OpinionIndustry News

Sites offering MLS service should follow brokerage laws

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Editor's note: Derek Eisenberg, a broker with Continental Real Estate Group in Hackensack, N.J., wrote the following in response to a recent Inman News story, "Online for-sale-by-owner company wins ruling." The New Hampshire Bank Department commissioner has ruled that a mortgage company that operates a for-sale-by-owner Web site, iSoldMyHouse.com, doesn't need a real estate brokerage license to advertise homes for sale. Waters are being muddied between for-sale-by-owner Web sites and real estate brokerage. I support the recent rulings in favor of ForSaleByOwner.Com in federal court in California and iSoldMyHouse.Com in state court in New Hampshire. However, it should be clear what those cases were about. They focused on the parallels of advertising homes on a Web site and advertising in traditional periodicals such newspapers or FSBO magazines. However, some Web sites cross the line. Some sites offer MLS listings as well. These sites practice reverse referrals. A traditional referral ...