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Incentives to buyer’s agents raise steering concerns

Offer of Mercedes is an anomaly, but agent incentives are nothing new

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that Frances Flynn Thorsen is a former Realtor who now works as a real estate marketing consultant, educator and author. By JANIS MARAAs you walk through the garage of a home you're sizing up as a possible purchase, a shiny, silver 2012 Mercedes-Benz catches your eye. "Hey, they should throw that in as part of the deal," you jokingly tell your spouse. Your agent looks uncomfortable. "Well, actually, if you decide to buy the house, I'll get the Mercedes as a bonus." While the above scenario may sound unlikely, it is in fact playing out in real life. A Virginia man is offering his C-Class Mercedes plus a commission to any agent who can sell his $1.9 million home.The offer is just one example of the beefed-up incentives being offered to agents in today's slow market. Though the Mercedes offer is an anomaly, incentives like trips, gifts and higher commissions are nothing new -- and they're not good news ...