In some cases, Open Listings represents clients directly. However, Open Listings Referral Network (Partner Agents) is a referral process that connects buyers with third-party real estate agents in exchange for an undisclosed commission split or a referral fee.
A Partner Agent who is employed by, or works with their own brokerage gets referred by Open Listings at their own discretion, as a blind match. Open Listings keeps referral fee amount hidden and does not disclose the split amount it receives from real estate agents who operate under their own license – this practice is highly deceptive and is designed to deceive consumers into thinking that Open Listings is the brokerage they are actually working with.
By engaging with Open Listings consumers authorize them to share personal information and home search history with any Partner Agent, regardless if a consumer wants to work with an Open Listings agent directly.
When shopping for a Real Estate Agent, the price alone is not as important as being able to make an informed choice about representation. Open Listings Referral Network is a poor choice for Real Estate Agents and consumers due to lack of transparency.
Open Listings’ operations as a referral network result in an inefficiency known as reverse competition and possible price fixing. Such practice may result in a lower quality of service or higher commissions.
Once Open Listings refers a customer to a Partner Agent, that agent, not Open Listings, represents the customer from the initial meeting through closing. Open Listings dictates that Partner Agent rebates 50% of their commission in order to receive a referral, while Open Listings takes a commission cut after the transaction is complete.
In the United States, all independent brokerage fees are always negotiable and each real estate agent establishes its own policy for a fee structure, amount of commissions, and issuing rebates to consumers.
Price fixing is prohibited by antitrust legislation. To fix, control, recommend, suggest or maintain commission rates, rebates, and fees for other agents' services is an improper practice.
Open Listings does not represent home sellers, but the company was acquired in 2018 by a direct home cash buyer: Opendoor.
Opendoor does not represent home sellers either, it is a real estate investor who buys homes from consumers and resells them at a profit; this practice is known as house-flipping.
When working with Open Listings, consumers may be pressured to use Opendoor by their Open Listings real estate agent. There is absolutely no requirement for anyone using Open Listings when buying a home to sell their home to an Opendoor.
As buyer’s agent Open Listings’ job is to represent consumers when making a purchase of a new home, it should not advise consumers on their existing home listing, unless a separate listing agreement exists.
Real estate agents are required by law to place their client’s interest before their own. Consumers are encouraged to read our full review for Opendoor before using the house-flipping service.