Nuclear Option?

Up in smoke: Greenwich Association of Realtors departs this earth

Received a message today from a friend who offered to contact the DOJ anti-trust division on my behalf – as the saying goes, he’s somebody who knows somebody.

And almost immediately thereafter I received this link, sent in by a reader: The DOJ is already interested in the issue.

I’ve written back to my friend saying that, for now, I’m hesitant to go that route because I’d be pulling down the temple on my own head as well as my friends at the GAR, but I’d reconsider, depending on how things go in the next couple of weeks. I certainly won’t go down alone, and it could be would be fun to watch the ensuing chaos.

UPDATE: a comment from an anonymous reader (a fellow real estate agent) reminds me how little most of my peers know about anti-trust laws. And why not? It’s more comfortable thinking, as the commentator does, that we’re just members of a merry little “sales association”, free to go our own way without regard to federal jurisdiction. And that’s an attitude both understandable and excusable in a mere agent, but pretty stupid when office managers share that ignorance. But they do, which explains why they see no danger in trying to shut down this blog.

Example: some years ago,  a manager at a firm I worked for announced that she and her peers had held a meeting concerning the high cost of advertising in the Greenwich Time. The solution they’d come up with was to refuse to advertise in the paper for a month and advertising with a competitor instead. When I suggested that she and her fellow managers were about to engage in an illegal group boycott her eyes grew wide in surprise. I suggested that her group consult with the GAR counsel before proceeding and a week later, the plan died. So no harm no foul, but indicative of what the GAR owners (don’t) know about monopolies and anti-competitive behavior.

27 Comments

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27 responses to “Nuclear Option?

  1. GAR is probably the most ethical outfit in Town.
    Need I say more ?

  2. REELTOR

    Whoa Nellie!!!!
    You need a get a drop of Jameson or a Marlboro in you FAST. Change your dosage or whatever…We all knew or came to know about this ‘club’ we joined.This is a SALES association run by a few multimillionaires. That’s it.

  3. RM

    That’s why you’re a lawyer and agent… and everyone else is just an agent.

  4. Anonymous

    You should go full jihad on the GAR just for sport. They’ve brought it upon themselves. The DoJ currently is lead by a Marxist with an avowed vendetta against white folk in general and privileged ones especially. For the DoJ racists and perverts GAR is a juicy target rich in symbolic value, plus the GAR will fold faster than a cheap suit.

    The important thing is to have a follow-up plan to capitalize on the ensuing chaos. Think about your positioning. Make sure of your relationships. Put in place any procedural, legal, IT, and other structures you need to capitalize on the chaos. You have a bit of time. Holder and his storm troopers have at least another few months of running DoJ.

  5. Walt

    Dude –
    You tactical MORON!! It is way too early to be sabre rattling. Some peon GAR flunky slut wrote you a letter and asked you to stop doing something that caused their thongs to ride way to far up there cracks. Touching a nether region they have long since forsaken. The frigid little bitches. THAT IS ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED!!

    Take a chill pill. We need to politely retort.
    Did you ask for a sit down, on our turf, like I asked you to? No, of course not!! You loser. What is the GAR Evil Princesses’ Christian name? She is Christian right? Well that may be the dumbest questions I ever asked!! Like she is a Jew!! Yeah right!! Strike that from the record.

    Anyhows, I am betting it is Muffy McCormack. Or Birdie LaFont. Maybe Squeaky Fagina? Pussy Onfire’?
    Send me her contact data and I will work this out. I will just tell her this is what we want, this is what we are going to do, and this is why it is good for her. She will agree. Trust me on this.

    Then, assuming she doesn’t walk on all fours, and drink from a dog bowl, I will boff her. She will reconnect to her sexual feminine side that she has neglected for long, and reawaken as a sexual dynamo. I hope she isn’t a bowser Dude, but if she is, I will take one for the team if I have to, to get you out of this mess.

    Any questions Dude?
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  6. REELTOR

    CF,

    Figure out what you want GAR and the MLS to do here.

    Write an open letter to the relevant committee and let’s get it done.
    However, the constant bitching and moaning gets nobody anywhere.
    It makes the whole ‘profession’ look like horses asses.

    There are many excellent realtors here in town who don’t deserve to be ‘tarred and feathered’ with the same brush.

    The Connecticut MLS model has shown us all that you don’t need a huge MLS office hierarchy and budget to run a MLS in a little town like Greenwich.

    Just do it already…

  7. E, Burke

    My advice: Please do try to get the DOJ involved to bust this obvious, if petty and small-minded, antitrust conspiracy. A nice direct letter from the Antitrust Division to the GAR should do it. It’s free to complain to the DOJ, the GAR deserves it and even has been dumb enough to create a written record that begs for government intervention — and it should be fun to watch.

