Frequently Asked Questions
This sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?
There is no catch. It is a win-win – you get to save thousands on your new home and we get to work with a customer who would have bought a new home without us.
What is a New Home Rebate / Cashback?
New Home Rebates are not very common, so not many people are aware of them. Some of the biggest names in the rebate real estate industry you may have heard of are/were Assist-2-Sell, BuySide Realty/Iggy’s House, iNest, Redfin, and Zip Realty. New Home Rebates are very similar to cashback reward credit cards. When you use a cashback credit card to make a purchase, you get a cashback credit on your billing statement. When you use a rebate realty to buy a new home, you get a cashback credit on the settlement statement at closing. A New Home Rebate is also similar to a rebate on a new car, cell phone, etc., but on a much larger scale.
What is considered a New Home?
We consider any home that is sold by a builder to be a New Home, including homes built from the ground up, Quick Move-In Homes, and the Builder’s Model Home.
Can I save 2% on a Quick Move-In Home?
Yes, Quick Move-In homes (aka Move-In Ready, “spec”, inventory homes) are considered new construction homes and are eligible.
Can I save 2% on a Builder's Model Home?
Yes, when a community is almost built-out and is nearing completion, the Builder will sell their model home. The model home usually will carry the same Builder’s warranty as any other home they sell and the Builder will usually correct any issues with the home before you close on it. Model homes are also eligible for our rebate.
Does this work for Resale Homes?
Yes, but we only offer 1% cashback on resale homes. Unlike new construction homes, resale home purchases require us to schedule and attend showing appointments, present and negotiate offers and amendments, and schedule and attend home inspections, walk-throughs, etc.
Is the 2% Cashback amount negotiable?
We offer one of the best new home cashback rebates in the state of Florida, so our rebate is not negotiable. However, if you come across a Realtor in the area who offers a better rebate than we do, just let us know and we will do our best to compete with their offer.
Is there a minimum purchase price required to receive my Cashback?
No, unlike other rebate real estate companies who require a minimum purchase price or use a sliding scale to issue a lower percentage cashback rebate for lower-priced homes, your full 2% new home cashback rebate is paid to you on a home for any price, provided that at least 3% commission is paid by the Builder (Seller).
Are there any fees I have to pay to receive my Cashback?
Unlike many real estate companies, who charge a transaction fee up to $500, we do not charge a transaction fee. The only fees we charge are to to buyers outside of our service area who need us to meet them in person. If you need one of our agents to accompany you to the Builder’s model/sales center or corporate office, or the Title Company’s office, and you are outside of our area (North East Florida), we may have to charge an up-front fee to cover our travel and lodging expenses.
How much money can I expect to save?
On a typical transaction, we are paid 3% and we give you a 2% rebate. The rebate on a home purchased for $300,000 would usually be $6,000 ($300,000 x 2% = $6,000).
How do you calculate my Cashback?
When you buy a new home with us, we give over 66% of our 3% commission back to you. The commission is paid to us by the Builder (Seller). The commission is typically paid on the total purchase price (which is calculated on the base price plus lot price and any upgrades minus any builder incentives). For example, a new home with a Base Price of $250,000, a Lot Price of $15,000, Upgrades of $45,000, and Builder Incentives (Discounts) of $10,000 would equal a total purchase price of $300,000. In this example, your 2% rebate would be $6,000. Please note: closing costs, prepaids (property taxes, home owners insurance) are not considered part of the total purchase price. Also, if a builder pays part or all of your closing costs as an incentive for using their preferred lender, they may deduct that amount from the purchase price when they calculate the commission. For example, on a $300,000 home with paid closing costs of $10,000, the Builder may base our 3% commission on a purchase price of $290,000 ($300,000 minus $10,000 paid closing costs). In this scenario, your cashback would be $5,800 instead of $6,000.
How and when will I receive my Cashback?
As much as possible of your cashback will be applied to your closing costs and/or prepaids, so you can bring less funds to closing for your new home. Please note: Closing costs vary depending on the lender, loan amount, price of your home, and when your closing takes place.
What if my Cashback is more than my closing costs/prepaids?
Because many builders offer incentives to pay some or all of your closing costs when you use their preferred lender, we may not be able to have the full amount of your 2% cashback rebate applied towards closing costs/pre-paids. If there is any remaining balance we owe you from your 2% rebate, we can ask your builder if they will use the credit from us to reduce the price of your home or apply it towards upgrades. We can also ask the lender to use it for an interest rate buy-down, to lower your monthly payment. If you are a cash buyer and not getting a mortgage on your new home, we may be able to write you a check after closing for any remaining balance we owe you.
Do I have to pay taxes on my Cashback?
Because we are not CPAs, it is illegal for us to give you tax advice. If you have questions or concerns regarding the tax implications of a new home rebate, please consult your tax professional before signing up.
Will you issue me a 1099 Tax Form?
We do not issue 1099 tax forms to our customers because of the IRS ruling # 200721013
that “a payment or credit at closing represents an adjustment to the purchase price of the home and generally is not includible in a purchaser’s gross income. Nor does Taxpayer have an information reporting obligation for those amounts under any other section of the Code.”
