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Consumer group criticizes real estate regulators’ industry roots

State commission refutes conflict-of-interest charges

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State real estate regulatory commissions are largely composed of members who are active real estate professionals, which represents a "blatant conflict of interest," according to a report by a national consumer group. The Consumer Federation of America, a national advocacy group with membership from about 300 organizations, issued a report Friday that calls for independent regulation of real estate brokers. About 79 percent of all state real estate commissioners "earn a living through real estate transactions," with 70 percent working as real estate brokers or salespersons and 9 percent working in real estate-related professions, according to a study that the consumer group conducted. It's not the first time that the consumer group has clashed with real estate practices. In June, the federation issued an eight-page report, "How the Real Estate Cartel Harms Consumers and How Consumers Can Protect Themselves," charging that industry and regulatory practices can stifle competition and d...