BrokerageIndustry News

Antitrust debate gives voice to real estate discounters

Federal agency actions draw attention to new models

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Ready Real Estate, a real estate company that offers discounts to sellers and rebates to buyers, is savoring the federal government's scrutiny of possible anticompetitive and anti-consumer practices in the real estate industry. Last month, the market director of Ready Real Estate in Albuquerque, N.M., launched a company announcement stating in large bold type, "Ready Real Estate Supports Justice Department's Probe of National Association of Realtors. Internet-based company fights for consumers." The company's announcement relates to a Justice Department investigation of the national Realtor trade group's online property listings policy – the federal agency has studied whether the association's policy is anticompetitive. Leadership for the National Association of Realtors have delayed implementation of the listings policy and amended the policy in an effort to avoid an antitrust lawsuit. The Justice Department's investigation has reportedly centered on a provision that would perm...