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TALKING POINTS

The American Real Estate Broker Alliance, AREBA, www.AREBA.org, is a national alliance of flat-fee real estate brokers formed in 2006 who advocate innovation, free market competition, full disclosure, informed consent and the consumers' right to choose their level of desired brokerage services. 

Primary membership is restricted to flat-fee real estate brokers and agents.  Affiliate membership is open to brokers, agents and others who provide innovative real estate specialties such as fee-for-service, discount brokerage, counseling, exclusive buyer agency, exclusive seller agency, auction marketing, or other real estate services. 

Through our members, we monitor real estate trends and innovation, state & national issues and legislation related to real estate business models, competition and the interests of home buyers & sellers who work with real estate brokers and real estate service providers.

AREBA members believe that anti-competitive practices which discriminate against our members must be prohibited.  We advocate full disclosure to consumers and their informed consent for all services.

Some of the current issues of interest are:

  • Minimum Service Legislation in states which mandate additional services

  • Multiple Listing Service (MLS) rules and public access to the MLS

  • Internet Listing Information Display (ILD) policies

  • Disclosure and informed consent (agency relationships and procuring cause)

  • Rebate restrictions for consumers involved in real estate transactions        

Minimum Service Legislation:  Over 10 states have passed new legislation and regulations that restrict flat-fee and limited service real estate brokers.  New and innovative business models have been forced out of business or forced to raise their prices to meet the new service requirements.  Consumers are forced to buy more services than they may wish to purchase.  AREBA advocates for consumers to have a full range of options and not be forced to buy more service than is needed to assist in the sale of their homes. 

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Rules:  Some MLSs have changed rules and bylaws to prevent  a certain type of listing agreement commonly used by flat-fee brokers from being uploaded to the Realtor.com web site and for their listings to be ‘hidden’ from the public or on other broker web sites.   AREBA advocates that all listings should fully exposed in all venues to better serve home sellers and buyers.

Internet Listing Information Display (ILD) Policies:  Proposed ILD policies from the National Association of REALTORS allow brokers to blanket opt-out and not share listings with other brokers or referral companies.  AREBA advocates full disclosure to home sellers if their homes will not be provided the widest possible exposure.

Disclosure and Informed Consent:  The National Association of REALTORS has acknowledged a serious problem with agent non-compliance as it relates to state-mandated agency relationship disclosures.  Consumers need to know who is working for whom, the implications of procuring cause and the potential for dual agency or conflict of interest situations. 

If a broker is not willing to show homes that are ‘for sale by owner’ or listed by flat-fee or discount companies, he should disclose that limitation to potential home buyer customers and clients. AREBA advocates for full disclosure to and informed consent from all parties in real estate transactions including the effect of procuring cause on their decision to view property for sale.  AREBA opposes discrimination against flat-fee broker listings in regard to home searches, showings, and data access.

Rebate restrictions: Only a handful of states still make rebates illegal.  AREBA advocates for rebates or discounts for all consumers, in support of competition among companies and the free market.

CONTACT:  Albert Hepp, BuySelf.com 800-556-3418 or visit www.AREBA.org

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