BrokerageIndustry News

State lifts real estate rebate ban

Justice Dept. probe in South Dakota prompts real estate commission actions

The South Dakota Real Estate commission, prompted by a U.S. Justice Department investigation, has lifted rules that restricted the offer of real estate rebates and other inducements in the state. The Justice Department notified commission officials in early June that it was investigating the state's rebate policies, and the commission acted later that month to nullify its earlier rulings on rebates. The commission has repealed a 1993 ruling stating that "any rebate of a commission to a client buyer or client seller" is prohibited by state statutes. Also, the commission cancelled a 2003 ruling that found that the use of inducements for potential real estate clients or customers would be considered unprofessional conduct. "Subsequently, the commission notified all South Dakota real estate brokers that they now are free to offer commission rebates, incentives, and other discounts to buyers and sellers," the Justice Department announced in an Aug. 17 statement. The commission assured the...