A bill introduced by the Illinois legislature to outlaw refunding real estate commissions to consumers, which we complained about last month, finally died today. An obscure group called the Homeowners Club of America had supported the bill as a response to “West Coast brokers attempting to change Illinois commission structures.” Since the bill came just as Redfin was planning to enter the Illinois market, we wondered if we were the primary target.
The U.S. Department of Justice applied behind-the-scenes pressure, and the Illinois Association of Realtors, which we had earlier assumed would support the bill, openly lobbied against it. Several delays, and eleventh-hour modifications (some made as recently as last night) to require only that brokers show a property before claiming a commission on behalf of a client, were not enough to save the bill. In the words of one Redfin correspondent, “the bill was crushed” in the Illinois legislature’s Judiciary Committee. It didn’t even get a motion.
Hooray! And thanks to the Illinois Association of Realtors, and to Redfin reader Mark Reitman for taking the fight to Springfield. Illinois, here we come!
Bonus link, from our devblog: why Redfin chose Bricolage.