ForSaleByOwner.com today announced that it has become the nation’s first “by owner” real estate website to enable home sellers to advertise their home on Realtor.com without appearing on a local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This new direct access to Realtor.com follows the May 2008 settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Association of Realtors.
“The DOJ-NAR settlement benefited consumers by giving them access to Realtor.com without the expensive cost of a commission fee,” said Greg Healy, Vice President of Operations at ForSaleByOwner.com. “We’re proud to be the first to offer this new consumer-friendly access to Realtor.com. In today’s challenging housing market, sellers need cost-saving ways to sell their homes.”
“Our typical home seller saves nearly $13,000 in commission and this new access to Realtor.com will help even more people sell their home without using the services of a real estate agent,” added Healy.
Realtor.com is a popular real estate website that attracts nearly five million monthly visits. The new Realtor.com Showcase Listing service from ForSaleByOwner.com will allow sellers to have their homes marketed on Realtor.com, and interested buyers will be able to directly contact these sellers.
(my emphasis in bold italics)
Someone explain it to me like I’m 3 years old
Clearly I’m missing something. Realtor.com is the “Official Site of the National Association of Realtors”. And now said official site is allowing folks to do an end-around on Realtors.
I’ve read and re-read the DOJ / NAR settlement Mr. Healy references in his press release as the reason why this is being done. I’m no attorney, obviously, but I completely missed this ramification of said settlement. Assuming it’s true the the DOJ has forced this upon us, I am only left with one question….
Why didn’t the NAR explain what was about to happen? It’s been almost six months since the settlement was reached. Couldn’t someone at the NAR have said by now, “Oh, by the way this means that your Official Site will soon begin allowing unrepresented sellers and buyers to advertise on your Official Site, completely circumnavigating the needs for your professional services.”
Why am I left to read this news in a biased press release? Where is the NARs release on this?
OK, so that’s three questions. But I don’t get it. Someone please explain it to me like I’m three years old.
UPDATE: Scott Brunner, CEO of the Virginia Association of Realtors, got wind of this and sent Laurie Janick, NAR General Counsel an email seeking clarification. Ms. Janick’s response is below (more details at VARBuzz).
Please reassure your members that there are no unlisted properties on Realtor.com.
We still cannot figure out the basis for the outrageous claims being made by ForSaleByOwner.com in this press release. No relationship exists between that entity and Realtor.com. Listings displayed on Realtor.com continue to be provided by the MLSs, and contrary to the headline, there is NO “agent free access to Realtor.com”.
UPDATE #2 – IMPORTANT!:
Please read the NAR’s official news brief regarding this matter, as well as the blog post by Hilary Marsh, Managing Director, Realtor.org. The NAR reputes much of what Greg Healy, the Vice President of Operations at ForSaleByOwner.com, said in the press release.
Summary from Hilary Marsh:
Contrary to what the ForSaleByOwner.com news release says….
1) They are NOT in a partnership with REALTOR.com
2) The settlement between NAR and the DOJ did NOT force REALTOR.com to accept FSBO property listings
3) Properties from sellers not represented by Realtors will NOT appear on REALTOR.com
4) MLSs still get to decide which listings to distribute to REALTOR.com
NAR has demanded a retraction by ForSaleByOwner.com.
Photo Credit: Valerie Everett