Protect Consumer Access to Real Estate Listings

Change email address and post this iPetition to the main blog as well as RECALL:

Protect Consumer Access to Real Estate Listings.

“It’s all about the interest of consumers,” said Pat Lashinsky, vice president for marketing at the California-based discount brokerage, which does business in Illinois. “I’m glad the Justice Department is stepping in to represent the consumer.”

“NAR wants to allow brokers to pick and choose which listings will go on the Internet. But consumers want to see all homes on one site,” Lashinsky said Monday.

“Sellers want their home to be seen by the most potential buyers in order to get most for their home,” Lashinsky continued. “Consumers lose if the listing is not shown everywhere. I think consumers will take an interest in this NAR bylaws change.”

Fred,

Thanks for posting this! As ZipRealty told the Chicago Tribune and this iPetition foretold two years ago, real estate consumers — BOTH buyers and sellers — would be the real losers if NAR’s selective opt-out VOW policy goes into effect:

Protect Consumer Access to Real Estate Listings
http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/protect_mls_access/

What may be more difficult to foretell is the unintended consequence of the DOJ’s legal actions this week. “Could there be a Cendant MLS someday?” “Absolutely” says the chairman and CEO of Cendant’s Real Estate Services Division in this March 2003 article in RealtyTimes:

http://realtytimes.com/rtnews/rtapages/20030305_vowregulation.htm

My guess is that Cendant’s four brands (Coldwell Banker, Century21, ERA and Sotheby’s) have more than 50% of listings in many cities and town across Massachusetts. Put that together with the new designated agency legislation in Massachusetts that glosses over the conflict of interest when brokerages represent the buyer and seller in the same transaction and the DOJ could inadvertently create the ultimate in-house sales machine with anti-competitive implications that rival NAR’s flawed VOW policy.

What’s your take and what steps should be taken to insure an open competitive market place for buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals regardless of whether they are traditional or alternative brokerage models?

Bill

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