Thursday, November 30, 2006


My name is Michael Erdman. I have been practicing law for about ten years, and presently am a partner at the Chicago law firm of Teeple & Leonard. Ever since I used a flat-fee real estate broker to sell my condominium in the spring of 2005, I have been interested in the efforts of nontraditional residential real estate brokers and non-broker innovators across the country. I have participated in an online alternative real estate broker forum, attended a DOJ/FTC joint workshop on competition in the real estate brokerage market, and assisted with the formation of the American Real Estate Broker Alliance.

Over the past year I have considered a variety of issues facing nontraditional real estate brokers, including (i) state laws mandating minimum levels of service; (ii) state anti-rebate legislation; (iii) the United States' lawsuit filed last year in federal court in Chicago against the National Association of Realtors, challenging NAR's initial and amended ILD (Internet Listing Display) Policy under federal antitrust law; (iv) FTC proceedings in Texas, Michigan and elsewhere relating to MLSs that withhold the listings of alternative brokers from their uploads; (v) boycotts of nontraditional real estate broker listings; and (vi) a recent NAR rule permitting individual brokers to exclude certain listings from their websites. I started this blog to chronicle the efforts of nontraditional brokers and others from a lawyer's perspective.

None of the opinions or other content contained on this blog should be construed as legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you need legal advice on any of the topics discussed on this blog. Finally, none of the opinions or other content contained on this blog are necessarily the thoughts of Teeple & Leonard, any of its clients, AREBA, or any other person or entity.

Let me add that I have twice used the services of a traditional, full service real estate broker - one to buy a place in Chicago, another to buy a place in the suburbs. Both agents were very impressive. I got the home I wanted at a fair price, with few if any obstacles. Each agent paid close attention to what I wanted and the important details related to the purchase. I would recommend each of them to anyone looking to buy or sell real estate and looking for a full service agent. There is, and likely always will be, a place for quality, full service brokers in the residential real estate brokerage marketplace.

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