In a move that could have massive ramifications, the Private Sale website BuyMyPlace appears to have had it’s access to realestate.com.au revoked by REA last week. This is in contrast to Domain who openly accepted BuyMyplace’s listings a while go Domain.com.au Agrees To Upload Over 1700 Private Sellers In One Go.
I first heard about this last week when my Brother-in-law called me to find out why his house, which he had recently listed with BuyMyPlace.com.au had been removed from REA. At the time I had no idea and I found it difficult to understand why REA would pick on a listing in Tooowoomba to remove, and so I was waiting for this news to become public.
According to a source close to BuyMyPlace, REA first wrote to the fsbo website several weeks ago and told the company that it’s listings would be removed due apparently to not holding a real estate license. Word on the street is that REA failed to recognise the License which the company was using (through another company called Vertex Consulting) as appropriate for it’s REA account.
Sure enough as the 1 week deadline expired all the companies listings were removed and if you perform an agent search for “Vertex Consulting” they no longer appear in REA.
Interestingly while this was happening some other similar agent assisted sales sites, have at the time of writing, remained unaffected. One such sitePropertyNow, retains it’s access pending further determinations and communications from REA. PropertyNow was approached by REA in relation to its business model over 2 months ago and is now awaiting their determination.
Ryan O’Grady, a writer for popular real estate news blog http://www.business2.com.au interviewed Andrew Blachut ( the Director of PropertyNow Pty Ltd ) and asked him for some clarification on this evolving story. Check out this interview here: http://www.business2.com.au/2011/02/buymyplace-kicked-off-realestate-com-au/
Not fully understanding the legalities of this issue, its difficult to have an opinion yet. On one side, REA is an agent portal and so companies are walking a fine line promoting FSBO listings that can get on to the site. However, if they have a valid Real Estate license, is there a legal leg to stand on?
I guess the next few weeks and months will provide us some insight into how this will move forward.