DOJ Says No Way To Traditional Brokers OPT OUT Clause!


This mean now that all of the ignorant real estate brokers whom cheated their clients in the past – can not do this anymore!!!  Imagine listing your home for sale with a broker who “Opt’ed Out” of having your listing pushed all over the Internet via other real estate broker’s websites…crazy and pathetic for any brokers whom cheated their high-paying clients whom which they hired you to market their home!

via Inman News…

The Department of Justice and the National Association of Realtors have agreed to minor modifications to their proposed settlement of the government’s antitrust lawsuit against the Realtors’ association, paving the way for a final judgment in the three-year-old case.

The government says the settlement, announced in May, will give consumers access to multiple listing service data on homes for sale similar to that enjoyed by Realtors. After wrapping up its review of public comments submitted during a 60-day window, the DOJ proposed leaving the settlement virtually unchanged.

But in its response to comments received from the industry, the DOJ shed some light on how it expects the agreement to be enforced: by NAR. The government also left the door open for future antitrust action concerning NAR’s Internet Data Exchange, or IDX, policy.

In its September 2005 lawsuit, the DOJ alleged that NAR’s policy on “virtual office Web sites,” or VOWs, violated antitrust laws. The policy alleged suppressed competition from real estate brokers who gave consumers access to multiple listing service data on a par with that enjoyed by Realtors through password-protected sites.

By allowing brokers to withhold their sellers’ listings from VOWs, NAR restrained VOW brokers in their ability to compete with traditional brokers, who often provide information on MLS listings by hand, mail, fax or e-mail, DOJ lawyers said.

By blocking VOW brokers from allowing their customers to review the same set of MLS listings that traditional brokers can provide to their customers, NAR’s rules “restrained VOW brokers from competing in a way that is efficient and desired by many customers,” the DOJ claimed.

The proposed settlement requires NAR to modify its challenged VOW policy, making it clear that brokers can operate VOWs “without interference from their rivals,” and that traditional brokers cannot withold sellers’ listings from display on VOWs.

The proposed settlement would also allow brokers to operate referral VOWs, which allow prospective buyers to search for homes online, but directs them to other brokers or agents when they are ready to see a home in person, negotiate a price, enter into a contract, and close the deal.

Existing referral VOWs have established relationships with Internet companies and developed “significant numbers of potential buyer leads,” the DOJ says, and the proposed settlement prohibits MLSs from standing in the way of VOW brokers referring customers to other brokers for compensation.

Continued @ Inman News

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