Published January 1, 2006 | January 2006 issue
Thanks to a ruling last summer by the South Dakota Real Estate Commission, home buyers in South Dakota are starting to see a few perks from Realtors competing for their business.
Previously, the commission had outlawed provision of any Realtor incentives, rebates or discounts to home buyers. But the agency reconsidered and then lifted the prohibition after the U.S. Justice Department started investigating the effect on competition. Today, all licensees in the state can offer and advertise a variety of incentives.
The ruling went into effect in the fall, and real estate agents have responded with a variety of perks, according to statewide news sources. Some offer commission discounts: One agent in Aberdeen offered a moving van; another in Tea entices prospective buyers with a trip to Las Vegas for anyone who buys one of three featured homes. The ruling offers a perk of its own to agents: Anyone disciplined in the past for offering an incentive has had that action "deemed null and void," according to the commission.
—Ronald A. Wirtz