The ranking Republican and Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee have asked the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on price competition in the real estate brokerage business.In their letter to the GAO, committee Chairman Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., say that "robust competition in real estate brokerage services has the potential to produce significantly lower costs" for millions of buyers and sellers of homes each year. In several speeches, Rep. Oxley has complained about the National Association of Realtors' legislative success in blocking the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board from ruling on whether national banks should be allowed to offer real estate brokerage services. Reps. Oxley and Frank want the GAO to conduct a survey of price competition in the real estate brokerage market. They also directed the GAO to look at states where state-chartered banks are allowed to offer real estate brokerage and settlement services to see whether it has "any negative effects on competition."

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