FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, BY TOPIC

 


About the Rebate:

Q. How do I receive my rebate?
A. Please be sure to notify HomeBenefitsPlus when you have an accepted offer. Once we have the details of your transaction, we will confer with your lender. Your lender will give us permission and instruct us on how you are to receive your rebate, whether as a line item credit on your HUD Settlement Statement, or as a check after closing.

Q. Do I get my rebate check from my agent?
A. No. If you are receiving your rebate by check, it will be mailed to you from HomeBenefitsPlus’ office.

Q. Which States prohibit rebates to clients?
A. Although laws are changing continually, as of January 2011, the following states prohibit rebates to clients: Alaska, Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee. The U.S. Department of Justice tracks the states that prohibit rebates. Go to http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/real_estate/rebates-details.html for more information.

Q. I am already working with a real estate agent. Can I still get a 25% rebate from HomeBenefitsPlus?
A. No. You may not contact a Realtor® directly. You must contact HomeBenefitsPlus to be assigned to a participating real estate agent.  If you are already in contact with an agent, you are not eligible to receive the 25% rebate.

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About Agents and Brokers:

Q. What kinds of agents does HomeBenefitsPlus work with?
A. HomeBenefitsPlus works with experienced real estate agents that have a proven track record in customer service.                                                             

Q. Does HomeBenefitsPlus work with discount or “a la carte” Real Estate brokers?
A. No. You will be assigned a full service professional real estate agent. Your agent will provide you current market values, negotiate on your behalf, give you suggestions on how to present your home for sale, locate the home you are looking for, and generally provide everything you need for your real estate experience.

Q. I know an agent that might meet HomeBenefitsPlus’ criteria. How can they participate?
A. We welcome qualified, experienced Realtors® who like to work in a collaborative and communicative manner, and who understand the importance of supporting the Credit Union as the mortgage lender. Interested Realtors® should contact us. We will review our exact requirements with them. If you know of an agent, and would like us to initiate contact with them, just get us their contact information, and we will follow up.

Q. What if I don’t like the agent assigned to me? Can I make a change?
A. Yes, as long as no contracts have been signed or properties viewed. Just contact your HBP Counselor within two weeks of your initial contact with HomeBenefitsPlus to request a change in agent. It is very important to us that you are happy with your real estate agent. Even if it has been more than 2 weeks, please contact HomeBenefitsPlus to give us your feedback. If you haven’t actively worked with the first agent, we may be able to reassign you.

Q. Can HomeBenefitsPlus still get me an agent in a state that prohibits rebates?
A. Yes, HomeBenefitsPlus Counselors are available to discuss your housing needs and carefully match you with an experienced agent to assist you.

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About Selling:

Q. What if I want to sell my house and then buy another? Can I get the 25% rebate on both transactions?
A. Yes! Call the Home Benefits Plus toll free number (888-603.9563) or click here to get started. You may receive a rebate of 25% of the commission on your side of each transaction. Typically, the seller pays the commission to both the agent representing the seller and the agent representing the buyer. As a seller, we can offer you the 25% rebate on the commission paid to your agent for representing you in the sale of your home. When you buy, you may receive the 25% rebate on the commission paid to your agent for representing you in the purchase of your home. All rebates are contingent upon receiving your lender’s permission and subject to law.

Q. I’ve heard that I should interview several agents when listing my home for sale. Can this be done with the HomeBenefitsPlus program?
A. HomeBenefitsPlus will be happy to arrange for you to interview several participating agents regarding the sale of your home. Each agent will make an appointment with you to make a listing presentation, including a marketing plan, comparable properties, suggested list price and likely sales price. You can let your HomeBenefisPlus Counselor know which agent you wish to work with. We can communicate your decision to the agents who were not selected.

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About Mortgages:

Q. When should I contact my Credit Union to start my Mortgage Loan Application?
A. You should contact your Credit Union to start your Mortgage Loan Application at your earliest convenience. You will not be able to make an offer on a property without a pre-approval letter. Having your pre-approval in place will help you know what housing budget you are comfortable with. It will also help your real estate agent know what housing to show you.

Q. Does it make any difference what kind of mortgage I use to purchase?
A. Yes, it does. FHA loans have a maximum amount of credits that a buyer can receive. If you receive too many credits from the seller, HomeBenefitsPlus may not be able to pay you your rebate. Please be aware of this when structuring your purchase offer. Go to http://www.hud.gov/buying/loans.cfm or contact your HBP Counselor for more information.

Q. Does the Veterans’ Administration allow the HomeBenefitsPlus rebate?
A. Yes, The Department of Veterans’ Affairs allows a rebate to the buyer as a credit in the transaction if its underwriting requirements are met. A cash payment to the buyer is not allowed.

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About Buying:

Q. Can HomeBenefitsPlus help me buy a home offered For Sale By Owner (FSBO) or Auction?
A. No. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and auction properties do not offer any compensation for an agent to represent you. HomeBenefitsPlus is not able to offer you an agent without compensating that agent.

Q. What about foreclosure properties?
A. HomeBenefitsPlus agents can help you purchase any residential property that is offered for sale through the Multiple Listing System (MLS). Many foreclosed properties are listed for sale through the MLS. These properties are called “Real Estate Owned” by the lender, or REO’s.

Q. What are short-sale properties, and can my HomeBenefitsPlus agent assist me in buying one?
A. Yes, your HomeBenefitsPlus agent can represent you in purchasing a short-sale property offered through the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. You should be aware that buying a short-sale property may take longer and be more complicated than purchasing a traditional re-sale property. That is because the Seller, who is asking their mortgage lender to accept less money than owed, has to obtain their lender’s approval for the sale. In many cases, there is more than one lender. Each lender must agree. It can be a lengthy and uncertain process.

Q. Can a HomeBenefitsPlus agent represent me in purchasing a newly built home?
A.  It Depends. Some homebuilders offer a cooperating real estate agent commission on a purchase transaction with the real estate agent representing a buyer of a newly constructed home. It is important that when you make initial contact with a builder, you let them know that you have a real estate agent you are working with. For best results, contact HomeBenefitsPlus before signing into any guest books or interest lists.

Q.  I’ve heard that going to Open Houses is a great way to familiarize myself with properties for sale. Is this true?
A.  Although going to Open Houses can be a good way to learn about the housing offered for sale in your area of interest, be sure to let the real estate agent hosting the event know that you have a real estate agent representing you. This is important to protect your rebate.

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About the Program – General Information:

Q. What if my Credit Union is not working with HomeBenefitsPlus? May I still use the program?
A. Yes. Please contact us. We will contact your Credit Union and provide them the information about HomeBenefitsPlus. We will ask them to allow you to receive the rebate, and we’ll match you with a great real estate agent to assist you. Your mortgage lender has the final say on whether you may receive the rebate.

Q. How do I get started in the HomeBenefitsPlus program?
A. To get started, just call the toll free number, (888) 603-9563 or click here.

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