Greetings, Vote Nader.org,
Fifteen years ago today, Ralph Nader delivered a keynote address at a two-day conference in Boston called, "The Consumer Revolution in Real Estate."
Last year, I spoke with Ralph at a book signing at the Harvard Coop about releasing the content of his 1993 speech online. He seemed interested at the time and invited me to follow-up. To celebrate the 15th anniversary, I’d like to get written authorization to release both the text on the wiki below (which is password protected) and the video online?
Please request access through wiki
With recent headlines about congressional efforts to rescue homeowners from foreclosure (see BusinessWeek article: The Plans to Save Underwater Loans" http://tinyurl.com/2v9kgh) and Ralph’s recent appearance on NBC to talk about fraud in the housing industry, I wanted to be careful not to release the text of the 15 year old speech or video clips without your knowledge and permission.
Please let me know if there are restrictions or concerns about how and where the content can be used. At a minimum, I would like permission to:
1. Publish a link on the wiki to the full text;
2. Publish selected paragraphs or quotes on blog, and / or wiki;
3. Publish selected short video clips to blog, and / or wiki.
4. Show the full video at a real estate round table with home buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals.
If your team would also like to reuse the content for your own purposes, I would be glad to grant permissions and potentially explore collaborations. As presidential candidates, congress, and others debate foreclosure intervention strategies, and propose reforms to prevent another trillion dollar collapse of the housing market in the future, perhaps Mr. Nader can call for a vigorous investigation of conflicts of interest in the residential brokerage industry and their costs to individuals and society.
Here’s one example posted in my comment to BusinessWeek’s blog post, "Bad Brokers:
"My so-called buyer’s agent (who promptly switched roles at contract signing without explanation), initially advised me to bid $750,000 for my house of choice, which was listed at $699,900. When I told her that such an offer was beyond my price range, she was quite adamant that I not offer anything under the list price. When I finally backed out the deal because of her bait and switch scam, I later heard that the house in question sold shortly afterwards for $682,000–in other words, nearly $70,000 less than the bid suggested by my so-called buyer agent."
"This type of price inflation (caused by seller’s agents masquerading as buyer’s representatives) must have a very distorting impact on housing costs. The economic fallout is enormous: ordinary citizens are forced to move out farther in search of decent, affordable places to live, which leads to a host of problems connected with traffic congestion, suburban sprawl, etc."
"As I perceive it, the real estate cartel’s use of dual agency [a.k.a. "designated agency"], which works to the detriment of the average consumer while enriching dishonest agents through the practice of double-dipping, contributes significantly to the manifold problems we see in the residential housing market and therefore should be fully exposed."
BusinessWeek blog post:
"The next major revolution in real estate will be fee based services replacing the blanket commission pricing that has dominated the industry for so long."
Former Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors
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