In their June 10, 2007, column for the New York Times Magazine, Dubner and Levitt present some interesting new research on real estate sales. No, it’s not what you’re thinking: more Realtor bashing! Although it is true that they have written before about the imperfect nature of the Realtor’s commission model, this column takes a somewhat different tack. It’s about a little-known trick known as a cash-back transaction, in which a buyer receives a “rebate” to finance his own down-payment – a rebate that the lending bank never finds out about. This blog post supplies additional research materials.