Since our founding in 1906, Coldwell Banker has always represented the highest ethical standards in the real estate industry. Our core values are grounded in the protection of the real estate home buyer and home seller’s interest, and always placing them above our own. Focus on the customer and success will follow are not mere words to those who wear blue, but rather fundamental to how we conduct our business.
I recently read in Inman News, a real estate trade publication, that Redfin, an online brokerage with a limited market footprint, thinks it’s a good idea to publically display the negotiation process of offer and counter-offer terms between buyers and sellers on their website. They believe by sharing a variety of different experiences, the consumer would ultimately benefit. I don’t see it that way, as no one in our industry should ever compromise the sanctity of your privacy, detailed negotiations, financial information, etc., under the pretense of providing a public service.
Every real estate company seeks an opportunity to earn your business. And while there are benefits to enhanced transparency in real estate, I trust that most people are smart enough to know when an action taken in the so called interest of the consumer is really nothing other than self-serving.
I thought you might be interested in what I shared in response to Redfin’s idea in a letter to Inman News:
I am stunned that Redfin actually believes that sharing confidential information pertaining to individual buyer/seller negotiations is a worthwhile idea.
Real estate is a serious business, not a reality TV show. Brokers and agents have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients (both buyer and seller) before, during and after the transaction. Disclosing to the general public actual buyer/seller contract negotiation details, either at the neighborhood or actual property level, is nothing more than a theatrical side show and serves no constructive purpose.
Increased transparency is an admirable goal, but there must be limits. In addition, obtaining the consent of just one party to a negotiation ultimately compromises the confidentiality of the other party, from whom consent may not have been previously obtained.
While the recommendation of negotiation strategies and tactics to clients is an age-old practice, to disclose negotiation details on specific properties benefits no one. Because each transaction is so different, the lessons learned have diminished value to future buyers and clearly violate the privacy of the buyer and seller.
Real estate brokerage is a serious business, and I, for one, believe that such theatrics are best left to the reality shows and carnivals, not our industry.
President and CEO
Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC