PLOTS AND PLOYS: No Frills

By James R. Hagerty
Wall Street Journal
April 5, 2006

The mighty National Association of Realtors, with more than 1.2 million members, probably isn't rattled just yet. But a rival trade group, the American Real Estate Broker Alliance, is preparing to launch this week with 10 charter members.

The alliance, known as Areba, represents firms that charge a flat fee for helping consumers sell a home. By contrast, traditional brokers charge a percentage of the sales price, often 2.5% to 3% for the listing agent. Areba members advertise homes in multiple-listing services and provide a limited range of other help to sellers for a fixed fee, typically several hundred dollars.

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