REX Delivers Victories in Campaign to Free Home Buyers from Outrageously Expensive and Anti-Consumer Rebate Bans
Louisiana and 41 other states now allow rebates as momentum increases behind REX’s effort to put consumers in control of home buying and selling.
REX’s pro-consumer campaign to end real estate rebate bans and help over 700,000 aspiring homebuyers achieve the American Dream picked up momentum. Louisiana recently joined 41 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing cash rebates, while Oregon continues to force consumers to pay fixed commissions despite a federal court ruling noting that REX made “compelling arguments that excessive fixed broker commissions harm consumers and the housing market.”
“REX applauds the victory in Louisiana as another big step to finally put consumers in control of real estate,” said Michael Toth, a Senior Vice President and General Counsel at REX. “We are also encouraged that a federal court in Oregon found that REX made compelling arguments that rebate ban hurt consumers and artificially inflate home prices.”
In response to an opinion request from REX, the Louisiana Attorney General’s office clarified that real estate rebates are legal within the state. This is a huge victory for consumers because rebates allow homebuyers to receive back thousands of dollars when they close on a home. Ending anti-consumer rebate bans would put homeownership in the reach of nearly one million more American families.
In Oregon, where REX had brought a federal lawsuit against the state’s rebate ban, U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez left the ban in place while stressing that he was not ruling “on the wisdom of Oregon’s anti-rebate policy.” Judge Hernandez’s opinion further noted that “the U.S. Department of Justice has begun to take action against the anti-competitive activity of traditional real estate brokers.”
“In Oregon, Judge Hernandez found REX made a compelling argument but that the federal court was not the right venue. Although REX disagrees with the outcome, we are encouraged that the court recognized how real estate insiders have stackedthe deck against consumers for way too long,” Toth continued.
REX has publicly called for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to join REX in supporting the repeal of anti-rebate policies in the handful states that still prohibit consumers from receiving thousands of dollars back at closing in form of pro-consumer rebates. “These policies harm consumers and licensed real estate agents alike with their anachronistic anti-consumer standards,” REX CEO Jack Ryan wrote in an open letter to NAR in September. “Based on the National Association of Home Builder’s Priced Out model, a 2 percent real estate buyer’s rebate would enable over 700,000 Americans to enter the home ownership market.”
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has an ongoing investigation into the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and has asked NAR questions regarding its influence surrounding rebate bans. The DOJ’s website states:“Rebate bans artificially inflate the cost of real estate services. Consumers are forced to pay thousands more to buy a home than they would if rebates were allowed.” NAR has yet to respond as to its stance on rebate bans either in its response to REX or DOJ.
The opinion from the AG’s office means only nine states now prohibit real estate commission rebates: Alabama, Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee.