Do Realtor Associations Deliver Good Value?

Realtor Associations Struggling Too

Ask a real estate agent or broker what they think of their realtor associaton and you probably won’t get a positive statement.  Some feel their local realtor association is there only to take monthly membership fees and deliver little of value in return.  If you check out any realtor association website including realtor.ca, NAR, gvreb, TREB, CREB, and Sandicor for instance, you’ll notice how meek their assistance is.  If an agent would like a helpful breakdown of price trends in specific neighbourhoods, or if the general public wants more detailed information, it’s either not available or is presented in an unintelligible format.  A real estate association has very detailed stats on sales and they feel it’s their property and have little reason to let others utilize it.

Why do Realtors have to Belong to a Real Estate Association?

For obvious reasons, the industry needs some sort of organization to protect home sellers and buyers from fraud, and from misrpresentation to the general public. Beyond that though, it’s tough to find justification.  Realtor associations can be useful, but they need to help realtors sell, so that realtors can justify their commissions. Most realtors only credit their association with collecting and providing the MLS listing service.

Here’s one typical comment on the web:

“in order to use the local MLS I must belong to a Local Association, in order to belong to the Local Association, I have to belong to the State Association, in order to belong to the State Association, I have to belong to the National Association of Realtors. So, for around $400 in association dues, I am allowed to pay $39 per month to use the MLS.”

and another comment:

“I would say that the NAR’s reputation is not great on the street level right now due to their political lobbying and advertising in the wake of the RE meltdown here. It hurt many homeowners and right now people are not confident that the organization is an honest source of information.

The NAR does offer it’s members tangible benefits like discounts on continuing education, information, access to market information/analysis etc so many agents join the national organization. They try to use the ethical standards as a selling point for their services over a non NAR affiliated agent. Some people find that attractive, others are less interested.”

With many homeowners expressing anger about the amount of fees, government taxes, and commissions they have to pay on the sale of their property, they’re choosing to go outside the mls system to sell their homes or have the right to access the mls without using an agent. There’s plenty of people complaining about real estate agent rip offs.  Real estate agents on the other hand are forced to charge high fees such as the realtor association dues and brokerage dues which adds to the cost of home selling.  So, many are choosing FSBO to sell their home. If there is a problem with selling and buying with a real estate agent, the source is often the local realtor association.

Looking for a new home? Should you use For Sale by Owner websites?  Use your iphone or Android phone and download real estate apps  apps from Realtor.caTruliaZillow, and Realtor.com to see home details while you’re driving around the neighbourhood.

Learn more about the Seattle MLSSan Diego MLSLos Angeles MLSHouston MLS, Vancouver MLSEdmonton MLS, and San Jose MLS.

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