Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Consumer Federation of America study

Today the Consumer Federation of America ("CFA") issued a press release announcing the results of a study demonstrating that 'nontraditional real estate brokers' have been growing "despite pressure from traditional brokers, their trade association, multiple listing services, and even some regulators." The CFA's Executive Director, Stephen Brobeck, called on state regulators in particular to join the DOJ and FTC "in working to stop blatant discrimination by traditional brokers against these innovative service providers."

The release explained that "[t]raditional brokers seek to limit access to multiple listing services by, and use state regulators as a weapon against, nontraditional brokers. They also try to make the lives of these nontraditional brokers difficult by refusing to cooperate with them and by disparaging their services." Cited examples of such discrimination include denying full participation in MLSs, boycotting nontraditional brokers, disadvantaging nontraditional brokers, disparaging nontraditional brokers and harassment by state regulators.

The release includes a very nice two page chart describing in detail the various types of listing brokers. It concludes by encouraging consumers themselves to shop around and negotiate for services and price, not to be afraid to file a complaint with their state regulator if they encounter discrimination against nontraditional service providers.

NAR's response can be found here.

No comments:

Post a Comment