Published in Bloomberg

To the Editor: Re: Bloomberg editorial, "Busting Up the Home Sales Cartel Is Overdue and Necessary" (Jan. 26):

Your editorial perpetuates a false narrative about how real estate professionals earn a living.

The truth is that buyers and sellers are always in control. They decide whether to work with a real estate professional or not and, faced with the complexity of buying or selling a home, Americans almost always choose to do so. They make this choice for many different reasons, including help in understanding the local market, interpreting information they have found on the internet or elsewhere, and navigating an intricate and often taxing financing and closing process.

As for the practice of listing brokers offering compensation to buyer brokers, the editorial board rightly notes that these offers can be in any amount — including $0 — but then wrongly concludes that the fact of any offer harms the consumer. The opposite is true: Offer compensation to buyer brokers in this fashion fosters consumer choice, stimulates market competition and boosts access to homeownership by lowering the cost burden for buyers — which is why it existed long before National Association of Realtors rules brought transparency to the practice.

Nine out of 10 people say they would use their same agent again or recommend them to others. Real estate professionals have earned the trust of the American people through their work in their local communities and deserve better than to have their livelihoods vilified as the work of a cartel.

Kevin Sears
President, National Association of Realtors
Jan. 30, 2024


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