Sunday, October 21, 2007

DOJ vs. the NAR Moving Right Along

I blogged this before. But oh, God! I am beaming from ear to ear. When I saw this mentioned over at Keith's blog I couldn't help myself. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), vis-à-vis their anti-competitive, monopolistic control over the MLS, is moving along quite nicely. Here's the anti-trust complaint (pdf). You can find a list of links with the NAR's asinine rebuttal over at the site.

In my opinion, any and all listings should be equally available to every prospective buyer whether they use an agent or not, whether they use the internet to search or not. Ownership of such a listing should not be claimed by anyone. The bulk of the realtor's argument seems to center around the idea that the MLS consists of their (the realtor's/agent's) listings and as such they should have the right to control who has access to their listings. I think it is about time that realtors/agents remind themselves of who it is that they actually work for. If I was a seller I would want to be 100% confident that my listing is fully available to everyone and not just a network of traditional agents.

Like one agent said:
[the] NAR better be careful and change its curmudgeonly ways or it will be thwarted and become even more irrelevant than it already is.
So the lying, manipulating, unethical, lobbying, monopolist, commissioned scum at the NAR are going to get their due. And I hope it trickles down to every agent in America. The closer we get to returning the RE market to an open and free market, the better.


Blogger marinite2 said...

I also wanted to add, but failed to mention, that a free and open MLS should be paid for by the sellers. That is, they pay a respectable fee each month or every two weeks or so to list their house. That puts some of the pain of advertising on the sellers so maybe only people who are really intersted in selling would list their house as opposed to people who keep their houses on the market for years without lowering their ridiculously too high price.

The listing could be automatically pulled on failure to renew payment. The database would keep track of things like DOM -- would only reset if the seller indicates the house sold; would indicate the total number of days the listing was on the market during periods of payment (so would not include days when the seller had not renewed their fee), etc.

As far as making sure the listing was accurate (i.e., the kitchen really does have granite counter tops, etc.) the listing could have fields editable by registered users, sort of like a wiki or other social networking cross-checking scheme (think wikipedia).

I think an online, open MLS system is quite do-able. I wonder why no one has done it yet. Not enough profit? Why not ad based? Why isn't Google doing this?

Oct 24, 2007, 10:30:00 AM  
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