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Guest perspective: Recent rebate decision signals turning point

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The state of Kentucky's recent withdrawal of regulations prohibiting real estate commission rebates may mark the turning point in efforts to restrict consumer choice in real estate services. State officials wisely decided to withdraw the anticompetitive, anti-consumer restrictions under threat of legal action by Federal antitrust regulators. The proposed "opt-out" regulations of the National Association of Realtors are now in limbo and under pressure from the federal antitrust enforcers as well. While well-funded and coordinated special interest efforts to restrict consumer choice through mandated minimum level of service legislation passed in several states this year, most of the remaining state legislatures have now adjourned for 2005. Plans to pass similar legislation in many other states will have to wait until next year. That gives time for pro-consumer real estate professionals, consumer advocacy organizations, and federal and state legislators and regulators to work together to...