BrokerageIndustry News

Inside the BofA home listings deal

Bank moves closer to point of purchase in real estate transactions

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Bank of America's new Real Estate Center Web site, which features a map where consumers can click through to local for-sale home listings, to some people might look a lot like a bank cuddling closer to the real estate brokerage business. But BofA refutes that idea, describing what it's doing as partnering with brokerages. "None of this is an attempt to acquire or own a brokerage company," said Steve Ozonian, BofA's national home-ownership services executive. Ozonian believes BofA's new Real Estate Center doesn't add any punches to the debate over whether banks should be allowed to enter the real estate brokerage business. But it places the bank a little closer to that coveted first point of contact in a real estate transaction. A disclaimer at the bottom of the Real Estate Center Web site attempts to make the bank's position clear. It reads: "Bank of America does not engage in the brokerage of real estate properties." The disclaimer, which Ozonian said is meant to alert consumers that...