Rehava Real Estate Store that took on a very challenging task of reinventing the real estate business in the US is definitely stirring some emotions in Charleston. Here is the latest article:
Alternative real estate firm ventures downtown
By Katy Stech (Contact)
The Post and Courier
Monday, August 25, 2008
Looking past a not-so-hospitable welcome to the Charleston real estate community, the newly formed Rehava Real Estate Store is expanding to downtown Charleston.
The alternative brokerage firm, which stirred controversy by offering buyer rebates after a change in state law allowed them, plans to open an office at 48 Society St. The company opened its first store this year on International Boulevard at the entrance to Tanger Outlet Center.
The office will be run by Danny Sillivant, a longtime agent at John Liberatos Real Estate Co. It will start off with three agents.
Rehava, which was founded by real estate agent and broker Steve deGuzman, promises to give buyer rebates and a flat listing rate to customers.
The amount of the rebate varies with the price of a home and the agreed-upon commission payout to agents. A typical rebate of 1.5 percent could result in thousands of dollars in savings in the Charleston area, where the median home price is about $210,000.
For example, on a standard 6 percent commission on a $200,000 home, the agents representing the buyer and seller typically would split the $12,000 payout. Under that scenario, Rehava said, it would pay half of its hypothetical $6,000 share as a rebate.
While the concept could save buyers money, agents who are protective of their standard 3 percent commission haven’t been supportive.
After one South of Broad homeowner heard about Rehava, he contacted the company to list his home, deGuzman said. But the homeowner changed his mind after some agents threatened to avoid showing the home, deGuzman said.
DeGuzmansaid he still hopes to break into the market by relying on the Internet. Since many buyers begin their home search online, he said, his listings will still get the attention they deserve.
“If you have a client that wants to see our house and a broker tells them that they don’t want to show it, good luck,” he said.
Rehava, which formally opened in late May, has sold five homes, according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. It also has 17 properties listed on the association’s Multiple Listing Service.