Don’t need a full-service buyer agent? Propose your own fee and rebate

The results of a recent Google search for our company, “Real Estate Cafe,” produced a surprising result.  Even though we were the first cyber cafe in the world when we opened 18 years ago, our page on, a request for proposals (RFP) site came up first.  Perhaps it’s because we’ve registered with that site and WANT do-it-yourself (DIY) homebuyers to use it to request a limited amount of buyer agency services or propose their own fee and rebate.

To avoid “rebate envy,” use their interface to learn more about our fee-for-service business model, or watch this video by the founder of the International Association of Real Estate Consultants, IAREC.  Here’s the key point:

The real estate industry’s prevailing commission structure is obsolete, particularly in high cost housing markets like Boston, where tech-savvy homebuyers, as one traditional agent told me this weekend, know more about housing prices where they are house hunting than he does.

If that’s your story, and you’d like to get back some or all of the buyer agency commission built into the sales price of any home listed in the MLS, click through this slide show above to learn more about our “regular” Menu of Fees & Rebates.  Better yet, propose your own!  Would you believe that one in three buyer clients did so in 2010? 

As one of the last slides illustrates, we won’t accept every fee proposal but we’ll try to  negotiation one that matches your preferences and rewards you — with a rebate at closing — for your initiative and resourcefulness.  If sites like Zillow and Trulia make it possible for homebuyers to do some if not most of the work that real estate agents have done in the past, why haven’t real estate commissions been reduced accordingly?  Tell us what you think how services are worth, how you’d like to pay us, and how large a rebate you want at closing and send us your “Personal RFP.”

If you’d like to talk before requesting our services or sending a fee proposal, let’s meet over coffee so we can flip through the slideshow together.  Send an email to realestatecafe [at] gmail [dot] com, or contact us via

Posted in Buyer agent, commission rebate, Commission Reform, DIY Homebuyers, Do-it-yourself, Fee-for-service, IntentCasting, Luxury buyer agent, reVRM, Savings & Rebates, VRM

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