While I enjoyed the premise of the 60 Minutes feature which compared brokers who charge 6% vesus discount firms, and in particular Redfin, it’s startling to me how irresponsible they are in their reporting. For example:
1. The N.A.R. is not a governing body, they are our trade association. They don’t force us to do anything. Actually, for having 1.3 million members, they are pretty weak. If I chose to charge 10% or $10, it’s my right, not theirs.
2. 6% is not “sacrosanct”. While it may be the policy of many brokers to charge what they feel is appropriate for their firm, there is no policy from broker to broker.
3. The MLS is not a National database. There are over 900 MLS’s. One day maybe, but there is not 1 MLS now. There are 5 (?) for example in NJ alone, and we can’t even agree on how to run them, so 1 for the USA is a stretch for now. Realtor.com is not the MLS.
4. 60 Minutes asked for, then ignored data from many folks, including Realtrends, because they wanted to slant their story the way they wanted it.
5. Why Redfin? Who knows, but boy, did they get some free press. At Help-U-Sell, we have been saving the consumer money for 30 years. Redfin must be a sexier story, though, as they are relatively new in most states where they operate.
While 60 Minutes has the right to cut, splice, edit, and slant the story any way they feel, more than ever, I have a complete distrust and lack of respect for the them. It unfortuantely makes me suspect of all media. It makes me wonder how many of their stories, especailly the politically slanted ones, have any accuracy or truth at all.
On a very positive note, the story does show the consumer that there is more than 1 way to sell a home, and big perecntage commissions are under attack by credible companies like mine.