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REALTY ONE FIRST IN AREA TO CONVERT TO "TOTAL REPRESENTATION"

 CLEVELAND, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move designed to clear up years of confusion over who represents whom in residential real estate transactions, Realty One announced today that it has changed to a "dual agency" real estate firm allowing sales associates to represent both sellers and buyers in real estate transactions. The move was announced by Realty One Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph T. Aveni, after briefing all 1,600 Realty One managers and sales associates.
 "Our people are ecstatic," Aveni said, "and I know the community will be too. We can now conduct ourselves in a much more open and professional manner in all our transactions and can best represent our listed properties as well as the thousands of potential buyers who use our services every weekend to take them around to show homes."
 Traditionally, real estate agents have always represented the seller of the property. Under that concept, the agent who assists a buyer in finding a home is considered a "subagent" of the seller by law. As such, the agent really doesn't represent the buyer even though the agent is often in a position of forming strong relationships and knowing confidential information which could, in fact, be to a buyer's disadvantage in a sale.
 Under the new Total Representation system adopted by Realty One, agents can be hired by buyers and can represent them in real estate transactions. The agent is still compensated from sale proceeds and the buyer pays no retainer or fees and does not have to sign an exclusivity contract.
 "Real estate is a service business," said John A. Ludwick, Realty One's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "We are proud to be the first major broker in our area to make this move as it will establish a heightened level of trust with buyers and sellers, enhancing the sale process for all parties. Also, sellers who have been pleased with our service and who have established relationships with our agents can now be represented by us in the purchase of their new home. We're closing the circle of service," Ludwick said.
 Surveys done by the Federal Trade Commission indicate that over 70 percent of buyers who are being shown properties think the agent is working for them, not the seller. Last month, the National Association of Realtors changed its bylaws and Code of Ethics in a move to facilitate the change to buyer brokerage. In consumer-oriented states like California, buyer brokerage and dual agencies have thrived.
 Commenting on the changes occurring in the real estate agency business, Dennis Tatum, superintendent of the Ohio Division of Real Estate said, "At the Ohio Division of Real Estate we often receive inquiries about buyer's brokerage and disclosed dual agency. Under the license law both of these forms of agency are recognized. As with any form of agency, buyer's brokerage and disclosed dual agency should be acknowledged in writing so that each party clearly understands the role of the agent." Realty One's new policies require written disclosure of brokers' roles.
 In 1992, both Columbus and Cincinnati embraced total representation, with 80 percent of cooperative sales involving a buyer agent, according to the Columbus Board of Realtors. Ohio has a strong record of consumer-oriented laws on the books covering the real estate industry. For example, since 1989, Ohio has required all brokers to provide to every buyer and seller a written disclosure statement clearly identifying which party each agent represents.
 "As the leading real estate brokerage firm in Northeast Ohio, we feel we have a responsibility to our clients and to our agents to be a full-service company," Aveni went on. "The test of any service company is trust and with our move to dual brokerage we can now provide the best in sales and the best in service. We will become true counselors to our clients sharing with both buyers and sellers our combined years of experience in their individual needs in their communities."
 Realty One is the leading real estate brokerage firm in Northeast Ohio, with over 1,600 associates in 48 offices in the twenty-county region. Realty One Corporate Center is located at 6000 Rockside Woods Boulevard in Independence, Ohio.
 -0- 1/27/93
 /CONTACT: Barbara Reynolds of Realty One, 216-328-2500; or Lilli Lief of Wyse Landau Public Relations, 216-696-1686, for Realty One/


CO: Realty One ST: Ohio IN: SU: PDT

BM -- CL006 -- 9598 01/27/93 11:31 EST
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Date:Jan 27, 1993
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