FAQ on Real Estate Commission Rebates

Through these FAQ on real estate commission rebates, we detail how our brokers can guide your transaction for free, then split up to 2/3 of their commissions with NestApple clients at closing. This reduces real estate closing costs drastically while not having to sign any contracts or exclusivity and still getting a discreet rebate at closing.  NestApple clients work with an experienced and reputable broker. Therefore, they benefit from advice & guidance throughout the process.

Buyer’s FAQ on real estate commission rebates

1. Are rebate commissions legal in NY?

Yes. Sharing commissions with buyers and tenants is legal. As a matter of fact, the New York State Department of State has taken the position that New York real estate brokers may share their commission with a purchaser, seller, landlord, or tenant. Also, commission rebates are legal in 40 states, including the State of New York. The law allows in these States both for an agent to offer and for a buyer or tenant to accept a commission rebate in conjunction with the purchase or rental of residential real estate. In 2015, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued an open letter confirming that real estate agents may rebate a portion of their commissions to clients and urged them to take advantage of rebates to increase price competition and benefit consumers. Though this FAQ on Real Estate Commission Rebates we will go through every possible scenario and outcome.

2. What is the commission structure in NY for real estate deals?

The typical real estate commission in NYC amounts to 6% of the property’s sale price. However, on some listings, the commission could be 5% if the seller negotiates a lower rate with his or her listing broker. In fact, buyers do not pay commissions to their brokers as these fees are paid by the seller. The commission gets split between the brokers: 3% for each side.

3. Is NestApple a licensed real estate broker?

Absolutely. NestApple operates as a licensed real estate broker and offers a full-service experience. As a result, clients receive the same top-tier professional service. Indeed, we work together from the moment you identify a property you like (including pricing analysis, bidding advice, expert negotiation, and so forth) and stay with you until the closing table.

4. Why does NestApple offer rebates?

Technology and the internet have greatly diminished the role of full- service real estate agents by making it easy to search for homes. As a result, NestApple was created in the belief that buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords can take advantage of that to have a better experience and save money when buying and selling real estate. Lastly, we give commission rebates to buyers to encourage greater competition through lower transaction costs.

5. Doesn’t the seller pay the fees?

Yes, but those fees are embedded in the asking price.

6. What’s the catch?

There isn’t one! You get paid by NestApple to buy a home. That “6%” fee has not been affected by the growth of mobile technology and the internet over the past 20 years, despite the explosion of real estate prices.

7. Where does my cash back rebate come from?

In fact, the seller has agreed to pay a 6% commission for listing the apartment with a broker. The listing agreement establishes that in NYC. However, if you place an offer on your own (without using a broker), the 6% commission goes entirely to the seller’s agent, who earns the full 6%.

8. Will this upset the seller if he finds out about the rebate?

Absolutely not. The seller agreed in writing to pay the listing agent 5 to 6% of the purchase price, regardless of the commission split. In other words, your deal with Nestapple does not affect what the seller gets paid for selling that home. As a matter of fact, some buyers can actually pay even more for the house using that cashback rebate so it is sometimes positive for the seller.

9. If a Buyer does not have a broker, does the seller reduce the price to reflect the savings?

It would seem logical but no. In fact, the seller’s broker will typically take the entire 5 to 6% commission, and buyers without representation cannot reduce the purchase price and end up paying more.

10. How much will my NestApple cashback rebate be?

Up to 2%! In most cases, NestApple will receive a commission between 2.5 to 3% and will pay you back 2/3 of it.

11. I already work with a broker: can I switch and decide to work with NestApple instead?

Absolutely. In fact, homebuyers can change their agents at any time. Buyers typically do not sign an exclusivity agreement. If the broker showed you a property, it does not mean you have to work together (unless you signed an exclusivity agreement). A buyer can always change representation if the current broker is not a good fit (or does not pay a cashback rebate of course!)

12. Can I look for properties and go to open houses on my own?

Yes. Just identify yourself as being represented. When you go to an open house, indicate that NestApple is your broker.

13. What if no open houses are coming up?

Nestapple will schedule a private visit for you.

14. If I want my commission rebate, what do I have to tell the listing broker?

Indicate that NestApple is representing you. In fact, it’s not a problem if you have already attended an open house without representation or forgot to mention it. As a matter of fact, you can choose to have a broker at any stage of the process. It is legally required to allow buyers to hire a buyer’s agent after visiting a property.

