Jeff Jarvis hopes that the real estate cartel is getting disintermediated:
The Times story focuses on Redfin, a new brokerage in California and Washington only, unfortunately, that will list sellers’ homes for $2,000 flat and will rebate two thirds of its commission (thus usually 2 percent of the selling price) to buyers. Redfin does all this -- how else? -- by taking advantage of the internet and of the monopolistic pricing of multiple listing service members.
The Times reports that some sellers’ agents refuse to show homes to people coming from Redfin. I’d call that anticompetitive and perhaps even antitrust behavior. Watch and I’ll bet that MLSes will get opened up and then, once any of us can list and find homes on our own, the whole game is over. Bye-bye overpriced agents.
I won't be selling (or buying) a home anytime soon, but I like the sound of this. Just like the music business, real estate is a field that is ripe for some cleanup.