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From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Anyone that understands how real estate works knows how competitive it is. Spend your evenings going on listing appointments you didn't get, lose a few hundred buyers to other agents over the years, and watch as some agents earn $7000 per year and others earn over 1 million per year. This is one of the most competitive businesses in the world.
I have driven buyers 700 miles over a few days looking at homes to have them buy a home from an agent that offered them part of her commission back at closing. She had a right to give away her money if she wished and they had a right to leave me high and dry, which they did. Now, I use contracts with most of my buyers to avoid this pitfall.
As for our listings being public information..try going out of your own MLS area to show and see how hard it is to get the information about the local listings (impossible). That information belongs to the listing broker (as it should). If I have someone that wants a house 2 hours away I have to refer them to an agent in that area because they don't share their listings with us. If we don't have to share our listings with other agents (competition) in other MLS areas than why would we be forced to share them with the world?
It the government presses the issue we will just see a return to the "old days" when each office showed only their own listings and the consumers (both buyers and sellers) will be hurt by that. Brokers agreed to share their property (their listings) with each other because it helps them help the public and enables them to do their jobs more efficiently.
There is no industry that is as competitive as real estate. Ask all the people that try to do it each year and drop out of the business because they can't make a living.
This is the worst case of a bunch of attorneys that don't know what an industry does trying to fix something that is not broken that I have ever seen.
Marie Marshall, Broker, Owner, GRI,ePro
Marie Marshall & Associates Real Estate