BrokerageIndustry News

‘Mum’ sometimes the word with commissions

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Editor's note: Real estate commissions once again are at the center of debate after a recent "60 Minutes" segment on online discounters and a federal report on industry competition. In this three-part series, Inman News looks at recent research on commissions, the mystery around what agents and brokers can and cannot legally discuss, and how the new discount entrants are collaborating to add pressure to price. (Read Part 1, "Critics come down on commissions" and Part 3, "Discount brokerages band together.") When it comes to talk about compensation for real estate brokerage services, the quick responses seem almost like a reflex for many real estate professionals. But these responses can in some cases oversimplify the actual laws and blur the boundaries between permitted and illegal discussions. And the Internet has added a new dimension to commission talk -- the growing popularity of real estate blogs and other forms of user-generated content have created new forums for discussions amo...