I’m still hearing fall-out from the DOJ/NAR suit settlement and reporters are still dithering about the meaning of it all.
Laurie Janik, the NAR’s general counsel, said in a telephone interview here, that the settlement would have no real impact on home buyers or sellers.
â€œI donâ€™t think theyâ€™ll see anything different,â€ she said. â€œThis lawsuit never had anything to do with commission rates, or discount brokerages.â€
However, others interviewed for the article had differing opinions:
Norman Hawker, a business professor at Western Michigan University who organized a symposium on the Justice Department litigation as a senior fellow for the American Antitrust Institute, predicted that the settlement would ultimately mean a drop in sales commissions of 25 percent to 50 percent as a result of increased competition.
â€œItâ€™s pretty clear that there was an enormous amount of discrimination against brokers who were trying to use innovative business models,â€ including discounted fees and virtual offices on the Internet, he said. â€œThere are lots of entrepreneurs who have been looking for a green light in the form of this order to begin offering discounted rates. It has the potential to be a big step forward for consumers.â€
There are many parts of the country which did not stop or hinder MLS’s from sharing, publishing and allowing access by online and discount brokerages.
Are commissions there any less than those other cities or states that did?
So why would this business professor assume that this would happen? His comments seem pretty easy to check out by comparing sharing v.s. non-sharing states, but I’m disappointed it goes unchallenged by the New York Times reporter.