The settlement of a lawsuit this week threatens to have a major impact on the way agents work in the future–to the possible detriment of large numbers of people in the industry today.
The lawsuit is between the US Department of Justice and the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The low down is that traditional real estate agents in the US can no longer withhold their property listings from virtual agents. This gives a big opening to businesses like Redfin, which calls itself “the industry’s first online brokerage for residential real estate.”
The fact that all this is happening in the US means there won’t be an immediate impact on Australian agents. But, if a powerful new web-based agent business model emerges in the US as a result, it could be just a matter of time before Aussie agents start to see a threat from such businesses.
Glenn Roberts of Inman News wrote an excellent piece on this. (subscription required)