Charity? Charity begins at home

I can not be the only person that has seen real estate agents promote their business with statements like “we donate a percentage of every commission check to (fill in the name of any charity).  I suppose they are hoping to bond with folks that support the same charity.  Some of them use the old stand by catch all…”we will make a donation to the charity of your choice”.  Really?  Charity begins at home.

Let me get this straight, if you are hired to perform a job, when you are paid you will donate some of your hard earned money to a charity. Does that sound about right?  I think it is admirable to donate a portion of your income to charities. God knows, I have done so all of my adult life.  Now that is about as much as I would share.  Those of you that know me personally know that I have continued to support the efforts to rebuild following Hurricane Katrina. That is my choice and other than this note, I keep it to myself. I do offer rebates to buyers and sellers.

Charity begins at home. I do not believe that your choice of a real estate agent should be a factor in which charity you support and how much you want to support them.  While my personal giving is impacted by my income, it really doesn’t have much to do with one individual transaction and it certainly doesn’t make me any more or less qualified to represent clients. I think my clients deserve the right to pick and choose how they spend their money.  If they want to support a particular charity, I think they should be free to do so, with their own money.

I suppose this is yet another reason starting with contracts signed after April 15, 2011, we offer a rebate of a portion of the commission earned on sales to our clients. It is a much better system to allow them the freedom to do what they want with the money.  If they want to send it all to the “Rebuild Tibetan Monasteries Fund”, then they should be free to do so.  Our goal is to put money back in their pocket.  Charity begins at home.  If you are considering the purchase or sale of a home, we make sure our clients receive a rebate.  If you would like to know more, just click on this CONTACT US,  we will follow up with you.

My name is John MacArthur. I work with Remax Realty Centre. My partner Lourdes Tudela and I encourage you to Experience the Difference.

Rebates for home buyers

cash bag

Most of you don’t know how in the world that real estate agent called you.  You were just searching for homes on-line and all of a sudden an agent calls.  It must be magic!  Sorry to disappoint you, there is no magic involved.  Your contact information was bought and paid for before you even signed in to a website.

When the rules changed and listings became available on the internet, the door was opened for anyone with a website to share local listings with you.  Access to the information could be purchased from the multiple listing service.  The brokers that provide the information signed an agreement that made the information available to the market.  Many companies (Zillow, Trulia, Market Leader, etc) seized this opportunity to create fancy websites that would attract consumers.  Their goal was to draw home buyers in with promises of all the data.  They created innocuous little forms to be filled out “so you could be kept up to date with any new listings that meet your criteria”.

Once you filled out the information, it was sold. You see, while these companies were creating pretty websites, they were also soliciting real estate agents.  They offer “warm leads from buyers in your area”.  They break down incoming leads by zip code and sell the rights to all the leads in that zip code to any agent that is willing to pay a monthly fee.  Some companies just charge a fee so the agent can send a resume to all that sign up in their assigned zip codes.  That’s right, they don’t need to be qualified, they only need a bank account.

Money is changing hands before you even get into the market.  Your name, email address and phone number are gold to the companies that sell leads. Major brokerages are not innocent in the practice.  You go to Remax, Weichert, Coldwell Banker, Long and Foster etc. and your name is forwarded to an agent that is either willing to share a large part of the commission earned or an agent that pays a monthly fee for the right to receive “referrals”.  Again, your information is bought and paid for (or bartered for) before you decide to look at homes.


The price varies depending on the source that trades your information.  Regardless, the agent that is calling you may not be the most qualified.  The agent calling you may have one eye on the cost of your referral and another on the amount of homes you are shown.  The agent calling you is viewing the outcome as a return on investment. The agent calling you only had to be willing to pay for the opportunity. I may be crazy, but I believe the agent should be focused on what you need rather than on what will create the best return on his or her investment in a lead system.

cash in hands

Well, I say you deserve the right to cut out the middleman.  I don’t want to pay for your name. I would rather you took the time to see if I might be the right agent for you.  I think if any money changes hands, you should benefit from that,rather than be the product being sold.  I  just think there is a better way.

Firms like Zillow, Trulia, etc. make the majority of their income from charging agents (that subscribe to their service) a fee for every lead generated. Other firms charge a percentage of the commission earned. The majority of them only know about DC from what they see on CNN. Regardless, they are offering you the “expert”. The only verifiable skill set used to qualify the agent is their ability to pay the lead companies monthly statement.. You deserve better.It seems like from the moment you go online searching for a home, everybody has their hand in the pot.

Well, from where I sit, it is your damn pot. It only seems fair that you have the first dibs on “hands in”. So, here is your chance at reducing the amount of money you spend on purchasing a home.


I would rather pay you a rebate, after the purchase of a home.  I would rather share money with you after a sale than pay for the chance to represent you in the beginning.  Rebates to buyers are perfectly legal in the State of Maryland.  The amount of money rebated from me will be related to what I earn on the sale.  This is not discount representation, this is an open disclosure of the value of working with you. This offer is only valid if your first contact with me is through the form below or my brokers website (

Rebates for buyers, now that is a better way for both of us. If we meet and you don’t think I can do the job, well as they say “no harm, no foul”.  If you do find that I am more than qualified to represent you and your interests, it is a win-win situation.  Again, the offer is only valid for those consumers that make their first contact with me through the form below or through my brokers website (



Interested, fill out the form, If not, well you can always take your chances with someone who chose to buy your name.  In either case, best of luck in your home search.

My name is John MacArthur. I am with Century 21 New Millennium and I invite you to experience the difference. For purposes of this offer, YOU MUST USE THE FORM BELOW AS YOUR INITIAL MEANS OF CONTACT WITH ME. NO EXCEPTIONS.