I had my annual physical this past week and I am thrilled to report that I am in good health. My vitals, metabolic panel, PSA and lipids were all clear. This is great news for someone of my advanced age…ha-ha. I’ve had the same doctor for about a decade. He’s a dry guy without much of a sense of humor. Nobody else in my family likes him, but he is a super fit guy who has always struck me as someone who does his research, and is always on the top of his game. Personally, I want my doctor to be really smart, and who looks like he practices what he preaches. I’m willing to sacrifice bedside manner for a little extra competence. While I was putting my shirt back on, I asked him, “so what’s the deal with COVID-19; is it really that bad?”. My doctor put his fist on his chin and went on to tell me that it is far worse than most people think. He added that he was concerned for me, because I had pneumonia last year and the virus could be riskier for me. He said the virus affects people differently, and that race and ethnicity appears to be a factor. He said kids are a lower risk of death because the virus tends to settle in their digestive tracts, but for adults it settles in their lungs, and from there it can spread like cancer to all of the major organs. He said that he personally has cancelled all travel for the balance of the year and that his colleagues who are virologists, say that we will be wearing masks and doing social distancing for another year. It was a little sobering. Especially because it appears like a lot of people are acting like the threat of the virus is over. I realize that everything is political these days, but COVID-19 does not care about politics. It is a devastating illness that will kill more than 200,000 Americans by September. That’s more than twice as many as the Korean and Vietnam wars combined. Please be careful out there.
This week, in a brief to the judge of a major antitrust lawsuit known as Nosalek, the U.S. Department of Justice called for decoupling buyer and seller agent representation. If the DOJ gets what it wants, it would mean that listing agents would no longer be permitted to share their commissions with agents representing buyers, and buyers would have to pay out of pocket to have an agent represent them.
I was in D.C. on Friday for the celebration of life for my friend, Dave Stevens. Dave was a former FHA Commissioner under Barack Obama and an icon in the mortgage banking industry. I was lucky to know Dave as a good friend.
If you’re not familiar with the Sitzer class action lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors and several of the largest real estate brands, it centers on how real estate agents are compensated. The lawsuit claims that the practice of seller and buyer agent cooperation or sharing of commissions is an anti-trust violation and has resulted in inflated commissions paid by consumers. While a jury in Missouri has already sided with the plaintiffs, the judge has not rendered a final verdict.