The Alabama state Legislature has quickly proposed and passed a law that would require all real estate agents and brokers to perform a minimum set of services for their clients. The state's governor will now consider whether to pass the measure. Despite objections by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to identical language in an earlier proposed bill, the state House voted 94-1 on July 26 to approve the real estate law, Senate Bill 17. The federal agencies had stated that the earlier proposal would likely "decrease competition among real estate professionals and result in Alabama home buyers and sellers paying higher real estate commissions." Federal-agency representatives also have written to legislators, regulators and governors in other states, encouraging them to reject similar legislative and regulatory proposals to establish minimum-service requirements for real estate professionals. Realtor trade associations have backed the new measures, claiming that...
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