Skip to content

Industry Relations: The Dance in DC on Commissions in Residential Real Estate

by Greg Robertson on June 13th, 2018

There was a dance of sorts held in DC on Tuesday, June 5, when the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission hosted a ‘workshop’ to discuss competition in residential real estate. But while NAR and industry players prepared for the fox trot, bringing their best arguments for maintaining the status quo around data access, the DOJ put on a little salsa music and shifted the discussion to commission transparency and coupling.

Rob and Greg are reversing roles this week, as Greg spins conspiracy theories regarding the government’s intentions and the potential consequences of its intervention in the real estate industry. They speak to organized real estate’s nothing-to-see-here approach to the discussion and review the range of views shared in the Developments in Real Estate Fee and Service Models panel.

Greg explains why decoupling would effectively end the MLS, and Rob covers the paper prepared by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggesting conflicts of interest due to coupling. They address who would benefit if buy-side commissions went away, how such changes would impact portals like Zillow, and the surprising number of industry players who support decoupling. Listen in to understand why Rob and Greg are calling for NAR or CMLS to move on this and start leading the dance to develop solutions around commission transparency.

 

What’s Discussed:

 

Organized real estate’s nothing-to-see-here stance at the DOJ/FTC workshop

The Developments in Real Estate Fee and Service Models panel

– Reps from Realogy, Purplebricks, Glass House & TRELORA

Greg’s take that the industry was caught off guard

-Prepared for data access and transparency

-Discussion of commissions, decoupling

How decoupling cooperation and compensation would end the MLS

The NBER paper on realtor commissions and conflicts of interest

The theory that real estate commissions are high due to coupling

Rob’s concern that the DOJ has already made up its mind

Why the industry needs to move on commission transparency

Why real estate is the only industry in which the seller pays the buyer’s rep

How the potential changes might impact portals like Zillow

Who would benefit if buy-side commissions went away

The leadership opportunity for NAR, CMLS to address DOJ/FTC concerns

The surprising number of people in support of commission decoupling

Public response to the previous NAR budget transparency discussion

Resources:

DOJ Residential Real Estate Workshop

Videos of DOJ Residential Real Estate Workshop

Rob’s Blog on the DOJ/FTC Workshop

Brian Boero’s Buzz Saw Blog Post

‘Conflicts of Interest and the Realtor Commission Puzzle’

 

Our Sponsors:

The Red Dot

Cloud Agent Suite

 

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

 

One Comment
  1. Roland Estrada permalink

    When I first the term “DOJ Workshop”, my first thought was DOJ Workshop equals, chit chat with the real estate industry for future litigation. With the unwritten subtext of “you guys make too much fucking money”.

Comments are closed.