Last week’s post about imagining a world without Government, er, interference in our lives got me to thinking a little. I try to avoid thought as much as possible (as my detractors will cleanly attest) but something in one of the comments caught my attention. To wit:
AG could and should be discussing rather more specific real-estate related issues: home buyer tax credits, mortgage deductions, regulation of the mortgage industry, state licensing schemes, and so on.
After I got past the pure irony of that statement placed at the end of a longish tirade against Government involvement in our lives, I began to wonder what the real estate profession would be like without any Government oversight whatsoever. After all, real estate is a meritocracy anyway. Hard work combined with persistence and a little (very little) competence can propel you to the top of the field — lots of money and a measure of fame.
Why do we need that pesky Government, either Federal, State or local, to regulate an industry that is so obviously successful at self policing through our Code of Ethics (assuming membership in the NAR) and local Realtor Association procedures?
What’s the point?
We all know Realtors who have a large slice of the market pie in our little geographic place in the country. We also know that these Realtors, in many cases (not all), have a reputation for being, well, less than totally ethical. Perhaps they may have even broken a law or two. Perhaps compliance with local MLS rules leaves something to be desired. You may have seen their name on your State’s Real Estate Commission’s Bad Boy/Bad Girl List. Yet, their livelihood remains secure and their behavior continues unabated.
So, even with all this regulation in place, there are those for whom the rules do not apply. Why bother? Just dump the Government interference and regulation and let the Wild West be the Wild West. Oh, and get rid of those transfer and recordation fess while you’re at it.
Good plan? Yes? No?