BrokerageIndustry News

Poll: Most buyers use rebates for closing costs, moving

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Real estate brokerage company ZipRealty last month passed the $100 million mark in rebates awarded to home buyers, though the company continues to operate at a loss and its business model is banned by rebate restrictions in some states. The company has lobbied aggressively to open up markets that restrict its rebate practice and is backing legislation in New Jersey that seeks to open up the practice of rebates in that state. Launched in 1999, ZipRealty gives a portion of its commission in real estate transactions back to its buyer clients, though this practice is not allowed in about 10 states, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, which has actively opposed anti-rebate measures as anti-competitive. Company officials maintain that rebates are an important tool for buyers to help pay for closing costs in real estate transactions, while rebate opponents have argued that consumers can already seek home-price and commission reductions through negotiati...