Assist-2-Sell comments on this week's settlement between the National Association of Realtors and the U.S. Department of Justice regarding an anti-trust complaint that was originally filed against NAR in 2003.
Reno, NV, May 29, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Assist-2-Sell, the leading full-service discount real estate company, is encouraged by the proposed settlement reached this week between the National Association of Realtors® and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The settlement of allegations of anti-trust violations against NAR puts an end to a protracted battle that began in 2003. It started when NAR, in response to pressure from Realtor® members, passed new rules and regulations that blocked Internet-based real estate companies from accessing Multiple Listing Service data. The DOJ filed a complaint because they believed these restrictions were not in the best interest of consumers. This week's settlement, while proclaimed by NAR as a 'Win-Win,' appears to give the DOJ what they wanted: Accessibility to MLS data by real estate companies who seek to do business primarily over the Internet.
Mary LaMeres-Pomin and Lyle Martin, co-founders and co-chief executive officers of Assist-2-Sell Inc., had these comments on the settlement:
"This week's proposed settlement between the National Association of Realtors® and U.S. Department of Justice does not directly impact Assist-2-Sell because we have always had full, unrestricted access to the Multiple Listing Service. NAR's past policies were obviously targeting online real estate brokerages. While our business model certainly takes full advantage of the Internet, we have more than 500 'brick-and-mortar' offices staffed by full time brokers and agents. We personally believe the best solution combines full-service 'feet on the street,' in the form of experienced, knowledgeable local agents, with a discounted and more competitive fee.
"As a 'non-traditional' real estate company that has received its fair share of opposition, we are encouraged by the broader implications of this settlement. We believe it demonstrates that the industry is at least willing to acknowledge that how we buy and sell real estate is changing. We hope this will encourage further innovation and wider acceptance of alternative business practices.
"Assist-2-Sell has consistently maintained that any new business model should have the opportunity to prove itself without interference in the form of rules, regulation or legislation that is intended to restrict competition. Many companies, in an attempt to mirror the success of online insurance companies, stock brokerages and mortgage companies, have tried to implement business models that take the real estate agent out of the equation. So far, no one has been successful—despite millions of venture capital that has been invested. It seems the role of an agent is safe for the time being.
"Those who continue to resist change, though, will only damage the industry as a whole. While it's true that the real estate industry has grown technologically over the last five years, despite the ongoing litigation, much more can be done. If real estate brokers and agents want to avoid obsolescence, we must give consumers what they want: Full access to information and resources related to buying and selling homes, and the ability to choose how that information is accessed and acted upon.
"We believe NAR can do more to encourage innovation, competition and an improved consumer experience. Thousands of RRealtors® have embraced 'non-traditional' business models like Assist-2-Sell's. Through them, NAR has the opportunity to better understand why more and more consumers are looking for alternative methods of buying and selling real estate. Perhaps this knowledge will help ensure that consumers realize the true value of Realtors®, despite further technological advancements that are sure to come our way."
LaMeres-Pomin and Martin are available for additional comments. Assist-2-Sell also has franchise offices throughout the United States that can be made available to the media. The owners of these offices can talk about the impact this settlement will have at a local and/or regional level. Simply e-mail Assist-2-Sell Media Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (760) 494-5979.
Based in Reno, Nev., Assist-2-Sell was founded by Mary LaMeres-Pomin and Lyle Martin in 1987. Their full-service discount business model caught on with consumers who were tired of paying high commissions. Today, there are more than 500 Assist-2-Sell offices throughout the United States and Canada. These offices provide home sellers with full brokerage services for a low, flat fee, saving consumers nationwide more than $800 million in commission.* Home buyers also have access to a full range of services, including Assist-2-Sell's exclusive listings databases. All brokers and agents are fully licensed and Realtors®. On the Net: www.assist2sell.com.
*Savings based on statistics since January 1, 2000, for all Assist-2-Sell® offices in North America, compared to paying six percent commission. Six percent used for comparison purposes only. Commissions may be negotiable and are not fixed by law.