MLS, brokerage giants hit with commission price-fixing lawsuit

I just read that there is another class-action lawsuit (filed Dec 17) against the practice of Sellers paying the Buyer Brokerage a commission. My $9,900 flat fee for the listing service is one half of the solution but we need to get to the point where Buyers pay the Buyer’s Agent for their services in order to increase competition with the Buyer-side commission. The following is from the article.

“Homesellers accuse Massachusetts-based MLS PIN, Realogy, Keller Williams, RE/MAX and HomeServices of America of conspiracy to stifle competition and inflate commissions” (note: Realogy owns Century 21, Better Homes and Garden, Coldwell Banker, ERA, and Sotherby’s)

“The suit, like its two predecessors, seeks class-action status and alleges that the sharing of commissions between listing and buyer brokers inflates seller costs and is a conspiracy in restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, as well as state antitrust laws.

The plaintiffs in all three suits want to have homebuyers pay their broker directly, rather than have listing brokers pay buyer brokers from what the seller pays the listing broker — a move that could upend the U.S. real estate industry by effectively forcing changes in how buyer’s agents are traditionally compensated.”

This is the case number if you’d like to look it up and read the complaint – Bauman v. MLS Property Information Network, Inc. (1:20-cv-12244)

Home inventory is still LOW!

As December progresses, so does the decrease in homes for sale. Inventory is really really low in some cities.

To get a quick view of the trends, take a look at the past 7-day reports for New Listings and Pending Listings to see if new listings are replacing the homes that have received an offer.

On these reports, you can easily just view one city. The way to do this is to first click “Hide All” in the city filter list at the top of the report, then click the city (or cities) you want to include in the report. If cookies are enabled on your browser, if you then click to the Pendings report, the city filter you just defined will follow you to the other report so you don’t have to set the city filter again.

If your looking to sell your home, the market is on your side! Our $9,900 flat fee listing service can get your home on the market and in front of Buyers better than the expensive percentage-based listing services. Full service at a fair price!!!!!!

Monarch Butterfly Sadness

A few weeks ago, I took my grandkids to the monarch butterfly grove in Pismo. I was shocked to see just a couple butterflies. Today, the Tribune had an article that said only 200 have been counted this year. Last year it was 6,700 and 5 years ago, they counted over 28,000 at Pismo. I know they cut down some eucalyptus trees nearby but the low numbers of monarch butterflies has been reported statewide. Sad….

I took these photos back in 2016 with my first granddaughter.

Changes Coming from DOJ Lawsuit

The Department of Justice lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors is creating some changes within the next few months. Here’s the list…

1. Public display of buyer broker compensation“…[The] amount of compensation offered to buyers’ agents for each MLS listing will be made publicly available. Publicly accessible MLS data feeds will include offers of compensation, and buyers’ agents will have an affirmative obligation to provide such information to their clients for homes of interest.”

2. Consumer access to all properties that fit their criteria“…MLSs and brokerages, as always, must provide consumers all properties that fit their criteria regardless of compensation offered or the name of the listing brokerage.”

3. Forbidding buyers’ agents from representing services as “free”“While NAR has long encouraged buyers’ agents to explain how they expect to be paid, typically through offers of cooperative compensation from sellers’ agents, there will be a rule that more definitively states that buyers’ agents cannot represent that their services are free to clients.”

4. Lockboxes and licensed agents“[With] the seller’s prior approval, a licensed real estate agent will have access to the lockboxes of properties listed on an MLS even if the agent does not subscribe to the MLS.”

Ship off Pismo

I was taking my dog for a walk on Pismo Beach today and this ship (see below) was pretty close to shore. From what I read a few weeks ago, this must be the ship that is laying the telecommunications cable to Singapore. I knew that there are lines from Asia that come ashore by Montana De Oro but i didn’t know about the Pismo/Grover cable(s).