Are Home Rebates legal in Florida?
Rebates ARE LEGAL in Florida per Rule 61J2-10.028 (DOJ –Florida Allows Rebates) and are even encouraged by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ – Rebates Make Buying a Home Less Expensive). However, there is a lot of misinformation regarding home rebates because:
- Rebates are illegal in 9 states – Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee
- Most real estate companies do not offer rebates because it is not part of their business model
- Some real estate companies do not allow their agents to offer rebates because it is against their company policy
Because of this, there is a common misconception that rebates in general are not allowed or are illegal. Plus, in the cut-throat world of real estate, many agents may not want you to know that you can get thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for free when you use their competition.
What areas of Florida do you offer your services in?
Being a Florida-Licensed Real Estate Brokerage, we can represent you remotely as your REALTOR® and pay you a cashback rebate on ANY new home for sale ANYWHERE in the State of Florida where a commission of at least 3% is being paid by the Builder (Seller). If your Builder requires us to accompany you on your first visit to their model home/sales center and/or to contract signing (or if you would like us to), we may have to charge an up-front fee to cover our travel and lodging expenses for areas outside of North East Florida (Jacksonville / Orange Park / St. Johns / St. Augustine). Please note: If you need one of our agents to meet you in person outside of the North East Florida area, please give us as much advance notice as possible so we can do our best to accommodate your request.
Why should I use a REALTOR® to buy a new home?
Because the majority (up to 80%) of new home buyers use a REALTOR®, real estate commissions are set aside to be paid out on every new home. So if you buy a new home, as a general rule, you will pay the same price if you use a real estate agent or not. As a Buyer, it is your choice if you want to be represented in your new home purchase. The sales agent at the model works for the builder, so they may not have your best interests in mind. When you use us, not only do you get our free service of representing you, you also get one of the best cashback rebates in the entire state of Florida!
Can I buy a new home without a REALTOR® and ask the Builder to pay me the commissions instead?
Yes, you can ask the Builder to pay you instead, but their answer most likely will be “No”. The majority of new home buyers work with a REALTOR®, so if a Builder started trying to cut real estate agents out of the picture, they would be shooting themselves in the foot. Most Builders have REALTOR® events – where they have free lunches/dinners, free gifts and contests to win prizes. Builders do this to develop relationships with the real estate agents in their area. It’s in the Builder’s best interest to work with real estate agents because they basically are like an outside sales team for the Builder, and the Builder doesn’t have to pay them unless they sell a home.
If I'm already working with a REALTOR®/real estate agent, can I work with you instead?
We do not encourage this, but, you may be able to. However, if you signed an Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement or any other Broker-Buyer agreement with another real estate agent, we cannot represent you or issue you a cashback rebate unless you first cancel that agreement. Also, if you already registered with a Builder with another REALTOR®, the Builder may not allow you to change your REALTOR®.
How do you get paid?
The Builder (Seller) pays us to bring them a Buyer for the property. Our payment is in the form of a commission (typically 3% of the final sales price of the property). In Florida, it is the individual real estate agency’s choice if they want to keep the entire commission for themselves or share it with their clients. And it’s your choice who you want to have represent you.
How much do you charge for your Buyer Representation services?
Our services are free – there is no charge to you. We are paid by the Builder (Seller). Builders pay real estate agents from a separate fund (usually their marketing budget). As real estate agents, we bring Builders new customers, just like their advertising (billboards, radio and TV commercials, ads, etc.) does. Because real estate agents are paid from this separate fund, it does not affect the price of the home. As a general rule, you do not pay more if you use a REALTOR® and you do not pay less if you don’t.
If I already visited a community and/or started working with the Builder, can I still receive a Cashback Rebate?
It depends on how far along in the sales process you are and whether the Builder requires you to register us as your REALTOR® on your first visit. We are happy to contact the sales agent you were working with and find out if it’s not too late for us to represent you in your new home purchase.
Can we visit new home communities on our own without you or one of your agents?
Yes, but to ensure your eligibility for your cashback rebate, you should first register with us
and let us know of any communities you’d like to visit before you visit them. Some communities and Builders require us to accompany you in person on your first visit or at contract signing. We can first contact the builders and find out their requirements for us to represent you. If you do visit any new home communities without us, be sure to let the Builder know you are working with a REALTOR® and write my contact information on the Builder’s registration form: Christy Redmer, Broker-Associate, License # BK3289512 / We Give Realty, LLC / (904) 580-GIVE (4483) / WeGiveRealty@gmail.com
Is this a Government Program?
No. Your rebate comes from us, the real estate broker, after it is deducted from the commission paid by the Builder (Seller). However, there are government programs that provide grants and down payment assistance that you may also be eligible for. The difference between our rebate and government programs is that government programs usually are only available to first-time homebuyers or certain income-level buyers. Our rebate does not have these restrictions. Anyone is eligible to receive the rebate provided they comply with the terms and conditions of our agreement and state law.