Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 88: Before you buy or sell a home, check here

HomeCash for Charity offers automatic cash rebates on your real estate commissions before you buy or sell a home. Simply register before you hire an agent, hire any agent you like and, after closing, get a check that you can donate to the charity of your choice.

Upon hearing of this program, I immediately went to its FAQ link to get more information. Here's what I found out:

Q. What is HomeCash for Charity?

A. HomeCash for Charity allows Care2 home buyers and sellers to get cash back using any real estate agent — while supporting a favorite cause or charity at the same time. Care2 members can also save on mortgage costs.

Q. How does HomeCash for Charity work?

A. By registering with the program before you agree to hire an agent, you are eligible to receive cash back from real estate commissions after closing. During on-line registration, you decide how much of the rebate you keep or share with your favorite charity. After closing, you get a rebate check and your donation is sent to your non-profit.

Q. Does this mean Care2 is getting in the real estate business?

A. No. Care2 has partnered with Chase and a national real estate company, HomeGift Realty, which helps non-profit organizations around the country to raise funds any time a supporter buys or sells a home.

Q. When did real estate companies start offering cash back on commissions?

A. For years, big-brand, established real estate companies like Coldwell Banker and Prudential have been offering cash rebates to members of trade associations, corporate executives and other affinity groups. Now, Homegift offers these same cash back incentives to members of non-profit organizations as a way of encouraging charitable giving. More about HomeGift Realty, Inc.

Note: There are only 10 states that do not allow rebates: Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon and Tennessee.