Regarding “Home-Sales Commissions Under Fire” (U.S. News, Sept. 21): Big Tech has trained us to expect near-zero transaction costs or at least have them hidden from view. It’s therefore no surprise that transparent fees or commissions associated with seldom-purchased, big-ticket items such as real estate seem antiquated.

But the current discussion ignores the benefits paid for by these transaction costs. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) marketplace of residential-real-estate listings and historic data is unique to the U.S. and Canada. Agents enter billions of data points for millions of residential properties by the rules and regulations of the National Association of REALTORS® and state and local affiliates. This effort is largely self-organized and creates an incredible richness of transparency of data. Agents work mostly on commission and lack benefits such as healthcare, retirement or paid leave.

FULL TEXT: Real-Estate Fees and Competitive Cooperation - Wall Street Journal

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