Real Estate without the fine print! This is a prelude to the industry podcasts to come very shortly, so please bookmark this site.
As the old saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. There is unfortunately a lot of paid endorsements & news releases prominently featured on fellow Realtor sites and franchises hyping paid referral systems (like USAA's) and still others making even more empty promises of "guarantees". All that glitters is not gold- if it's too good to be true, than it's just a gimmick to get you to call & capture your info. If a Realtor's or program's offering requires an asterisk on their website and disclosers are not available on their website, then buyer beware. If the agent is so confident about their offering/guarantee, why not put their terms clearly on their website?... because if you knew them in advance, you'd never call that agent in the first place much less agree to them.
USAA: I am a USAA member, however I believe their "mover's advantage" program is just a creative means of getting around anti-trust laws by effectively "selling" leads to select franchise participants to the detriment of our service men & women. Why would a USAA buyer/seller need to use an agent assigned from a specific company despite perhaps that agent being very new & never having been in the military?... yet some how that agent is recommended by USAA??? Why can't the participant pick their own agent from any company?... Because it's essentially a PAID referral program. That kick-back "rebate" at closing comes from the agent's commission & thus can/will invariably lead to pushy sales tactics like up-selling to more expense properties, pushing their own company listings exclusively, & pricing listings below market value. More program details & actually USAA member reviews to come.
"Guaranteed" Sale: I'm authoring a more thorough list exposing other hidden gimmicks within the Real Estate industry; however, the following links below provide a very good synopsis on this "guaranteed" scam some of my fellow Realtors have unfortunately decided to pedal to the detriment of the entire industry.
Harsh Truth About “The Guaranteed Sale Program” Gimmick
Guaranteed home sales: A profitable gimmick