Designated Agency Legislation Terribly Flawed – Part One


I just came upon some awesome historical presentations about how flawed the designated agency legislation was when it was proposed and passed in the late 1990’s.  These come from a not-for-profit consumer organization that is no longer in existence but shows just how convoluted this legislation was then and still is today.  The organization was known as Real Estate Agents for Real Agency.  It consisted of both buyer and seller agents who were concerned about how large real estate companies in Massachusetts were able to dominate the actions of their association and legislators to do their bidding to their benefit.  The legislation that passed still benefits large real estate companies in Massachusetts who continue to reap the benefits of the double-dipping of commissions but harms both smaller real estate firms and especially real estate consumers.  I will continue to post numerous articles and postings from their original website as these issues brought up nearly twenty years ago are still at the heart of the problems consumers are facing today.  This is part One of Nine and will serve as an introduction to the organization.  Tom Wemett

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Who is REAFRA

REAFRA is “Real Estate Agents For Real Agency, Inc.” We are a coalition of Massachusetts REALTORS formed to educate the public, government leaders, and other real estate agents about the anti-competitive and anti-consumer statute now being proposed by the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS (MAR).

We represent a diverse group of REALTORS, including well-respected leaders in our industry. Our coalition comprises both Seller Agents and Buyer Agents, who are very concerned about the harmful impacts such new legislation would have on consumers (both buyers and sellers) and on smaller, independent real estate offices.

Massachusetts must not legalize the concept that real estate agencies may try to “serve two masters” in the same transaction, going against centuries of common law. After two years of major scandals in the financial services sector, our industry should not be allowed to introduce “Designated Agency” with similar fiduciary based conflicts of interest.

Just as lawyers are not allowed to represent both sides of a lawsuit, real estate agencies should not be allowed to claim to seek both a higher price for a seller, and a lower price for a buyer in the same transaction.

For the past decade, the National Association of REALTORS has been pushing the introduction of designated agency into our industry. Over this period of time in Massachusetts, there has been no consumer demand for this deceptive practice and no court cases involving our current legal agency options. Only a few very large real estate companies are really seeking this change, as a convenience for their own expansion plans.

In 1997, our legislature turned down a previous attempt to introduce this deceptive practice in Massachusetts (H# 2465). New Hampshire and Wisconsin legislatures have also followed suit.

We hope you will review the resources, information and links on our web site. We firmly believe that MAR’s legislative proposal will again be defeated once our legislative representatives, real estate agents and the public understand the full implications of this proposed MAJOR change in the way we serve consumers.

The Proposal
Why is the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS© (MAR) proposing to downgrade the rules for real estate brokerage in Massachusetts?

For Consumers
Would this proposal increase your ‘choice’, or simply hide dual agency and disguise serious conflicts of interest, undermining your long-established rights and protections under Massachusetts common law?

For Agents
Would this proposal really simplify your business, or would it not increase your business’ complexity and
add to your agents’ confusion, every day you practice?. It will significantly increase dual-agency mega-broker dominance, decreasing your viability if you practice traditional, honest, straightforward, agency instead of dual agency.

For Government Officials
Should the Massachusetts Legislature become a tool of the REALTOR© trade association by passing their proposal that will unfairly advantage the largest real estate brokers at the expense of the numerous small business men and women throughout your district and take away your constituents rights and protections in their largest lifetime investment?

Who We Are
We are a coalition of Massachusetts REALTORS© formed to educate the public, government leaders, and other real estate agents about the anti-competitive and anti-consumer statute now being proposed by the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS© (MAR).

 

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