Hat tip to the three people who sent this in – from the ocregister:

The Orange County Association of Realtors has filed a grievance against an Irvine real estate broker who writes a blog that takes critical looks at the housing crash, homebuyers and real estate agents.

Larry Roberts, who writes the IrvineHousingBlog.com, freely admits going “over the top” in his posts, which are particularly harsh on homeowners who default on loans. He frequently shows MLS photos of properties that have gone into foreclosure. He also has accused real estate agents, in general, of being dishonest.

The grievance says Roberts and two other people have violated a code of ethics rule stating that “Realtors must not knowingly lie about competitors” as well as a general set of regulations governing how MLS information is used on the Internet.

Roberts says OCAR is trying to impinge on his freedom of speech, and that the organization has no standing to keep him from posting on his blog.

He has a broker’s license, he says, but he doesn’t run a brokerage or sell real estate, and he is not a Realtor or a member of OCAR.


Stop right there.

The OCAR has no jurisdiction over Larry – he isn’t part of their club.

Here is Larry’s response: Link


The associations of realtors are a joke.  From NAR on down to the local clubs, they provide no real help to agents, other than offering a convenient location to buy forms and open house signs.

The MLS is a separate enterprise owned by the associations, but nobody insists on excellence – it’s just a standard internet format that is slightly upgraded from the 1995 version.

Every year they ask the agents for suggestions, to which I always respond – but nothing changes.

The Houston Association of Realtors is the leader.  They publicize their realtors, and allow them to post their blogs and other websites on their listings.   The HAR has done this for years, yet it hasn’t caught on here.  The San Diego MLS still forbids you from including youtube tours for public consumption.

If an association really wanted to do some good, they’d enforce the existing rules, and/or create clear-cut guidelines on things like short-sales.  But their idea of enforcement is busting my chops for including this in the MLS remarks, at the request of the seller:

Property has been assigned to an auction house. Pre-auction offers are being accepted online and Auction House said they will respond within 48-72 hours. Note Pre-Auction Worksheet Attachment.

They sent me a warning while I was on that Washington D.C. trip, and I thought I’d handle it when I got back.  But that was too late, they fined me $150 the following Monday.

There is a great opportunity for any association of realtors to take the lead with defining short-sale procedures, because the uncertainty is making participants brazen in their approach. 

For those of you who didn’t see the exchange yesterday, a couple of posts back we got into it again over what is right and wrong.  Check the 38 comments here.

Once somebody creates a public MLS, there won’t be any reason for the association of realtors to exist.  I look forward to that day. 

It would clear out approximately 50-80% of the agents, and save the rest of us about $300 per year.


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