The Importance of Competition in Real Estate to Consumers
Buying or selling a home is the largest financial transaction most Americans will ever undertake. The median priced home cost $184,334* in 2009, and the median commission paid to real estate brokers came to $9,733**. Overall, Americans paid nearly $60 billion for brokerage services.
More Competition Could Reduce Commissions
New business models are emerging that allow consumers to save thousands of dollars when they buy or sell a home. Where these practices are allowed, some buyers’ brokers are offering refunds on commissions, and some sellers’ brokers are charging only for services actually used.
Other Problems Consumers Face
Some states require real estate closings to be done by lawyers, reducing competition and raising costs. Competition also suffers when brokers exclude low-cost rivals from the multiple listing service (MLS), which limits price competition.
How to Contact the Antitrust Division
If you have questions or comments about competition in the real estate industry or if you have information concerning anticompetitive conduct, e-mail the Antitrust Division.