Roots of Real Estate Models

by Chicago Agent


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.


The first realty board is established in San Diego.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


Property listings first become publicly available on the Internet.


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.


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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