f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 8, 2005

brokers, commissions, renovations

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:04 pm

After a day-long symposium on competition among real estate brokers

(or the lack thereof), sponsored by the American Antitrust Institute, I

want to:


(1) remind you once again that realtors and legislators are working to

put anticompetitive laws on the books that will stifle innovators and

price compeition in the real estate brokers’ market (see our prior post 

19, 2005; post-gazette.com, “Realtor commissions face new pressures,

May 10, 2005) — so let your elective leaders know you object.


(2) point to the recent column by WSJ‘s Alan Murray, “Realtors Fiddle as  “soldSign”

Real Estate Burns Ever Hotter,” Sept. 29, 2005), where Murray notes that

commission rates stay stuck around 6% despite soaring house prices

and great technological changes that make it much easiier for consumers

to get housing information and agents to do their jobs.  He is inclined to agree:

“with Eric Danziger, chief executive of Internet home seller ZipRealty Inc.

We have an industry that truly has not changed since Dwight Eisenhower

was President,’ he says. ‘That’s principally because people in the industry

don’t want it to’.”

Murray thinks commissions should go down and the numbers of agents should be

reduced, as has happened with stock brokers and travel agents.   He was the Luncheon

Speaker at today AAI symposium, and I enjoyed the excerpts he read from email

responses to this column.  Not surprisingly, real estate agents disagreed and felt

that journalists are the ones who are overpaid middlemen. 


wrong way smN It seems to your humble editor that, as with p/i lawyers and their sticky fee levels,

there are too many agents overcompeting to attract customers rather than competing

on price, because they are looking for the big lottery jackpot that goes with selling

a high-end house.   One speaker today, Larry White of NYU’s Stern School, said

there are almost 2 million active real estate agents – 1% of the American work force!


and (3) present some haiku, which you all deserve; today, from Alice Frampton:




the warmth of his pocket 

evening shadows






I WORK so he can work.  He buys tools and lumber so they

can work.  They buy groceries so she can work.  She takes her

children to daycare so I can work.


renovations …

from under the old tub

a child’s marble 







the break-up
moth by moth


“the warmth” & RENOVATIONS (haibun) – Frogpond XXVIII (2005)

“insomnia” – The Heron’s Nest (Nov. 2003)





autumn highway —

distracted by

past-peak beauty



back in town —

three wrong turns

in a row

[Nov. 8, 2005]

                                                                                                                                                                        wrong way smN

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