I just came upon some awesome historical presentations about how flawed the designated agency legislation was when it was proposed and passed in the late 1990’s. These come from a not-for-profit consumer organization that is no longer in existence but shows just how convoluted this legislation was then and still is today. The organization was known as Real Estate Agents for Real Agency. It consisted of both buyer and seller agents who were concerned about how large real estate companies in Massachusetts were able to dominate the actions of their association and legislators to do their bidding to their benefit. The legislation that passed still benefits only large real estate companies in Massachusetts and continues to harm small real estate companies as well as real estate consumers. I will continue to post numerous articles and postings from their original website as these issues brought up nearly twenty years ago are still at the heart of the problems consumers are facing today. This is part Five of Nine. Tom Wemett
The unedited letter below is the original correspondence of the American Homeowners Grassroots Alliance.
September 3, 2003
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
The American Homeowners Alliance is opposed to the legislative proposal to introduce “Designated Agency” into the Massachusetts marketplace. We want you to know that we consider this practice to be anti-consumer and not in the best interest of homeowners in the Bay State.
Under the existing common law in effect in Massachusetts, homeowners currently can rely on loyal advocacy, confidentiality and representation from the entire firm when they list their property for sale with any real estate agency.
The proposed statute would turn this fiduciary benefit around 180 degrees so that the Seller would only be able to count on one person, the listing agent, to be on his/her side. All the other agents in the firm the Seller retains could legally be representing Buyers and negotiating for a lower not higher price and be working against the Seller. It’s tantamount to saying “Come list your property with one of our agents so the rest of the agents can work against you”.
Designated Agency is simply a disguise for Undisclosed Dual Agency. It is a deceptive practice very similar to the conflicts of interest and self-dealing recently exposed in the investment-banking sector.
Beth Hahn, President