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"Competition and the Real Estate Workshop" -- Comment, Project No. V050015
This is almost an insane issue. This industry is more competitive than the NFL. Virtually, over 80% of the new agents wash out in the first year from fierce competition. The MLS system is not a public utility. It evolved out of need not greed. It is the most efficient way to service the public. The billions of dollars and time spent to enter and track accurate property information by licensed and trained agents will go away if there is less incentive to do so. I need to remind most of you that unless you have actually done this business (been a licensed agent for at least 5 years) then you have almost zero frame of reference to go by and will not make an accurate decision based on first hand knowledge. There are very few, if any other professions that compare to being in the trenches with the public, making sure that the transaction is done correctly with the largest transaction of most peoples lives and then, only getting paid if the deal closes. If you are fantasizing about agents not being as needed as they were in the past, then all I can do is laugh. You have to remember that "for sale by owner" web sites have been available for a along time, if a person wanted to go outside of the MLS system. Also that the public thinks they are selling a used car when they do it themselves. In other words they don't, and are not trained to or obligated to use any code of ethics to treat anyone fairly. When a licensed agent procures a listing contract with a seller then that agent owns the information to market that home. If the seller is not happy with that agent and with the way that agent markets the property then they can fire that agent. Go ahead, deregulate the whole industry. I will find a way to make money from it. However, you will have a huge mess on you hands. The less agents are involved, the more law suits and huge distress there will be for the public to endure. Remember that selling and buying a home combined with moving is the most stressful thing that a person can experience right under a death in the family. The profession was born from that fact. The real estate agent is the professional referee in the trenches. You don't go to a sporting event to watch the referees, yet you still need them to proceed in a fair fashion.
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