Are Agent Commission Rebates Legal

Yes, it's absolutely legal for a Utah real estate agent to rebate any amount of their commission to buyers. Realtor Rebate Examples

  • Rebate on a $400,000 home is $5,000

  • Rebate on a $600,000 home is $8,000

  • Rebate on a $1,00,000 home is $14,000


All rebates are calculated based on a 3% buyer's agent commission (BAC). Lending guidelines may apply. The commission rebate amount is not guaranteed. Call 801-243-8900 for more details.

Utah real estate agent commission rebate

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When buying a home, any chance to save money is a plus. That brings us to a critical question: are real estate commission rebates legal? Absolutely, they are legal in most parts of the United States. This cost-saving strategy, endorsed by federal law, empowers homebuyers with cash back on their agent’s commission. In this article, you’ll discover the legality and how to navigate these buyer rebates smartly, what restrictions might apply, and the key considerations before opting for a rebate.

Key Takeaways

  • Real estate agent commission rebates are legal in 42 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., offering homebuyers the flexibility of cash-back incentives that can cover anything from closing costs to home improvements.

  • Commission rebates are not a one-size-fits-all; the terms, calculation, and potential impact on overall savings and purchase strategy vary by agent, and it’s imperative to understand the specifics and legality in your state.

  • While offering financial benefits to homebuyers, a realtor rebate may come with potential drawbacks, such as attracting less experienced agents and hidden fees. Hence, due diligence and negotiation skills are crucial.

Understanding Real Estate Commission Rebates

Real estate commission rebates, or realtor rebates are essentially cash-back incentives offered by real estate agents to homebuyers. Typically, these rebates are a percentage of the commission earned by the agent from the home sale. The beauty of these realtor rebates is in their flexibility. As a homebuyer, you can use the rebate for any purpose, be it to offset closing costs, make additional home improvements, or simply as a nice cash bonus to celebrate your new home purchase.

However, remember that not all real estate agents offer a commission rebate. Most buyer agents prefer to stick to the traditional commission model, while others are paid at lower rates as a competitive strategy to attract more clients. The key is to conduct thorough research and select an agent who offers rebates, provides excellent service, and has a solid track record in the real estate market.

The Role of Buyer's Agents

Buyer agents play a pivotal role in home buying, often working closely with a listing agent. They assist clients with various tasks, including:

  • Spotting potential issues with properties

  • Navigating the intricacies of the home-buying process

  • Finding properties

  • Scheduling viewings

  • Submitting offers

  • Negotiating deals

  • Handling important documents

They are the buyer’s advocate in the real estate transaction, protecting the buyer’s interests and helping them get the best possible deal on their new home. Consulting a tax professional can also be beneficial in understanding potential tax implications of the purchase.

Interestingly, the commission of buyer’s agents is typically covered by the home seller in the listing agreement. As a buyer, you do not directly pay for your agent’s services. This is where the prospect of a commission rebate becomes even more attractive. Since the seller is the one paying the commission, a rebate essentially means getting a cash-back bonus from a transaction that you didn’t directly pay for!


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How Rebates Are Calculated

Having clarified what a commission rebate is and the role of buyer’s agents, we can now examine the calculation of these rebates. Utah real estate rebates are a percentage of the sale price or of the gross commission earned by the agent from the home sale. This means that the higher the sale price of the home, the larger the rebate you can potentially receive.

For instance, if your agent offers you a 1.5% rebate on a $500,000 home, this equates to $7,500 cashback in your pocket after the home purchase has closed. Remember to ask your agent for a precise and detailed explanation of the rebate calculation. This could be a percentage of the purchase price or a percentage of the agent’s commission. Also, remember to understand the terms and restrictions associated with commission rebates or cash rewards advertised by real estate agents or brokers.

Legality of a Utah Real Estate Commission Rebate

A common misbelief is that a commission rebate is illegal or unethical. However, commission rebates are legal in 42 out of 50 U.S. states, and it is legal for a real estate agent to rebate their commission in Utah. This means that in most states, it is legal to receive commission rebates. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) supports the legality of commission rebates, recognizing them as a conducive practice for price competition in the real estate market.

It’s noteworthy that although a commission rebate is frequently misinterpreted as illegal kickbacks when properly disclosed, they do not fall under the category of kickbacks as per the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). So, as long as the rebate is properly disclosed and accounted for in the settlement statement of the real estate transaction, it’s perfectly legal.

States Where Rebates Are Legal

Real Estate Agent Commission Rebates Are Legal In Utah

Commission rebates are legal in 42 U.S. states, including Utah. However, some states impose limitations on the form and size of the rebates. For instance, in Georgia, a broker can issue a rebate to any of the principals in a real estate transaction. This means that whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you can receive a rebate if you’re working with a broker who offers one.

