Banks as Real Estate Brokers: The Consumer Perspective
RealtyTimes.com: April 30, 2001
This new generation of information technologies, new business models and new players will raise a wide variety of consumer issues. Without an organized consumer effort, the future of this trillion-dollar industry will be defined by two titans: NAR, which ranks No. 15 on Fortune magazine’s list of the most powerful lobbying groups; and ABA, which ranks No. 11.
As a counterbalance, a coalition of consumer groups could be formed to coauthor a long-overdue Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights, both to correct ongoing problems and guide the industry’s evolution. This Real Estate Consumer Alliance, or RECALL, could include a variety of groups including CFA, Consumers Union (publishers of Consumer Reports), National Consumer Law Center, National Consumers League, American Council on Consumer Interests, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Consumer Project on Technology, USPIRG and AARP. Because homebuyers and sellers have the most to gain – an average savings of $6,000 per transaction, according to the Wall Street Journal – RECALL could be self-funded through online donations from the anticipated $30 billion annually in savings. That kind of savings should be enough to wake the average consumer. But time is running out to wake the sleeping giant.