Rocket Homes is a Michigan real estate broker that collects an undisclosed referral fee (estimated at 25%-40% of agent’s commission) from all real estate agents that participate.
This fee makes it hardly a free service for anyone since referral fees are inevitably passed down to consumers.
More importantly, Rocket Homes is a real estate agent that “does not engage in actual real estate broker services.” Rocket Homes systematically applies pay-to-play bias towards all matching results, meaning, only real estate agents that have agreed to pay a referral fee are matched with consumers.
Rocket Homes audits all transactions because it needs to find out how much money real estate agents receive in commissions, inevitably collecting private details of consumer’s agreement for home purchase or sale.
Rocket Homes further claims to match consumers with “top-rated professionals,” but there is absolutely no third-party evidence for this. Rocket Homes Terms of Service directly states that
“it does not guarantee or warrant the products or services of other product or service providers to whom it may refer you, including, but not limited to, real estate brokers/agents, lenders and escrow/settlement companies.”
The main qualification for real estate agents who participate with Rocket Homes is their willingness to pay a referral fee. Rocket Homes is an affiliated brokerage of Quicken Loans. Quicken Loans is unable to collect referral fees from real estate agents directly due to rigid RESPA regulations. Instead, Quicken Loans is using Rocket Homes’s license as a loophole to bypass RESPA provisions that were designed to protect consumers from illegal kickbacks between real estate agents and mortgage companies.
“we will share your personal information (such as your name, address, telephone number and e-mail) to allow third parties to contact you (even if you are previously listed on any state, federal or corporate do-not-call list) regarding their products or services that include mortgage, moving companies, telephone service providers, internet service providers, cable and satellite television service providers, and real estate agents.”
Rocket Homes plays hidden referral fees down to consumers, but it rigidly locks every participating real estate agent to the back-end of every contract. As a licensed real estate agent that doesn’t perform any real estate services or takes any responsibility for the transaction, it is not entirely clear how Rocket Homes works under the Business and Professions Code and RESPA.
Clearly, real estate agents only sign-up with Rocket Homes because the price of the referral fee can be easily incorporated into their client’s agreement with excessive commissions.
Rocket Homes receives the lowest score because it simply sells user information to third parties without any clear benefit to anyone other than itself. There are exactly zero benefits to consumers when using this referral fee network - the only effects consumers gain with Rocket Homes are hidden fees, privacy concerns and blind matches with agents willing to part with 25%-40% of their commission. This model incorporates in itself everything real estate process shouldn’t be. Rocket Homes must be well aware of these issues but continues to operate on pay-to-play methodology in order to collect fees that needlessly make home buying and selling more expensive.