Why Atlanta is So Different

Fletcher L Thompson was a black man who forever changed Atlanta real estate.  He alone is responsible for our unique market and the tens of millions of dollars it has saved Atlanta homeowners.  He is exactly the type of story that should not only be highlighted but celebrated during Black History Month.  

Sadly, for too many in Atlanta, Thompson’s story is one that’s best left untold.   Imagine that; the most important real estate story in generations and the Atlanta media collectively buries it.  A journalistic opportunity of a lifetime thrown away.  Consumers still don’t know what Mr. Thompson did and what it means.

If you don’t know your real estate history, and thanks to the AJC, no one does, read our blog of a few years ago for some background insight; https://wyndrealty.com/race-real-estate-why-atlanta-is-so-different/

When race is considered, white people like to think in old news reel imagery.  This allows for the passage of time.  “It was such a long time ago”.   That of course is total BS.  Fletcher Thompson filed his lawsuit on 12-22-88!  Kind of mind-blowing that Michael Jackson’s, Man in the Mirror, was the number one song in the nation at a time when Atlanta’s racists were still arguing over MLS access.

I don’t know if Mr. Fletcher knew the ramifications of his actions.  His motives seem very simple; he was fighting against a wrong.  But that is the drama of his story.  It is Fletcher Thompson, real estate broker from Atlanta; i.e no one, being wronged by the National Association of Realtors, the most financially powerful lobby group in the United States.    And yep, Thompson wins!

It took years.  The case was finally settled in 1991.  Why it took years is both amazing and sad.  What were NAR’s motives for pumping millions of dollars and legal resources into a campaign to fight Mr. Fletcher?  We can guess money, but it comes off as racist. 

The Court decision in the Thompson case actually opened up MLS access throughout the entire 11th District of the United States.  (That includes Florida)  But, with unlimited legal resources over time, NAR was able to return “most” of the 11th District back to “local control”.  Local control meaning NAR control.   NAR was able to flip all of the 11th district back to them EXCEPT for Atlanta!  

NAR owns and controls over 90% of the nation’s MLS companies.  Of the 10% of the markets not controlled by NAR, Atlanta is by far the largest.   We don’t have to play by NARs rules! 

Sellers don’t have to pay their Buyer’s agent 3%.  Thanks to Fletcher Thompson, Atlanta has a freedom unlike anywhere else in the America. 

Consider Atlanta sells, give or take, 6,000 homes a month at a medium price of $400K.  You can do the math yourself, but the difference in paying Buyer’s agents 3% to versus paying a buyer’s agent 2% is $24 million dollars.  And remember that is every month.  One simple change would save Atlanta-area homeowners tens of millions of dollars every year!

Not going to happen.  Radical change isn’t coming any time soon.  The franchises will not stop in their 3% mission to protect their Buyer’s agents.  Still, incremental change is here now.  Atlanta sellers have the choice to say NO to NAR!  Again, all thanks to Mr. Thompson.

This concludes a series of blogs written directly for a consumer audience.  Traditionally our blogs are written for Atlanta’s real estate agent community.  But we felt it was extremely important NOW to tell the truth about the Atlanta real estate market.  

The AJC will never write about Atlanta’s unique market position in real estate.  The franchises don’t want consumers to know this information and the AJC publishes whatever the franchises tell them to.  Making matters much worse is the fact that within the coming year most all real estate articles will be written by computer, with no human involvement.    Read all about it at: chat.openai.com

Artificial intelligence?  Maybe?  Garbage in garbage out.  AI generated articles use what it has learned from the past to create anew.  So, if 90% of all historical real estate articles have a NAR bias, then that bias will continue.  There is simply not enough of us out here offering NAR alternatives to break through the log-jam that is the National Association of Realtors. 

The AJC killed the story of Fletcher Thompson.   AI will bury it forever.  Atlanta was given a great gift that sadly she never fully realized. 

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