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Roots of Real Estate Models

by Chicago Agent

1847

Brokers begin hosting informal meetings (the first one was in New York) to exchange information about properties for sale and establish standards of practice, typically held once a week. Throughout the 19th century, lawyers and businessmen served as the principal drivers of housing transactions.

1887

The first realty board is established in San Diego.

1905

The first state association is formed in California; called the California State Realty Federation, it was composed of approximately 70 agents.

1917

California’s association convinces the state to pass the first state licensing laws; though it was overturned by the state’s courts on constitutional grounds, a modified version was eventually passed in 1919.

1923

The first Association of State Real Estate Commissioners is formed, working closely with National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB), NAR’s predecessor, to help coordinate state Realtor activities; by 1949, 36 states had adopted license laws, most of them based on California’s
original law.

1939

NAREB forms the Uniform Commission Committee, which begins a campaign to standardize commission rates across the country; though commissions were fairly uniform in large urban areas, they varied in smaller, local markets, but by 1950, the 5 percent commission rate was an industry standard, and calls for 6 percent soon followed.

1971

Art Bartlett, Walter Barrett and Marsh Fisher found Century 21, the first company to popularize the franchising concept.

1973

Dave and Gail Liniger form RE/MAX, which popularizes the 100 percent commission model.

1989

Coldwell Banker, then part of Sears, Roebuck and Co., introduces “mega-offices” with 35 to 50 desks and 50 to 80 sales associates.

1994

Property listings first become publicly available on the Internet.

2006

Zillow launches with valuation data on millions of homes across the country. Shortly after, it begins allowing agents and consumers to post their own listings. Also in this year, Redfin launches its first brokerage.

2012

Koenig & Strey announces its buyer agreement fee system, which stirs controversy, although other brokerages have been using this process for years.

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