Friends of REAL-Reform,
While the war is far from finished, the first battle over Designated
Agency--that fatally flawed, anti-consumer legislation being
pushed by the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA)--has been
won and the beneficiaries of this victory are Wisconsin home
buyers, sellers and also small real estate brokerage firms and
the Public Policy Forum of its April 2002 Wisconsin Realtor newsletter,
Michael Theo--WRA Vice President of Public Affairs and chief WRA
lobbyist--effectively concedes defeat on the Designated Agency
issue within his article called, "Best and Worst of Times".
Theo, passing the defeat off to, "Demands on drafting attorneys
and other legislative priorities...", and, "...the partisan
split between the Democrat-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled
Assembly...", never bothers to give credit where credit is
due...but the effect is the same, Wisconsin home buyers and sellers
remain free from the deception of Designated Agency until at least
the next legislative session, which begins in January of 2003.
that gives us time.
for REAL-Reform to educate consumers, small real estate firms
and even those who would ignorantly choose to practice Designated
Agency at larger firms about the perils and pitfalls for all parties
involved in this smoke and mirrors form of "representation".
would like to extend its sincere thanks to all the people and
organizations who have participated in handing the WRA this education
in grass-roots (cyber) politics.
a result of our efforts and your involvement, REAL-Reform kept
the WRA from having its way in this session of the legislature
the alarm on Designated Agency via this network on January 24,
the WRA's specious claims about Designated Agency, including some
overt misrepresentations made, on multiple occasions, by WRA Chief
Counsel Richard Staff.
Producing opposition to Designated Agency from such notable sources
as the Consumer Federation of America and the National Association
of Exclusive Buyer Agents, to name a few.
lobbying the Wisconsin Real Estate Board and
the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing to withhold
support for Designated Agency.
legislators that any attempt to back-door this legislation by
attaching it to the Budget Bill or any other Bill--as was done
in Connecticut where they silently used Megan's Bill as the transport
vehicle, AFTER Designated Agency was already defeated there in
open session--would be greeted by a full-out expose across this
network and in the press. (Admittedly, thisis still a possibility
in our current legislative session, but would certainly appear
to be nothing short of political suicidegiven the nature of this
line: The WRA can spin this issue any way it wants, but the truth
is that REAL-Reform --a small, but growing, grass-roots organization--stopped
the third largest association in the State of Wisconsin from foisting
yet another anti-consumer piece of legislation onto the citizens
addition to gearing up for round two of this war, REAL-Reform's
next task will be to repeal the Agency "Reform" Act
of '94 and to create a facilitator option in the State of Wisconsin,
thus restoring to Wisconsin real estate buyers and sellers their
right to receive full fiduciary services...while still leaving
real estate companies with an honest option--provided they make
full, upfront disclosure coupled with obtaining informed consumer
consent--for servicing consumers when a conflict of interest arises.
in the next month, REAL-Reform will be sending out a message across
this network requesting financial and/or volunteer support, so
that we may be prepared to take our battle to the next level.
will be incorporating as a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization which
will be positioned to fight against WisconsinDesignated Agency
as it re-emerges in 2003, fight for the return of the common law
of agency to Wisconsin's real estate laws and upon achieving both
of those goals, will then transition to defending our real estate
agency laws from any future attempts at eroding consumer protections.
will be consumer memberships and licensee memberships, each of
which will come with some unique benefits. Please, when you are
given the opportunity to contribute, keep in mind that REAL-Reform
has already proven itself a worthy organization by winning round
one in this war. Winning future rounds will almost certainly require
getting the word out to more people, most especially consumers.
To do this will take some money and/or some volunteering.
don't need to have nearly the level of funding or manpower that
the WRA has, because we have the truth on our side and nothing
trumps the truth, provided you can get your message out before
the masses. That, of course, is where the money and manpower comes
you for your patience in reading this message and to those of
you who are friends of REAL-Reform, Congratulations! We have won
our first of--hopefully--many victories!