A popular Greenwich, CT real estate blogger who runs the site For What It’s Worth is facing some aggressive bullying by the town’s Association of Realtors (the Greenwich Association of Realtors) and the big-money broker firms that sit on its board. This week the blogger, Christopher Fountain, was hauled in by the Greenwich Police after a staff member of the GAR filed a ‘concern for safety’ complaint against him. No charges have been filed, but Fountain was subject to an hour long interrogation interview questioning his alleged intent to harm or harass the GAR.
The outspoken Fountain was a former real estate columnist for the Greenwich Post and currently works for EBTrealty to help home buyers find distressed McMansion deals in a town that’s populated by some Wall Street’s most successful and feared players – the hedge-funders. His blog (FWIW) highlights MLS listings by the GAR and informs the reader of details the association doesn’t really want on the open internet – like how much they’ve dropped the price since first listed. His sharp, often gossipy, commentary has drawn near 9 million readers from around the world and challenges the Polyanna-ish fluff stories both Greenwich newspapers often print about the state of home sales for their bread-and butter-advertisers (‘McMansion’ home ads).
The pissing match between the blogger and his own trade association has taken a bizarre turn though as Fountain says the Greenwich PD let him go quickly after they became aware the complaint was exaggerating — if not lying — about Fountain’s actions. Now he says he plans to file an anti-trust complaint with the Department of Justice against the GAR and will contact the Connecticut Attorney General’s office over what he feels are cartel-like bullying tactics to shut down his independent blog and real estate business.