The REAL-Reform Blog is still online at: http://real-reform.blogspot.com/ . Future updates are likely to be sporadic, at best.

It's over. It has taken several long months for me to be able to face it...but the scam concept of Designated Agency is now a part of Wisconsin law, thanks to irresponsible Wisconsin Politicians and a willfully inattentive Media...BOTH of which bent over backwards to allow the Wisconsin Realtors® Association to get just what their big brokerage firm members wanted.

While REAL-Reform put up the good fight, the fix was in right from the very start. Not that this should be surprising, given that the laws being passed by legislatures have been up for sale throughout all of the 21st Century and much of the latter half of the 20th Century, too.

In words attributed to Scottish historian Alexander Tytler: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury." Well, many people, and organizations, have long since discovered that democracy is for sale...and have set up lobbies--as have the Realtors®--intended to get them their ill-gotten share of the booty.

This is the essence of Designated Agency. Taking a common sense concept--that being the common law of agency, which mandates putting the interests of the client ahead of all others, including that of the firm and/or its agents--and turning the law into a means for very large real estate firms to line their pockets via deceptive, self-serving, legislation of their own creation.

Designated Agency is about preserving the doubled up payday that comes from the in-house real estate transaction and, the bigger the firm...the more in-house transactions they perform.

For more on Designated Agency, [Click Here].

The bottom line, for now, is that REAL-Reform shall now be largely dormant. Certainly, any consumer who feels wronged by nonsensical real estate laws can bring their plight to our attention and we will do our best to point them toward sources that can help...but, for now, this site will become mainly a historical archive of the successful 2002 Battle Against Designated Agency...and--eventually, as time permits--a chronicle of the even harder fought, but unsuccessful, 2005 effort to keep Designated Agency out of Wisconsin.

If you take just one thing away from this site, let it be this: Keep in mind what is in YOUR best interests and try to work with agents whose incentives are in line with your own. Those who practice Designated Agency have a great many incentives that are at odds with what is best for you. There are better choices...and they aren't that hard to find.

Jay Reifert, Director of Operations/President -- REAL-Reform
Broker/Owner -- Excel-Exclusive Buyer Agency

PS: As you might guess...I too, have a bias. The only thing is, when my bias is satisfied--that of offering unconflicted representation to my clientele--my clients also win, as my mandate...indeed, my legal duty...is to watch out for the best interests of my clients...ALWAYS.



The REAL-Reform Story -- Revisiting the 2002 Effort


or centuries, the common law of agency-with its requirement that the agent/firm put the interests of the client ahead of all others, including their own-was the standard to which all agents, inside or outside the world of real estate, had to rise. For better than a century, this was also the standard to which the National Association of Realtors and-when it was formed-the Wisconsin Realtors Association, WRA, adhered and promoted.

Suddenly, in the early 1990's, all that changed. No longer were the large and mega-large brokerage houses content to adhere to the standards of common law agency. Sensing a threat from a small subsection within their ranks known as buyer brokers, the WRA began to move silently, but aggressively, to protect their "in-house" deal market share from these upstart buyer brokers, by changing the laws that gave Wisconsin home buyer and seller clients the highest level of protection available...that which is only found under the common law of agency.

In fact, with their Agency "Reform" Act of 1994, the Wisconsin Realtors Association effectively robbed every home buyer and seller client in the State of Wisconsin of the right to receive agency-level services in a transaction by silently turning all Wisconsin licensees into facilitators...yet, to this day, all clients still pay for agency- level services. Now, the WRA comes with yet another attempt at robbing/deceiving Wisconsin's home buyers and sellers...Designated Agency.

Under Designated Agency, the Managing Broker of the firm can appoint one licensee from the firm to represent a buyer's best interests and another to represent the seller's best interests...IN THE SAME TRANSACTION. Yes...clients are expected to believe that the firm is going to negotiate against its own best interests of seeing a transaction come together, to get each of them the best deal...when the firm has the opportunity to exercise influence and, ostensibly, control over two parties in the same transaction. Can you say, "Conflict of Interest"?

Would you hire an attorney from a law firm that is suing you, to represent you in that same matter? Why on earth would it be any different when seeking representation from a realty firm...except that the dollar amounts involved are probably going to be the highest you are likely to deal with in your life!

Please join with REAL-Reform as we chronicle the WRA's past decade of deception, and work to undo their confusion by returning the common law of agency to the citizens of the State of Wisconsin and by fighting to oppose the WRA's latest scheme...Designated Agency.