Real Estate Law Protects Realtors From Competition
The FTC has just released a report that discusses how realtors’ associations have lobbied for regulations to keep out competition. As I wrote in an op-ed in November, Missouri’s law requires homeowners to purchase real estate services in expensive bundles. Realtors can’t offer individual services, such as listing a house or helping to negotiate the price. If the law allowed realtors to compete and provide whatever combination of services their customers wanted, consumers would enjoy lower prices.
The Missouri Association of Realtors calls the law a "Homeowner’s Bill of Rights." But as the FTC report points out, consumers would be better protected if the law simply required realtors to disclose which services they’ll provide. Consumers could then make an informed choice without being forced to buy everything a realtor sells.