able to work with you to purchase that particular house.
What can I use my rebate for?
Use it to remodel your house, buy a car, go to an NFL game, go shopping, or call your investment broker and buy a new stock. A lot of my clients prefer to use some of the rebate to pay their closing costs, and others prefer to have a check sent to them after closing.
What am I’m not allowed to do with my rebate?
You cannot use your rebate as a part of your down payment on the house. Your lender may have additional restrictions on how you use the rebate as well.
Do I pay taxes on my rebate?
We advise you to consult a professional tax attorney or CPA in regards to your personal tax obligations regarding your rebate if applicable.
Can investors buy more than one property and receive multiple rebates?
Yes investors can receive multiple rebates, it does not matter how many properties you buy.