Industry News

Congressional hearing probes real estate

Representatives for NAR, consumer groups scheduled to testify

A congressional hearing next week will focus on competition and technology in the real estate industry. The U.S. House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity will meet on Tuesday, July 25, to hear testimony from industry representatives. Pat Vredevoogd, a Realtor from Grand Rapids, Mich., who is president-elect of the National Association of Realtors trade group, and Aaron Farmer, the owner of Texas Discount Realty who battled with state officials over controversial real estate policies, are scheduled to testify at the hearing, among others. Hanging in the backdrop is a federal antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against the Realtors association over online property-listing policies, a series of actions by the Justice Department and U.S. Federal Trade Commission to oppose state laws and rules that restrict rebate and discount practices in the real estate industry, and a June report by a consumer group charging that the industry lacks suffic...