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Report Alleges State Real Estate Commissions Ignore Buyers, Sellers

February 23, 2021

Only 11 state real estate commissions provide adequate consumer information on their websites, while 21 agency websites ignore home buyers and sellers completely, according to a new report released by the Consumer Federation of America, a national organization consisting of more than 250 nonprofit consumer groups. The CFA recently released the report called “The Availability of Consumer Information From State Real Estate Commissions.”

“The inadequate consumer information provided by most real estate commissions largely reflects the fact that these commissions were created and are dominated by the industry,” says Stephen Brobeck, a CFA senior fellow. “Only a small number of these regulatory agencies seem aware that they have a responsibility to serve consumers as well as industry interests.”

CFA says that the following consumer information should be available on real estate commission websites:

· whether an agent is licensed;

· whether an agent has been disciplined by regulators;

· whether and when an agent must loyally represent the interests of their client;

· what consumer rights and protections exist;

· how to file a complaint about agent practices believed to be unfair.

CFA evaluated state websites based on content and presentation. Websites that were deemed “poor” included no recognition of consumers and only provided information for real estate professionals. Websites labeled “good” included a consumer page identified in the main menu on the home page and highlighted a variety of information, such as about agent roles and responsibilities.

The 11 states identified as having strong consumer content pages are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas.

The Availability of Consumer Information From State Real Estate Commissions,” The Consumer Federation of America (Feb. 22, 2021)