Industry News

State lifts ban on real estate rebates

South Carolina gets official pass on incentive provision

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South Carolina has lifted a short-lived ban on consumer rebates and incentives in real estate services, freeing up real estate professionals to offer these types of inducements to home buyers and sellers. The South Carolina Association of Realtors had been working to lift the ban since it was passed in 2004, according to Nick Kremydas, CEO of the trade association. Kremydas said the ban on rebates was an accidental byproduct of a poorly worded law provision that passed in 2004. The U.S. Justice Department has taken issue with similar laws in other states, investigating the competitive effects of such bans. The agency last year sued the Kentucky Real Estate Commission over restrictions on consumer rebates and reached a settlement to lift the ban in July 2005. The South Dakota and West Virginia real estate commissions also cancelled rebate and gift bans in response to DOJ investigations. In South Carolina, Kremydas said the issue of rebates and gifts has been a "non-issue." "Our members ...