Honesty in Real Estate
Stop unfair, deceptive, and abusive iBuying tactics. Consumers are being mislead into believing that heavily funded real estate iBuying platforms are cheaper and easier than using a Realtor. Sign and Share this petition demanding that there be clarity for consumers on these deceitful iBuying platforms. Click HERE.
Real estate agents, and the buyers and sellers they have faithfully represented for decades, are under threat from a small number of technology companies looking to disrupt the real estate industry. This movement began back in 2004 when companies like Trulia and Zillow were formed, and has recently neared a tipping point that will long have repercussions on the housing market and on the economy as a whole. That is why we support educating consumers to the lack of transparency, hidden costs, and community dangers of real estate iBuying platforms.
Attack on Real Estate Agents:
Recent articles in major news outlets have reported a class-action lawsuit that has recently been filed against most of our nation’s real estate agents, brokers, MLS’s (Multiple Listing Systems), and NAR (The National Association of Realtors). The lawsuit claims the above referenced organizations conspired to keep real estate agent commissions artificially high (at 6%). This accusation is baseless, and made with the express purpose of steering future home buyers and sellers away from hiring traditional real estate brokers and toward high cost iBuying platforms.
- Real estate commissions are 100% negotiable in every state
- MLS’s do not regulate commissions nor censor low commission listings
- Nationally the average real estate commission is well below 6%
- iBuying platforms in reality charge more per transaction than real estate agents, but do not call it a commission
E.g. Zillow routinely charges 7% in fees while Offerpad and Opendoor routinely charge 7.5%. Though they do not call these fees a “commission”.*
Media attention from the antitrust lawsuit on “commissions”, and strategically placed advertising, have been used to mislead and steer home sellers toward these more expensive iBuying platforms. We believe this campaign is a deliberate effort by a small number of large technology companies not simply to digitally disrupt an industry but also to mislead home buyers and sellers into thinking they’re getting lower costs and more value through these iBuying real estate platforms. Which they are not.
As just one example, Zillow has been steadily expanding its influence in the real estate industry and begun to compete with real estate agents for real estate transactions. For the twelve months ending March 31, 2019, Zillow revenue, in the billions, has funded its expansion largely from fees received from real estate agents. Zillow uses listings from community based real estate brokerages to attract attention from buyers and sellers. Zillow then commoditizes the information of its viewers and sells the information to real estate agents in the form of leads. Zillow has done this without compensating real estate brokers or real estate agents, and has made billions in the process.
We believe Real Estate Brokerages are entitled to a revenue share from Zillow’s gross profits for the use of the Brokerages listings. A fee similar to the customary referral fee of 25% that all Brokerages have participated with for decades. This would allow local real estate agents and brokerages to not only compete, but to educate home buyers and sellers to the true cost of all Real Estate sales platforms. Because when Sellers are truly informed of all their options, all of our communities’ win.
We the undersigned support the above statements and goals because we believe that when any industry maintains a level playing field the consumer wins. We are signing because we support fair competition amongst real estate agents, which ultimately results in lower costs for consumers and better service from agents. We support technology and the benefit it can provide consumers but believe some technology-based companies are playing to consumers “built in” belief that “technology” always means quicker, more efficient, and cheaper. Finally, we believe that MLS and real estate brokers should not share their listings unless Zillow pays a fair revenue share for the use of their listing which helps fund the type of changes this petition outlines. We believe this will make our communities stronger, healthier, and will preserve the equity that so many homeowners have worked hard to achieve.