The U.S. Justice Department's Antitrust Division said in a statement issued Thursday that a proposed law mandating a new level of real estate services for all real estate transactions in Idaho "would be likely to reduce choice" and raise prices. The proposed legislation, House Bill 135, has passed the Idaho House of Representatives in a 64-0 vote, with six members absent, and was introduced Monday to the state Senate. The legislation is similar to another proposal by the Idaho Real Estate Commission last year that did not go forward, and to other state measures that the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission opposed. Real estate brokerages, as stated in the proposed bill, "have the obligation to be available to the customer to receive and timely present all written offers and counteroffers" in any compensation agreement, which targets companies that offer to list a home in a multiple listing service but provide few or no other services to consumers. "The duties ... are mand...
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