Too many agents & too little consumer protection = regulate or disrupt real estate?

 MAgentMap_080912

Too many real estate agents?  Here’s one way to answer Boston.com’s question:  a map showing the distribution of real estate agents across Massachusetts courtesy of Matt Carroll, a former Boston Globe real estate reporter:

http://bit.ly/REAgentMap (click to search interactive map)

Beyond that simple question is a family fight between appraisers and agents about the lack of regulatory oversight and consumer protection. PLUS this complaint:  The appraisal industry took the brunt of the hit for the crash. Realtors? Absolutely nothing

“Why has the sales community not been dismembered and regulated like others in the real estate field? Why have the requirements not been increased to obtain and maintain a license? Why is there virtually no state or federal oversight like that in other areas? Why has the process to obtain and maintain a license not substantively changed?”

Inman News: Appraiser wonders why it’s so easy to become a real estate agent

REFORM AGENDA

Yes, why so easy and if there are so many agents, (1) why is there so little price competition, and (2) why hasn’t the obsolete one-size fits all, two-side brokerage commission been uncoupled?  We’re delighted to address that $60 BILLION dollar question in our proposed Defensive Homebuying class:

What they don’t teach you in Homebuying 101 

http://bit.ly/RExpose101 (please share this link via social networks)

The Consumer Federation of America first called the real estate industry an informal cartel in 1991; yet more than twenty years later, the “sleeping giant of the consumer movement” is outside the scope of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — despite the industry’s role in the last boom / bust cycle.

One response is to ask Senator Elizabeth Warren why?

http://bit.ly/REformRE (please share this link via social networks)

Alternatively, if you’d like to co-create a more open, transparent real estate marketplace, here’s another question to ask:

What would the real estate marketplace look like if there were no MLS?

CROWDFUNDING FANTASY

Imagine an Ideas Competition, where Harvard  & MIT students and alumni, and other innovators share a $7M prize? Why $7M, because that’s what homebuyers paid OVER ASKING PRICE in Cambridge during 4Q2013! Technology exists to build a more transparent real estate marketplace where buyers are not manipulated into making BLIND bids way over asking price.

Maybe a $7M prize is a fantasy, but have you ever met a homebuyer or seller who wasn’t interested in saving money?  Maybe some will be ready for table top versions of this:

Seeding C2C / P2P real estate unconferences for consumers to connect, save money

http://bit.ly/recallC2C  (please share this link via social networks)

Until then, if you’ve been burned by bidding wars or know anyone who has, you can help create some momentum to reform real estate by visiting this link, adding your thoughts, and share them via social media:

http://bit.ly/MyBiddingWarWish

MyBiddingWarWish:  UK + US

Posted in Bidding wars, Buyer agent, Commission Reform, Consumer protection, Defensive Homebuying, Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, reVRM, Savings & Rebates, Unconference
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