The real deal
Costco real estate program
saves money, time
By Will Fifield
A CHANGE OF SCENERY can be invigorating. But if a fresh landscape involves relocating to another city, the real estate transactions
involved can empty your pockets and drain
your energy. That’s why Costco member
George DeVillar and his wife, Barbara, used
Costco’s real estate program when they were
ready to retire and move to a new area of
The DeVillars, who lived in Salinas,
California, were drawn to the quaint, small-town feel of Georgetown, Texas. So in 2004,
when George retired from a career with the
state of California, they used Costco’s real
estate program to help them make the move.
Costco and its partner, LendingTree, have
helped thousands of members save money
and frustration on real estate transactions
“I had previously refinanced my home in
Salinas through Costco,” says George DeVillar.
“The program was easy to use and I saved
money on my refinance, so I felt good about
using a real estate agent through Costco’s program to help us find a home in Texas.”
The DeVillars received a “sizeable” rebate
check and an accompanying Costco Cash
Lending Tree has issued millions of
dollars in rebates to members who
have bought and/or sold homes
through the program, and thou-
sands of members have saved
hundreds of dollars on financing
or refinancing their homes.
card—a benefit that Costco members enjoy
exclusively through this program—after closing on their new house.
In 2006, the DeVillars used the program
again when they wanted to move to a single-story home in a more rural area of Georgetown. This time they used an agent through
Costco’s program to sell their home and
purchase a new home. Again, they were
happy with the program. And they received
rebate checks and a Costco Cash card at the
closing of both transactions.
The DeVillars’ story isn’t unusual.
Lending Tree has issued millions of dollars in
rebates to members who have bought and/or
sold homes through the program, and thousands of members have saved hundreds of dollars on financing or refinancing their homes.
LendingTree manages an extensive network of real estate agents from industry-leading companies across the country. Like
the DeVillars, members who buy or sell a
home through the program receive a rebate
from LendingTree, and Executive Members
also receive a $100 Costco Cash card.
John Gleason, manager of Costco’s real
estate program, says the value for members
is clear. For example, a member who sells a
home for $300,000 would receive a $2,250
rebate. If a member buys a home and sells a
home, each for $300,000, the total rebate
would be $4,500.
Members who finance their purchases
through Costco’s Mortgage & Refinance program can dramatically increase their savings.
“Costco works with only eight of LendingTree’s more than 300 lenders. These lenders
are chosen because of their ability to provide
Costco members with great rates, low lender
fees and excellent customer service on home
loans and refinancing,” John explains.
The program enables members to choose
loans that save them hundreds, sometimes
thousands, of dollars over loans they might
have secured outside the program.
In addition to saving members money,
Costco and Lending Tree are working to add
features to the program that make it easier
for members to use. This month, for example, members using the real estate program can
use Home Price Check, a new online tool that
provides a ballpark estimate on the value of
their home. While this tool is not a true home
appraisal, it provides members with an idea of
the value of their home based on information
such as square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and comparable sales.
“We developed this feature to give members a good starting point to use in the early
stages of real estate transactions,” John explains.
Says DeVillar, “I don’t know why everybody doesn’t handle their real estate needs
through Costco’s program.” C
To see how Costco can help you with your
real estate needs, visit costco.com and
click on “Services.” Click “Real Estate
Agent Services” for help buying or selling
a home and “Mortgage & Refinance” to
save on a home loan or refinance. You
can also get information by calling toll free