Yes, that’s what I do. I pay people to buy an apartment in NYC by giving my clients a huge percentage of my commission cash back at closing.
A lovely client looking for an Upper West Side pied-a-terre to be closer to his grandchildren was referred to me by a good friend, who happened to be the client’s daughter’s best friend. Like most of my engagements, we did not meet in person first. Rather, we were introduced over email, exchanged some messages and then had a detailed phone conversation to firm up exactly what he was looking for. Unlike most clients, however, since he was referred through trusted channels, he did not think to do any diligence on me, so we never discussed my unconventional business model where I pay my clients at closing.
So we worked together for several weeks, monitoring the market, exchanging listings and providing commentary on units he was curious about, until he was finally ready to come into town to see apartments. I scheduled several appointments for him, and during a coffee break, as we were chatting, the conversation turned into something along the lines of the below exchange:
Client: “I probably should have asked you this before, but how much will I have to pay you?”
Dan: “You don’t have to pay me anything. In New York City, the seller pays the broker commission at closing, and I actually pay you out of the commission I receive.”
Client: “Wait a minute, you’re going to pay me to buy an apartment?”
Dan: “Yes, that’s what I do. Since the role of a buyer’s broker has changed with the advent of websites like Streeteasy, Zillow and Trulia, where all listings and historical pricing data are available to buyers, the buyer is really doing a lot of what was traditionally done by real estate brokers. And since I run my own company and do not have the tremendous overhead and marketing costs that the large brokerage companies do, I am able to pass cost savings off to my clients.”
Needless to say, the client was pleased. He closed on his pied-a-terre last month a day before he was scheduled to fly to Australia for a few weeks. When I gave him his rebate check of more than $6,000 at the closing, he told me that this would pay for a large chunk of his trip!
So who else wants a free trip to Australia?
Real estate broker commission rebates — Up to 2% of your purchase price cash back at closing!!