Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Internet listings... "vital" to real-estate sales, says the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission once again has shown how important a low cost MLS listing is for consumers with their recent decision on November 2nd.

Internet listings have become "vital" to real-estate sales, the FTC said maintaining their long-term position that consumers must have access to the MLS to be able to sell efficiently. Over the last 18 months the FTC has supported the rights of home sellers to be able to list their homes on the MLS using discount listing services such as Owners.com and not pay full-service brokerage commissions. 

In a case regarding the Detroit area MLS Realcomp II, the largest real-estate listing group in Michigan, the FTC's opinion stated that the group had violated federal law by restricting some discount real-estate listings from its own and other publicly available websites.  

"Given the market structure and competitive dynamics of the residential real estate industry, we find that Realcomp's policies harmed competition and created a likelihood that valuable rivalry among real estate service providers would be suppressed", Commissioner William Kovacic wrote in the opinion.

Because 90% of homes for sale are listed on the MLS we firmly believe at Owners.com that it is critical for consumers to have access to listings without having to pay a full 3% selling agent's commission. The fact that the US Federal Government agrees with us feels pretty good about helping our customers and home sellers nationwide!

More about the FTC and the MLS
Full Opinion FTC vs Realcomp II
FTC says Consumers save thousands using a Flat Fee MLS Listing
More about the MLS on Owners.com