Request for Comments "Real Estate Workshop&quot # 00018

Submission Number:
00018
Commenter:
Andrea DeFelice
Organization:
Natl Assoc Of Exclusive Buyers Agents
State:
Arizona
Initiative Name:
Request for Comments "Real Estate Workshop&quot

Competition among real estate agents and real estate brokerages is fierce. There are more than two million active real estate licensees in the United States. There are more than 85,000 real estate brokerages in the United States with hundreds of different business models. Mega brokerages with thousands of traditional agents and real estate teams sometimes made up of dozens of agents have significant resources to advertise and invest in technology. In the last five to 10 years, many new companies – often referred to as “disruptors” – have entered the real estate market and have dramatically changed the way consumers buy and sell real estate. Some of these companies encourage dual agency and designated agency. Other companies’business models seek to remove buyer agents or all agents from the real estate transaction. In some ways, these companies are “commoditizing” real estate agents and real estate firms. Large search portals, such as Zillow, have millions of users every day, making search engine optimization difficult (but not impossible). These search portals monetize their traffic by generating leads and selling leads to real estate agents and brokerages. According to the DOJ 2007 report "Competition in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry," after a decade of agency law reform across the country, it is still more common for the cooperating broker to owe fiduciary duties solely to the buyer. How is it that a broker in a traditional real estate office can offer “fiduciary duties solely to the buyer” if they also represent sellers? As President of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents, we see this as a confusing and frustrating situation for the consumer. The Federal Trade Commission site points out, buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions most consumers make in their lives. The buyer’s expectation is that the agent they are working with has their best interest in mind 100% of the time. It’s time to level the playing field. There should be consistency across the board with regard to representation and disclosure. The lines are blurred with Buyer Agents, Transaction Brokers, Dual Agents, Designated Agents, and Facilitators. If the consumer expects sole fiduciary duties from their agent, the only option is Exclusive Buyer representation.