Do home buyers and sellers have the right to free choice without fear of discrimination?

In a democracy that values personal and economic freedom, doesn’t this third point of the proposed Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights seem obvious (or to quote the Declaration of Independence, "to be self-evident")?


3. Right to be respected as an individual. 
Consumers of real estate services vary as to particular real estate
needs. There should be no difference in the way an individual is
treated by a real estate professional especially if that individual
chooses not to be represented or chooses to use a real estate
professional whose services offered may be different in custom or
practice from other real estate professionals.

To the contrary, real estate consumers who exercise their right to choose "alternative" real estate service providers, like new flat-fee MLS listing services, run the risk of discrimination.  The same is too often true if they list their own properties "for sale by owner."  Those are the kind of the complaints that the United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are likely to hear on October 25th when they host their public hearing on anti-competitive trade practices in the residential real estate industry.  If you’ve been a victim of this kind of discrimination, we’d like to hear about it.  Exercise your own free speech by (1) posting your comment below, (2) sending a private email to, (3) recording a message by calling The Real Estate Cafe at 617-876-2117;

Or best of all, exercise your freedom of speech AND assembly by (4) logging onto to nominate your own idea for the proposed Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights using the discussion boards there for home buyers and home sellers.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights

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