===Discount real estate brokers face new hurdle for Web listings===
A revised policy approved by the National Association of REALTORS this week may make it harder for discount brokers to draw attention to homes they list for sale.The policy, approved by directors of the trade group at their convention in New Orleans, involves information about homes that real estate brokers get from their local multiple-listing services, databases that are typically operated by local REALTOR associations. Among other things, the policy reaffirms that brokerage firms that put listings from the MLS on their own Web sites can exclude certain homes.
The revised policy states that brokers must use "objective criteria" if they screen out some listings. The criteria could include location, type of property, compensation offered for agents who find a buyer or the level of service provided by the listing company. Thus, listings from brokers providing limited service for lower fees could be excluded from other brokers' sites.
By contrast, the policy now states that multiple-listing services must make all types of listings available to the Web sites of participating brokers. It would be up to brokers -- not the MLS -- to decide which listings are used on individual brokers' sites. (James Hagerty, The Wall Street Journal Online)
Chris's take: This trend is not good for business, in my opinion...Buyers should be exposed to all points of the market, to include FSBOs, Traditional and Discount Broker inventory.
The real story is this: Many Brokers who provide EXCLUSIVE BUYER REPRESENTATION services need to know how to truly be exclusive!
When a Buyer engages the services of a Broker who provides exclusive representation, there should be a wittten agreement to work together prior to the start of any business or activity on behalf of the Buyer-Client's acquisition. This can be accomplished with a simple agreement outlining the Broker's fee structure, and discussion of how business is transacted under that states's laws and regulations. That structure shall remain the same throughout the relationship(save and except any variations or changes to the agreement).
Example: A home is listed in the MLS by a Discount Broker. The Agent or the Buyer identifies the listing, which happens to be listed for sale by a Discount Broker. Fine...
The Discount Broker's Seller-Client is willing to pay a 1% commission to a Broker working with the Buyer. NO PROBLEM!! The Buyer and their Broker already have an EXCLUSIVE BUYER REPRESENTATION agreement, which defined the relationship to include the Broker's fees. So the Buyer acknowledges before even seeing the property that the 1% will be a 'credit' toward the previously agreed-to fee in the EXCLUSIVE BUYER REPRESENTATION agreement. CAPICHE?
This is elementary...no different than engaging the services of a Listing Broker. There is no work done until there is a LISTING AGREEMENT. Same-Same.