headline: Opponent of real estate bill finds benefit despite passage | SummitDaily.com

headline: Opponent of real estate bill finds benefit despite passage

by Reid Williams

FRISCO – Chris Eby and his colleagues couldn’t keep Senate Bill 196 from being passed, but Eby said he’s learned a valuable lesson in testifying against the real estate legislation.

The bill, passed May 8 on the final day of the legislative session, creates a new definition for services offered by real estate firms. Eby, a Frisco real estate buyer’s agent, testified against the change.

The bill allows for “designated agencies,” which means different brokers working for the same firm can represent the seller and the buyer in the same deal. It eliminates “dual agency,” which allowed a single agent to represent both sides of the deal. Eby said eliminating dual agency was admirable, but claimed the creation of designated agency is intended to allow traditional brokerage firms to “preserve the double-dip.”

Bill supporters said buyers’ brokers were worried about losing their major marketing tool – exclusively representing buyers’ interests – and the new law would not mean real estate agents would be more likely to take advantage of consumers.

“We’re happy and we don’t see anything hurtful to consumers,” said Breckenridge Associate Andrew Biggin, president of the Summit County Association of Realtors. “(Senate Bill 196) will simplify the process. It’s what the majority of people in the association wanted, and the (Colorado) Real Estate Commission has yet to refine it. It’s not finalized just because it passed.”

If another bill comes to the Legislature concerning real estate and it worries Eby, however, it might have a tougher time gaining approval. He said he’s much more confident now about participating in the legislative process.

“Even as a small group of people, we found out we can have an impact,” Eby said, referring to the 50 buyer’s agents out of more than 19,000 real estate agents in the state. “We found a few friends in the state Legislature, and I’m hopeful we can start building more allies. We’ll start taking more initiative on legislation.”

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237 or rwilliams@summitdaily.com.

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