16. I found a home I want but I’ve already contacted the listing agent: is it too late?

No. Contact us, so we ensure that you can get a rebate upon closing. We never recommend negotiating with the listing agent unrepresented, because it would mean that the listing agent (representing the seller) represents both sides as a dual agent.

17. Will I be discriminated against by listing agents because of this rebate?

No. Thanks to NestApple, the listing broker will get its 2.5% to 3% fee once the deal closes. Remember, it remains illegal to discriminate against someone for having representation: the New York Attorney General stated that he would investigate any allegations of discrimination against brokers engaging in rebating.

18. Is my offer more likely to get accepted if I work with NestApple?

Absolutely. Listing agents advise their clients to take the best offer. For instance, you can use that rebate in your bidding strategy. The cashback may help you to make a higher offer and compete more aggressively vs. other buyers. Sometimes, in a bidding war, you can use your cashback to bid higher than the maximum you are willing to pay to win the property.

19. Does the commission rebate mechanism also work for new constructions?

Yes. There aren’t any discounts available for individuals purchasing directly without an agent. Therefore, the rebate represents the best way for the buyer to save.

20. What if I need advice?

Our 24/7 expert support staff can answer any question you have. Therefore, aside from getting paid to work with NestApple, our experienced team offers you the added protection of having guidance at every step of the home buying process.

21. Is my commission rebate taxable?

Real estate commission rebates are NOT considered as taxable income as they are considered as a “price adjustment.” Therefore, we do not issue any 1099 form to you. In the future, when you sell your home, your cost basis will be lower. For instance, a $1 million dollar apartment will generate a rebate of $20,000 on which the buyer does not pay any tax. Thus, the real net cost of the home is $980,000.

22. If I start working with NestApple, will I have to pay any fees?

None. There are no fees for our service and nothing to spend out of pocket. In other words, The only person who gets paid is you. Our services are 100% free if you do not close. In conclusion, you do not pay NestApple anything upfront or ever. At closing, the seller pays the commission, which we will split with you.

23. When do I receive my cash rebate?

Right at the closing table.

24. How do you handle the negotiation process?

NestApple will work closely with you to guide you through the negotiation process. Therefore, we discuss a bidding strategy: price, timing, concessions, and how to increase your chances of getting an offer accepted.

25. How do you handle the closing process (lawyer, inspectors and mortgage brokers)

We work with our clients at each step of the process and can refer to lawyers, inspectors, and appraisers. It is illegal for real estate brokers or mortgage and real estate attorneys to pay each other referrals. In short, NestApple will only make recommendations because we worked with those people and think they are the best at what they do.

Renter’s FAQ  on real estate commission rebates

1. Are rebate commissions legal in NY?

Yes. Sharing commissions with buyers and tenants is legal. The New York State Department of State has taken the position that New York real estate brokers may share their commission with a purchaser, seller, landlord, or tenant. Therefore, commission rebates are legal in 40 states, including the State of New York. It is legal in these States both for an agent to offer and for a buyer or tenant to accept a commission rebate in conjunction with the purchase or rental of residential real estate. In 2015, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued an open letter confirming that real estate agents may rebate a portion of their commissions to clients and urged them to take advantage of rebates to increase price competition and benefit consumers. We help this FAQ on Real Estate Commission Rebates will help answer any concern you may have.

2. Who pays for the broker fees in a rental?

New York is one of the few cities in the world where the tenant covers the broker’s fees for the agent hired by the landlord.

3. How much are broker fees?

Most apartments are listed with a 15% commission. In essence,  that means that as a tenant, you need to pay the listing agent 15% of the annual rent. That fee is split if the tenant has broker representation.

4. Is it cheaper to go directly to the listing agent?

Unfortunately not. If you rent directly with the listing agent, you are still responsible for the standard 15% commission of the annual rent.

5. How do I save money by working with Nestapple?
A typical apartment in the city charges a 15% fee of the annual rent:
  • Unrepresented: 15% is paid to the listing agent
  • With a traditional broker: each broker is paid 7.5%
  • With Nestapple: your 15% becomes 10%:
    • 7.5% to the listing broker
    • 2.5% to NestApple as NestApple refunds you 2/3rds of the fee
6. How do I find listings?

