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Learn more about Neighborcity.com's fight to provide the information you were seeking.
Neighborcity fought hard to protect home sellers’ rights to control their own data. However, the Realtors and their Multiple Listing Services (“MLSs”) brought a war chest of litigation resources against Neighborcity and in our opinion litigated them out of business. We wrote a “friend of the court” (or Amicus Curiae brief) in support of consumers’ interests on this case (click here to read it). Losing this fight means that the real estate industry will attempt to claim copyrights on sellers’ data and use those rights against their own clients. They will use it to monopolize client data, keep innovators out of the industry and charge higher fees.
It has become a common practice for brokers to intentionally exclude listing data from important buyer frequented websites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com to the detriment of their own clients. CAARE was created to help consumers with anti-consumer practices like this.
On the heels of this case, the Realtors and their MLSs around the country are now acting in concert to institute a new policy requiring brokerages to copyright seller client data and transfer those rights to MLS’s. This means that MLSs can require anyone who uses the seller data to follow their licensing terms. For example, in order to display listing data it is required that the listing broker be featured prominently on the site displaying the listing. This practice encourages consumers to use the listing broker to see the home and encourages a double fee being paid to that broker. Worse, this practice strips consumers of their right to negotiate the buyer brokerage fee and their rights to find their own representative. Brokers are using these copyrights for self-serving purposes that cause houses to take longer to sell and sell for less money and subjects consumers to horrible conflicts of interests. Brokers’ and their clients’ interests could not be more misaligned. Brokers have become fiduciary predators.
We have already seen brokers intentionally exclude listing data from the most buyer frequented websites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. For example, some brokers “advise” their seller clients that Zillow has inaccurate and incomplete data while helping make that self-serving and self-fulfilling prophecy come true by intentionally delaying data feeds to Zillow and other sites and even excluding listing data from Zillow.
When searching for a home, we highly recommend that you use Zillow (they include For Sale By Owner Homes – the others don’t) for your searches and NEVER click on any Realtor who is with the same firm as the listing broker. Instead, use a small brokerage firm that specializes in representing buyers. See our free advice by exploring and searching our website on how to negotiate terms and fees. You might even be able to negotiate a large commission rebate and save thousands.
While it may be counter-intuitive, when selling your home never use the services of a large brokerage firm. Large brokerage firms almost all utilize predatory practices, forms and almost always steer clients into conflictive and over-priced ancillary services for closing and other services. Highly qualified agents at smaller brokerage firms tend to have better resources, they avoid conflicts, they are more likely to negotiate their fees and they often shop and compare independent ancillary services for their clients.
At CAARE we have free advice on how to find an agent, how to negotiate with them, and how to avoid being subjected to unfair and substantial conflicts of interests while working with them. Our goal is to arm consumers with the tools they need to have a successful real estate transaction.