Truth or Great PR

As I was doing my normal Sunday online reading, I found this NY Times article about discount commissions that really was a featurette for Redin. In the article, there are anecdotal comments about seller’s agents not being willing to show Redfin buyers their listing. There is also a quote from our own Marlow Harris of alluding to the possibility that these stories may be more PR than truth (my words, not Marlow’s). A Windermere agent is quoted as saying that such claims are “absolute absurdity.”

So I have a couple of questions. First, are there a significant number of listing agents out there that will look down on buyers who use non-traditional brokerages (even to the degree of making themselves unavailable to show the home) or is this just great PR spin? If there is any truth in the claims, I presume that these uncooperative agents take this stance because they don’t feel like they are paid to fill the traditional role of the selling agent (e.g. showing the home). If that’s the case, then why don’t these listing agents incorporate a variable rate commission (similar to the strategy builders have used for some time to address the selling agent who magically appears after the site agent has done all the work of “selling” the buyer on the new home)? NWMLS rules would allow it, so why is it not being done?