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Letter to the editor: Why can't government kick-start home sales?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 12:01 am

For years I’ve thought the realty business is really an impediment to the home sales industry in the U.S. This is a free market country, yet I see obvious collusion evident in the realty industry.

I dare you to call any real estate office in the area and find a price for services that varies from the standard 6 percent fee charged. Why is there no free market evident in this business model? Six percent generally equates to about three years of principal payments on a mortgage; quite a steep price to pay for something that, if the rules were closely reviewed and eased by the government, could be trimmed to help the struggling housing market.

Why can’t the federal government involve itself and streamline this process to kick-start home sales, making it easier for private parties to buy and sell property without the weight of the agencies involved on their shoulders? Could we not regulate fees and subsidize sales costs and advertising if we really wanted to move this market?

I currently have my local home for sale on FSBO.com, but driving traffic outside the established quasi-monopoly is a struggle and seemingly unnecessary if a real interest in helping the economy grow, rather than propping up the realty industry, existed.

Matt Collins