In the real estate business, a deal is not always a done deal. There are a variety of factors that can derail a home sale, and the failure rate tends to accelerate in an environment of slumping sales and prices. That is bad news for agents, as they may invest money in marketing a home for sale with no guarantee that they will recoup that investment if the home does not sell. Online real estate site RealtyBaron is seeking to provide more certainty to agents by building a system that allows them to hedge the risk that they will lose money if the home does not sell. RealtyBaron, launched in 2004, is a real estate agent rating and review site that also offers an online system in which agents bid for business by adjusting their commission rates and rebates. Marc Dugger, RealtyBaron founder, said the new ListingHedge system, launched last week, is using play money -- called "BaronBucks" -- during this testing period, but the plan is to offer a hedging system that uses re...
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