Realtor.com Opcity is a referral fee network designed to collect fees by matching consumers with local real estate agents willing to participate. Opcity operates as a licensed real estate brokerage in Texas under TREC License # 9005100, but it does not produce any services that are typically offered by real estate agents and does not represent consumers when buying or selling real estate in any State.
When consumers submit information to Realtor.com Opcity, this information is simply sold to real estate agents who are willing to pay for it with 30%-40% share of their commission.
Realtor.com Opcity revenue comes from referral fees and sale of user data.
Opcity is a Texas licensed real estate broker that collects an undisclosed referral fee (estimated at 30%-40% of agent’s commission) from all real estate age. This fee makes it hardly a free service for anyone since referral fees are inevitably passed down to consumers.
More importantly, Opcity is a real estate agent that “does not engage in actual real estate broker services.” Opcity systematically applies pay-to-play bias towards all matching results, meaning, only real estate agents that have agreed to pay a referral fee are matched with consumers.
Opcity audits all transactions and requires agents to update the status of each transaction on continued the basis because it needs to find out how much money real estate agents receive in commissions and when these fees will be due, inevitably collecting private details of consumer’s agreement for home purchase or sale.
Opcity further calls it a "dispatch process that matches agents to available leads based on lead's proximity, lead's price points." The main qualification for real estate agents who participate with Opcity is their willingness to pay a referral fee. With Opcity is a subsidiary brokerage for Realtor.com, what used to be an independent MLS Aggregator, now is a middle-man broker.
Realtor.com had acquired Opcity in 2018, making this scheme one of the most scaled and damaging Referral Fee Networks in the United States. Realtor.com Opcity scheme is the low point of a transparent real estate process. From Opcity's own description of the service, the nature of the process could not be clearer: "We send a lead alert via text or mobile push notification to the agent 1st in the queue. That agent has approximately 5 seconds to click-to-claim the lead alert before the 2nd agent receives a lead alert and can also click-to-claim the lead. 5 seconds later, another agent is alerted, and so on."
In this process Opcity "qualifies" and "dispatches" consumers, where consumers are no longer in the driver's seat, but instead, are traded as a commodity.
Opcity plays fees down, claiming there are "no upfront costs" and does not publically disclose the exact amount of referral fees it charges each agent, but it rigidly locks every participating real estate agent into a referral fee attached to the back-end of every contract. As a licensed real estate agent that doesn’t perform any real estate services or takes any responsibility for the transaction, it is not entirely clear how this process works under the Business and Professions Code and RESPA.
Clearly, real estate agents only sign-up with Opcity because the price of the referral fee can be easily incorporated into their client's agreement with excessive commissions.
Opcity receives the lowest score because this service is clearly biased and it claims to provide the complete opposite of what it actually does. Realtor.com Opcity must be well aware of this issue but continues to operate on pay-to-play methodology in order to collect fees that needlessly make home buying and selling more expensive. As a matter of this review, it is impossible to segregate Realtor.com from Opcity - consumers should avoid using either service in order to protect their information from being "sold as leads" to random agents while being subjected with heavy referral fees.
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