Rogers Communications rolled out a revamped version of Zoocasa, its online resource for home buyers, this week, and along with a new, cleaner look that’s heavy on infographics, the site’s promising to repay consumers a portion of their broker commission. Users who connect to agents through Zoocasa’s free referral service and then close the sale or purchase of a home will get about 15 per cent of the commission back in cash and gift cards for retailers like Best Buy, Home Depot, Sears or Canadian Tire. (On a $500,000 home, the consumer would get $1,683 in cash and $240 in gift cards.) Zoocasa has also obtained a brokerage licence as a back-door way to access up-to-date listings data from the Toronto Real Estate Board, meaning it, like Realtor.ca, now displays every property available through MLS. (Previously, Zoocasa only published listings from specific agents with whom it had deals.) Still, unlike similar house hunting sites in the U.S., Zoocasa still can’t display past sales information—unless Canada’s Competition Bureau can win an upcoming appeal and force TREB to loosen its vice grip on the information.
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