    Or, I shudder to utter, do you secretly just want to continue your amusing and very effective pillorying of the GAR? Say it isn’t so!

    “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is that good men do nothing.”

    But hey, it’s easy for me to suggest all this. I don’t have to work with these people — you do. You have my empathy, no matter what you decide..

  8. patrick

    As a homeowner who will likely sell, i am hurt by the lack of competition. No need for you to do anything Chris. I will be reaching out to the DOJ on Monday via phone,email and a formal complaint. The Hilton Head case is identical to the GAR situation and the six attorneys listed on the complaint will get a call from me on Monday. It might not lead to anything given how our regulators handle cases such as madoff, but at least i will know that i have done everything i can. This really pisses me off and frankly i’m not giving up until i have exhausted all channels

  9. InfoDiva

    And while you’re at it, please make mention of all the racial steering that GAR is complicit in by allowing listings to tout “North Street School District,” thereby implying the superiority of the least diverse school in town.

    Ever see a listing that bragged in the comments about being zoned for New Leb or Hamilton Ave?

  10. Walt

    Dude –
    One word. REVERAND AL!!!

    He will LOVE this story. The racist angle is the way to go. The DOJ moves way to slow. Reverend Al will pick up on a racist story against rich, waspy blue hairs from toney Greenwich, Connecticut quicker than you can do 6% of any number!!

    I am willing to bet the GAR has ZERO minority members. Well maybe a chink or two, but they really don’t count. How many blacks do they have in the “association”? I bet NONE!!

    Reverend Al will get NATIONWIDE coverage marching down Greenwich Avenue with a bullhorn screaming what racist slobs run the GAR. He will love it, being the little attention whore that he is.

    And he has his own show on MSNBC, which really sucks, so we can get this on air quickly. He has to be dying for content, and I can pitch this to him in a way that will have him foaming at the mouth!!

    We can get him focused on the country clubs as well. He will have a field day with that, and the clubs in turn will turn the heat up on the GAR to try and make this all go away. Greenwich Country Club is 91.7% white; 2.2% Latino; 5.4% Asian; and 0% black. ZERO PERCENT BLACK!! Belle Harbor is 96.9% white; 3.1% Latino; 0% Asian; and 0% black. . ZERO PERCENT BLACK!! Round Hill Club is 91.6% white; 1.3% Latino; 0% Asian; and 0% black. ZERO PERCENT BLACK!! That doesn’t add up to 100%, so maybe we have some Injuns. But this is my club, and they seem a little perturbed at me for some reason, so I may not tell Al about this one.

    Anyhows Dude, he will be on this story like white on ri …uhhh… he will take to this story like ducks to water. I guarantee it.

    Brunch today? I feel like some soul food. Wait a minute!! We don’t have a soul food restaurant in Greenwich!!
    Your Pal,
    Walt

    • I believe the expression you’re looking for is “like a chicken on a June bug”. If you’d done your part to honor Mother Gaia and moved south, you’d know that.

  11. Greenwich Gal

    The Greenwich Assoc. of Realtors is a borderline criminal enterprise that needs a lesson in the law. Go for it.

  12. REELTOR

    The buzz is starting…. Just overheard a conversation in Starbucks about the GAR and your blog…be careful what you wish for, good buddy.

  13. Anonymous

    Is there a town (Greenwich) ordinance or anything of the sort that makes it illegal to put a “for sale by owner” sign on the front lawn? if so, what agency would write a ticket?

    • Owners are free to post their own signs if they aren’t listing on the MLS, Free speech, interesting question whether you could do it even if you’re working with a realtor.

  14. Dude

    A tea partier seeking big government intervention? Another example of “government good when it helps me, but evil when it helps you”

  15. Anonymous

    Big government is a terrain feature of our modern lives.

    Like bad weather or a traffic jam, you might wish it wasn’t there, but it can be used to advantage.

  16. Anonymous

    Sometimes Walt has a good idea. This is one of them.

  17. Walt

    Dude –
    So I spoke to Reverend Al’s peeps. THEY LOVE THE STORY!! I told ya!! They want to move on this quick, and spin it as the 1% “haves” from Greenwich taking advantage of the down trodden 99% “have nots”. They will show how the GAR uses all of its monopolistic powers, using whatever ruthless tactics they can deploy, to keep an iron fist rule over Greenwich dirt sales, at the expense of those less fortunate. They may look like Aunt Bea, with their blue hair and necklace pearls, but he will expose them for the Nazi’s they are. It is going to be GREAT!!