Reach out to us and let us know what you are searching for. Then, we will add your criteria to our database, and you will receive daily emails with available listings that match your needs.

7. What happens when I see something I like?

There are two options; if the apartment has a scheduled Open House, we will let the listing broker know you will be attending. Otherwise, if there are no scheduled Open House, NestApple will schedule you a private showing.

8. Do you help me with the application?

Absolutely! Once you find “the one,” we will get the application from the listing broker and help you gather all the required documents. Then, we will put it together and deliver it. Lastly, NestApple will follow up and make sure you are considered first and therefore increase your chances of getting the apartment.

Seller’s FAQ on real estate commission rebates

1. How does NestApple save me money when selling?

NestApple operates as a full-service brokerage that uses technology to lower the cost of transacting. As such, we charge a 1% to 1.5% listing fee – significantly less than a traditional brokerage. In addition to the listing fee, we recommend our sellers offer an additional 2.5% to the buyer’s agent to engage the agent community and its buyers.

2. Is NestApple a licensed real estate broker?

NestApple is a licensed real estate broker and a full-service experience. Therefore, clients receive the same top-tier professional service.

3. How will my listing be marketed?

NestApple plugs into the same listing distribution system as other brokers (the REBNY Listing Service or RLS), so your listing advertises on all the big sites – Streeteasy, Zillow, Trulia, the New York Times and more. The RLS also advertises the co-broke to buyers’ brokers so they can focus on getting their clients into the unit.

4. What selling services does NestApple provide?

Everything. There are no additional fees or asterisks when you sell with NestApple. Included in the 1-1.5% listing fee are professional photos and marketing materials, comprehensive listing distribution, unlimited open houses, private showings, and, of course, a dedicated, experienced agent throughout the entire transaction.

5. How does NestApple offer such competitive pricing?

Technology and the internet have greatly diminished the role of full- service real estate agents by making it easy to search for homes. NestApple founders created this concept in the belief that buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords can take advantage of that to have a better experience and save money when buying and selling real estate. Therefore, we give commission rebates to buyers and tenants to encourage greater competition through lower transaction costs.

6. How much will I pay as a seller?

NestApple will list your property for as low as 1%. On the opposite, traditional brokers do it for 6%.

7. What about the buyer’s broker commission?

NestApple will list for as low as 1%. If a Buyer comes represented, we recommend offering market rates, usually 2.5%. Even if the buyer has a broker, the “standard 6%” gets significantly reduced to a lower 3.5%.

8. How do I list my property with NestApple?

You can contact us and request an evaluation of your property. Immediately, we will set up a convenient time and schedule a visit to see the property. There is no obligation, no contract signed.

9. How does NestApple take pictures of my home?

We will schedule a visit with a professional real estate photographer to come into your property. Then, we will optimize your furniture, accessorize if needed, and overall guarantee outstanding pictures. At NestApple, we believe potential buyers get a first look when reviewing the listing online: pictures make a big difference. In other words, we guarantee perfect photos every time. We include all these services in our costs as professional photographs won’t cost you a dime.

10. How does NestApple determine the price of my property?

NestApple has experts that will do a comparative and comprehensive analysis of similar properties in the area. To start, we will do a thorough walkthrough of your home and discuss your personal needs and objectives. Then, we will support our numbers with data, past closings, available listings on the market, and current market trends. Finally, NestApple will suggest a number, and together we will discuss and agree on the right asking price.

11. How does my listing get advertised?

The vast majority of buyers search for properties online and 83% of buyers in the U.S. found their home themselves online. As REBNY members, we have access to hundreds of websites. In summary, we target both direct buyers as well as brokers; this way, we optimize the number of people who view your listing.

12. Who will show my property? Will you hold open houses?

NestApple has a team of brokers and agents that will work with you closely during the entire process. Therefore, we will determine a schedule for showings, according to your availability and family needs. Of course, a member of our team will hold every visit. We will host Open Houses to maximize exposure and will make ourselves available for private showings as well.

13. How is an offer negotiated?

Once an interested buyer presents an offer, we will discuss it with you. In short, our team at NestApple will evaluate not only the offer price but the buyer as a whole, making sure we bring you a competent and willing buyer. Then, our team will negotiate on your behalf and fight for the best possible price. As a matter of fact, you, as the seller, have the final word on everything.