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NAR: Competition in Real Estate ‘Vigorous’

Ahead of a June U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) public workshop—in which the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) will participate—NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson has issued a statement:

“The National Association of REALTORS® asserts that the real estate market is vibrant, healthy and vigorously competitive. Technology innovation in the real estate industry is robust, and the notion that real estate isn’t highly competitive and listing data not readily available is unsubstantiated. To the contrary, a wealth of listing data is available to consumers and technology companies from a multitude of sources, and REALTORS® provide their clients and consumers with more real estate information today than has ever been available.

“Further, the notion that innovation is spurred by providing real estate data to technology companies without any restrictions is simply erroneous. In fact, in most cases MLSs do not restrict listing data from third-party websites but instead leave the determination of what third-party listing websites will receive and display to the individual MLS participants whose listings are included in the MLS. Having one national property database with free and unrestricted access, as some envision, may be unrealistic, as this could lead to a degradation of information, or a tragedy of the commons, and others in the industry agree.”

A decade-old decree between the DOJ and NAR that directs how listings are displayed by brokerages online expires in November. During the June workshop, NAR will demonstrate the competitiveness of real estate.

Johnson concluded the statement with:

“We look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate the competitiveness in real estate brokerage during the FTC and DOJ workshop process, and I can confirm that NAR has no plans to alter MLS policies mandating how property listings are displayed by online brokerages when the 2008 settlement agreement expires November 18, 2018.”

Additionally, NAR called upon Frederik Flyer, an economist, to explain how the MLS works—now in available in a report, “Procompetitive Benefits of Policies Limiting Access to Local Multiple Listing Service Data.”

The workshop is taking place on June 5.

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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