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New Start-up Rewards House Hunters Who Do Their Own Legwork

by Shilpi Paul

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The internet has made home buying much easier. Now, house hunters can search for homes, research comparable listings and even choose their selection before needing the assistance of a real estate agent. Now, one start-up is trying to reward buyers for the legwork that they do.

Jason’s House is a website where actively involved, DIY-type home buyers can negotiate with agents to try and receive a monetary value for their hard work.

Here’s how it works: a potential buyer fills out a profile on the site, inputting the steps they’ve already taken in the process and asking for specific services that they still need from an agent, like acting as a representative during the transaction, advice, negotiating, etc.

From there, agents affiliated with the site have seven days to submit bids to the buyers, offering some portion of their commission back to the buyer as a rebate based on the work the buyer has already done. For example, on a house costing $400,000, an agent who decides to offer 36 percent of a three percent commission back to an active buyer is willing to give back $2,160.

The buyer can also sift through the offers and the agent profiles to choose the best offer and best agent. (Agent profiles come with reviews and experience.) The website is quite new, and just launched in the greater Houston area.

Readers, do you think this idea would take off in DC?

See other articles related to: real estate agents, jason's house

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/new_start-up_rewards_house_hunters_who_do_their_own_legwork/7318

5 Comments

  1. Sharon said at 2:05 pm on Monday July 15, 2013:

    This is brilliant.. I often wonder what the purpose of the agent is, when you can do so much of the sifting yourself, while just hiring a lawyer for the paperwork..No offense, but getting access to properties and relaying offers to other agents is not that much of a biggie for experienced buyers.. I guess their true value comes in the hidden agent-to-agent listings..

  1. Janson said at 3:43 pm on Monday July 15, 2013:

    For most first time buyers or buyers that haven’t purchased in a long time, a good agent is invaluable; it can be a daunting process depending on one’s skill set. That said, this seems like a great resource for someone with more experience. Thanks for the link!

  1. C said at 9:16 am on Tuesday July 16, 2013:

    Although this sounds like it could be a great idea for buyers who are particularly interested in saving some percentage of the agent’s fee, which can be a serious chunk of dough, what’s in it for the agent?  Why would an agent be inclined to join this service?  I see no pros or incentive for a RE agent to become a part of this company website unless they are not good in the first place.  Have I missed something about the way this is supposed to work? 

    I am not a RE agent nor do I work in the industry, so I don’t benefit by asking what’s in it for the agent?

  1. EnserNG said at 4:57 pm on Tuesday July 16, 2013:

    C,
    From the information provided, especially now that access to MLS is more or less open, this sort of thing allows the ‘buyers’ agent to skip the whole chasing listings and dragging clients around for weeks, or longer.  Agents can focus on the transaction and leave the hunting, inspections, et cetera, up to the individuals.

    One day of work, or two, or three, vs. weeks or months of phone tag and showings for a percentage “off” the commission; it makes sense.

    All that said, we love ‘our’ agent, Fred, at Stages Premier, who has assisted us through three purchases and two sales.  He earned his commission, trust me.
    =)
    Nikk

  1. C said at 5:51 pm on Tuesday July 16, 2013:

    EnserNG, thanks for your response. 

    One problem that I have seen, though, is that sometimes a house is by appointment only and the only way to access it would be with an agent who has access to the lockbox.

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