When considering a commission rebate, remember to:

  • Check the specific laws and regulations in your state

  • Understand the legality of a commission rebate in Utah

  • Be aware of any potential limitations or restrictions that may apply

States Where Rebates Are Illegal

On the flip side, there are some states where real estate commission rebates are illegal. These states include:

  • Alabama

  • Alaska

  • Kansas

  • Mississippi

  • Missouri

  • Oklahoma

  • Oregon

  • Tennessee

Realtor rebates are illegal in these states due to local laws and regulations that explicitly prohibit them.

If you live in one of these states and are considering a home purchase, it’s important to remember this. Remember, while a real estate agent rebate can offer significant financial benefits, it should always be pursued legally and ethically.

Benefits of Commission Rebates for Utah Homebuyers

UT realtor commission rebate benefits

Having a firm grasp on buyer's agent rebates and their legality, we can now explore the benefits homebuyers can garner from these rebates. First and foremost, a buyer rebate can contribute significantly to homebuyers’ savings. They offer a cost advantage by allowing agents and brokers to assist buyers without lowering the sale price of the property. This means that you can get a better deal on your home purchase without compromising on the quality of service you receive from your agent.

Furthermore, commission rebates can be applied to closing costs, making homes more attainable by reducing overall purchase expenses for buyers. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a first-time homebuyer or working with a tight budget.

Lastly, a cash rebate can be received after closing,  which can influence a homebuyer’s loyalty and commitment, effectively enhancing an agent's repeat business and referrals.

Saving Money on Closing Costs

One of the major benefits of commission rebates is the potential savings on closing costs. Commission rebates are often provided as commission credits at closing, which can be used to directly reduce one-time closing costs such as escrow, transfer, and loan origination fees. This means that instead of shelling out money for these costs, you can use your rebate to cover them.

But the benefits don’t stop there. An agent commission rebate can also support the homebuyer with other expenses like moving costs, furniture purchases, or home updates. For instance, if you’ve been eyeing a new couch for your living room or planning renovations in your new home, your rebate could cover these costs.

Making Homes More Affordable

commission rebates make Utah homes affordable

As we’ve established, commission rebates can make homes more affordable by reducing the  purchase price. But there’s another way that rebates contribute to affordability. They can provide buyers with additional financial leverage when making offers on homes. This is because buyers may have more cash available for down payments or improvements due to the rebate.

This can be particularly beneficial in competitive housing markets where every dollar counts. With a commission rebate, you might be able to afford a home that was previously just out of your price range. Or, you could use the extra cash to make improvements and increase the value of your new home.

Enhancing Negotiation Power

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Pro Tip:  Contact, and we'll negotiate the best home price. You won't need to negotiate a rebate with a Utah agent since it's our business model to save clients money.  

Agent rebates save you money and provide a valuable bargaining chip during the negotiation process. Homebuyer rebates can be utilized as a tool for negotiation, allowing agents to offer part of their commission back to the buyer to secure a sale or gain a competitive edge in the market. One such example is the buyer agent rebate.

In competitive buyer’s markets, rebates provided as incentives can be decisive for homebuyers during negotiations. Technological advancements have allowed real estate agents to operate more efficiently, realizing they can offer savings through rebates and still maintain profitability. So, don’t be shy about using your potential rebate as a negotiation tool.

Remember, every dollar saved is a dollar earned!

Potential Drawbacks of Commission Rebates

Commission rebates, while beneficial, do have potential drawbacks. Like any financial decision, weighing the pros and cons is vital before deciding whether a commission rebate is a suitable choice for you. One possible downside of commission rebates is that they might be used as a client-attracting strategy by less experienced agents.

This does not necessarily guarantee high-quality service for homebuyers. It’s crucial to assess the experience and track record of the agent, not just the rebate offered. Another potential drawback is the risk of hidden fees or costs that may diminish the overall value of the rebate for homebuyers.

Inexperienced Agents Offering Rebates

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Aaron Peters, the owner of, was a top-producing Realtor in Utah in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

The advent of Internet real estate advertising has simplified the real estate agent's role and reduced their advertising costs, yet commission percentages have remained fairly consistent. In such a scenario, inexperienced agents may offer commission rebates as a competitive strategy, creating a distinction in a crowded market.

While this strategy may attract clients, it does not guarantee high-quality service. Lower compensation offered by a less experienced buyer's agent may reflect a need to lure clients with financial incentives, possibly indicating a lack of confidence in their services due to minimal experience.