    I was also thinking Michael Moore may want to do a documentary on this as well. I don’t really like the guy, but he does do some funny stuff. And he can’t resist an opportunity to demonize the wealthy, so the GAR has teed this up perfectly for him. Right in his sweet spot. He will fry them. Speaking of fry, when I get him here, you better open up an account at Chicken Joe’s. With a very large credit limit. Don’t worry, you can write it off, if you ever get any taxable income.

    I have already started writing questions that Michael can ask the GAR Evil Princess. Such as…why do you dislike black people? Would you prefer your daughter marry a black dude – a “Negro” as you would call him, or a Mexican. And why? Why did you cede control of the MSM to the Jews? Do you like anal? REALLY!! You dirty little girl. And I mean that fondly. Let’s have a drink!!

    Have you ever had sex with a black man, and if not, why? When was the last time you sold a house to one of “those people”? Do you consider low income housing anything under a $2.0 million price point?

    It will be just like “Roger and Me”. Did you see that? The fat bastard really does know how to ask the question. And the key is you just need to ask it!! No response required! Working title is “The GAR Evil Princess and Me”. I have a lot more questions that I will write for Michael, but that is enough to get him interested. He will be all over this like a salami sandwich!!

    Anyhows, we should start to make a list of our demands. What do we want? Free speech, of course. Which the GAR may want to note is guaranteed by the Constitution. What else? You want to be GAR Evil King, Dude? I can make that happen. But I think a hottie should be the GAR Evil Princess, not some loser like you, so let’s pass on that. OK?

    Better free food at Open Houses? Check!! Open Houses are clothing optional? Check!! A formal recruitment process to get more young, nubile, well stacked, bubble butted female minority real estate “professionals” into the ranks? Al will LOVE this one! It will make it appear that he actually cares about someone besides himself! Check, Check and double Check!! AND, they will have to go through an intensive screening committee interview process, which is comprised of ME!! Check!! And schwing!!

    What else? We have the power to close blogs about Greenwich dirt sales that are boring!! YES!! Sorry Gid!

    Send me any other ideas you have and I will finalize the list. You know what an idea is, right Dude?
    Your Pal,
    Walt

    • Mexicans are accepted in Greenwich, Walt, because we need our lawns and stone walls maintained. And they go home at night. Kneegrows are just lazy troublemakers, so them we shove over to Stamford, where they know how to keep those people under control.

  18. Patrick

    Infodiva,

    It’s a bit of a stretch to say that touting a school that has drastically better test scores than another is racist. Facts are facts and regardless of the ethnic composition of North street vs. new Lebanon North Street has much higher scores. As someone who cares about education this is an important selling point and i think people should be able to speak about the facts – in this case North Street has higher scores. I prefer truthful representation.

    Old Greenwich a predominately white schools has lower test scores than Harlem academy a predominately black and Hispanic school. Is it racist to mention the value of Harlem academeny when selling real estate for this school?

  19. Anonymous

    Have heard repeatedly that New Leb is 75% Port Chester and surrounding Westchester town kids. School administrators won’t admit it because they’ll lose funding.

    Simply not enough Greenwich kids to support all the schools. Or let’s put that another way: plenty of Greenwich kids to support the pub. schools but parents send ‘em to private because [insert the uncomfortable and politically incorrect reality here].

    Talk about taxation without representation.

  20. FF

    Anon 8:41. Stop with the “hearing” about those dangerous Port Chester people. Private schools are maxed on cap space, so don’t worry about flight to private schools winnowing out the 250 kid New Leb school (out of 9000 in the system). And there is no funding based upon numbers, but based on the full projected cap of the school. So get a grip and stop being afraid of those “Westchester” people , hint hint.

  21. Anonymous

    5:34 I live very close to New Leb and WMS and see the shenanigans that go on (it’s amazing how many Greenwich folks with NY car plates park a block or so away to drop their kids off…). Have neighbors who I’m friendly with and they have family that live in adjacent towns but use their Byram address to get the kids in local schools. Also have a neighbor that works in New Leb and they see it all firsthand. One neighbor has a few kids and sent ‘em all originally to New Leb, but one by one the circumstances of daily educational experience so restrictive for their academic & personal growth that they pulled ‘em out & sucked up the cost to go private. Teachers & staff & facility itself excellent (esp. Hamilton), no doubt. It’s the 75%+ of population that is non-english speaking that brings down the overall level & quality of education. The local schools become taxpayer-funded babysitting. Your taxes, my taxes.

    I come from a working class background and don’t begrudge any nationality or economic background the right to get a quality education. My family struggled to put me & siblings through school, both public & private. But we’re supposed to play by the rules, which we did. I see people gaming the system firsthand, and as a taxpayer, not only am I having to support that sham but the quality of education that my kids could be getting suffers because of the limitations that ESL causes in the class setting.

    So yeah, I have a pretty decent idea of what I’m talking about.