Real Estate: Behind the Curtain | Inman News

Real Estate: Behind the Curtain

Survey gathers input on dual agency, pocket listings, more …

By Inman News, Monday, April 11, 2011.

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Flickr image courtesy of <a href=Flickr image courtesy of Fuzzy Gerdes.

While consumers may have more information at their fingertips than ever before about for-sale homes and real estate transactions, some consumers remain misinformed or in the dark about the intricacies of real estate transactions and even how real estate agents are compensated.

In the aftermath of the subprime mortgage market collapse, which escalated into a full-blown housing market and global economic disaster, blame was cast upon many parties involved in the home-sale process. Complex financial instruments were at the core of the meltdown, though other systemic enablers may have magnified the problems.

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Congress and regulatory agencies have proposed widespread reforms in an attempt to safeguard the mortgage market and real estate transaction process from new catastrophes, and the future will tell whether these reforms go far enough, or whether they go too far.

Inman News wants to hear from our readers on areas within the real estate industry that are due for an overhaul — whether it be industry practices or policies that don’t serve consumers, that disadvantage real estate agents or brokerage business models, that cause confusion, or that otherwise work against an efficient and transparent real estate transaction process.

There are examples of conflict and clashes between agents and consumers; agents and brokers; brokers and franchise companies; brokerage companies and trade groups; and trade groups and regulators, for example, over services and compensation.

Over the years, the real estate industry has battled charges of price fixing, discriminatory practices related to alternative compensation models, engaging in dual agency to the detriment of consumers, and recommending service providers that may not offer the best value to consumers, among others.

In upcoming coverage, Inman News will shed light on industry practices and policies that our readers believe may benefit from reforms and updates, and those that they believe should be abandoned altogether.

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