Hidden Fees and Costs

Another potential drawback of commission rebates is the risk of hidden fees or costs. Brokerages have diverse policies on buyer rebates, which may include minimum purchase price rules or property type limitations, leading to unforeseen costs for the buyer. Furthermore, a buyer’s rebate program participation may result in the buyer’s agent reducing the commission offered to the seller’s agent, which can decrease the net rebate amount to the buyer.

In addition, brokerages may implement additional service or administrative fees with their rebate programs, thus diminishing the overall value of the rebate for homebuyers. Therefore, it’s crucial to fully understand the terms and conditions of the rebate before agreeing to it.

Tips for Securing a Commission Rebate

If, after considering the pros and cons, you decide to pursue a commission rebate for your home-buying journey, here are some strategies to obtain one. First, utilize online directories or marketplaces with filters to find real estate agents who offer commission rebates. Reading through the real estate agent’s marketing materials and website is crucial to confirm their rebate offer and the applicable conditions.

Also, when using agent-matching services that promise rebates, verify whether they collaborate with top-rated, full-service agents and understand the kind of rebates or cash-back offers provided. Lastly, explore real estate forums and community groups to seek recommendations for agents who provide broker rebates in specific areas.

Researching Agents and Rebate Offers

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Experienced real estate agents should have plenty of reviews.   Here's what past clients have to say about Aaron Peters service as a discount broker.

Online platforms Zillow, Realtor, or Google reviews are valuable resources for homebuyers looking for a Utah broker who offers their buyers a rebate. For instance, agent-matching services may offer the convenience of negotiating an agent rebate on behalf of the homebuyer, sometimes offering built-in cash back without individual negotiation.

Similarly, some real estate companies, like, offer rebates or cash back after closing to attract new customers and close more transactions. By leveraging these resources, you can find agents who offer commission rebates and compare their offers to find the best fit for your needs.

Negotiating with Your Agent

The next step is to negotiate the terms after finding an agent who provides commission rebates. Start by expressing interest in a commission rebate and asking if the agent would consider such an arrangement. Be transparent about your financial situation and present reasons such as preparedness and willingness to partake in the legwork.

You could also suggest a tiered rebate structure where the percentage of commission rebate increases with the value of the property purchased. Remember, negotiation is a two-way street. Remain flexible and be willing to consider alternative rebate forms like a credit towards closing costs.

Ensuring a Legal and Smooth Process

Lastly, ensuring a legal and seamless process when securing a commission rebate is paramount. The buyer's agent rebate should be part of the buyer agency agreement to formalize the arrangement and provide a legally enforceable document. Additionally, review the terms of the Utah buyer-broker agreement to ensure the rebate is in writing and will be deducted from the real estate commission.

It is also vital to inform all transaction parties, including lenders and closing agents, about the rebate to prevent any last-minute issues arising from unknown aspects of the closing process.

Lastly, maintain written communication regarding the commission rebate to ensure a clear record of the agreement, including the listing agreement, and to use as evidence if disputes occur.

Case Study: Successful Commission Rebate Experience

We will examine a real-world case study to illustrate better the advantages and procedures of securing a commission rebate. One of our Utah homebuyers successfully received a real estate agent rebate of 1.5% of the property’s purchase price. This particular buyer in Millcreek saved over $22,000.

In another example, a Lehi buyer was paired with a top-rated Utah buyer’s agent and used their 2% cash back to buy down the interest rate on a new construction townhome built by Edge Homes. This case study highlights how commission rebates can be part of an agent’s offer to their clients and the importance of working with a top-rated agent.


In conclusion, real estate commission rebates offer significant benefits to homebuyers, including the potential to save thousands of dollars on your home purchase. While there are potential drawbacks, such as the involvement of inexperienced agents or the risk of hidden fees, these can be managed with diligent research and negotiation. With the right agent and a clear understanding of the rebate process, commission rebates can be a game-changer in your home-buying journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

UT agent commission rebates legal frequently ask questions

What is the difference between a commission and a rebate?

A commission is a percentage of the sale price split between agents, while a rebate is a portion of the commission given back to the client, resulting in cost savings.

Is buyer rebate legal in Utah?

Buyer rebates are legal in UT. Brokerages can give clients a portion (or all) of their real estate commission to a home buyer.

What are real estate commission rebates?

A real estate agent commission rebate is a cash-back incentive offered to Utah homebuyers by real estate agents, typically as a percentage of the agent's commission from the home sale. This can help homebuyers save money on their purchase.

Are realtor rebates legal?

Yes, a commission rebate is legal in 42 out of 50 U.S. states, but specific laws and regulations may apply in some states.

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