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What's Actually Going On: Sabotage by Jealous Brokerages or Firm for Sale?

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The Hamptons real estate market is always changing, but it feels like things have stabilized. The price-chopper is doing its job and leveling the playing field of overvalued properties. While the conditions might have steadied, the rumor mill indicates that the players could be changing. Saunders & Associates is one of the most prominent brokerages out East, and gossip surrounding the intentions of the firm's founder and president Andrew Saunders refuses to die. Industry insiders insist that Corcoran's parent company NRT is in negotiation talks to buy the firm.

Clearly agitated by the unrelenting gossip, Saunders told The Real Deal that the situation doesn't amount to more than old fashion jealousy. He believes other firms are naysaying as a strategy to deter poaching and competition. Saunders said, "The most damaging thing you can do to a firm that is actively recruiting is to try and create some uncertainty about the ownership."

A NRT buyout would create an enormous firm with deep pockets. We're curious what you think about the possibility of this independent firm falling into the hands of the bigwigs at Corcoran. Do the rumormongers have it right or is this much ado about nothing?

· Andrew Saunders addresses rivals. [TRD]