Back in 2005, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit against the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The two have apparently slugged it out long enough to reach a settlement.
No real point in rehashing it all. To be honest, it’s really quite a snoozer — and basically meaningless in today’s world. VOWs (Virtual Office Website — the subject of much of the contention) are all but dead. IDX’s (the type of “MLS Search” you can do on most real estate sites, including this blog) aren’t affected from what I can tell in my first cut through the releases.
I would be curious to know just how many tax dollars (and NAR dues dollars) were spent on this nonsense…
On second thought, I’d probably rather not know….
If you are interested in the specifics:
Michael Wurzer has a fabulous first-pass take on the FBS blog. As an “insider” on how MLS’s live and breathe, his opinion is (in my opinion) the one most worth listening to.
Some great comments (for the most part) on the Agent Genius post.
The NAR of course, has their spin.
And if you believe the spin, befitting of two bloated bureaucracies, both sides “won”.
Whatever. I don’t see how it’s going to really effect my business, or real estate in general. I don’t run a VOW (and honestly, can’t understand why anyone would). I’ve been able to freely compete on costs, as has everyone else in my market that I’m aware of. Consumers have a wide variety of choices when it comes to real estate services — from flat fee, MLS only houses to “full service” brokerages and everything in between.
Apparently the DOJ enjoys nosing around in private industry and free enterprise, spending boatloads of taxpayer dollars. Now that they should have more free time on their hands, maybe they can mount a frontal assault on the oil companies. When was the last time you saw competition in gas prices? The only competition there seems to be in the race for who can raise their prices fastest.