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National Association of Realtors Lawsuit

You may have recently heard about a lawsuit judgment against the National Association of Realtors and have questions surrounding it.

The suit claims that the National Association of Realtors and several large brokerages in the midwest colluded to set real estate commission, and that buyers didn’t have the right to negotiate the fee that was to be paid to the buyer agents. While this may be true, in most cases, the National Association of Realtors firmly believes that a code of ethics is in place to protect both the buyers and sellers.

The National Association of Realtors also believes that the buyers benefit in many ways from the work that a buyer agent does. This work includes: helping them find the right home, determine if the value of that home is appropriate in the marketplace, negotiate terms that are favorable to the buyer, help get them pre-approved by a good lender, help select a reputable home inspector, negotiate seller paid repairs, and generally help them get through the entire closing process from the time they start looking for a home all the way through the day of closing. 

It’s unclear what the outcome may be of this judgment, as the National Association of Realtors plans appeals, and this could take several years, and laws could change at some point. It could change to where buyers negotiate directly with the buyer agent as to what the real estate fee will be paid to them for their services, and it could change to where the buyer pays the buyer agent cash directly at closing for the services that they provided. Today, this could be difficult, because not only if a buyer is getting a loan, would they have to bring the down payment for their loan, but they’d also have to bring the money to pay their buyer agent. Currently, the purchase price includes the real estate commission that the seller’s paying, which covers both the buyer and the listing agents. 

If you are thinking about buying a home, should you hold off? The answer is no. But what you should understand is that the buyer agent that is working with you is representing you, and that they’re going to help you through the home buying process and have your best interest at heart, and that the seller is going to be paying them at closing for the services that they provided you and helping you through the home buying process. 

If you are a seller, you don’t need to do anything differently. You do need to understand that in your listing agreement you have negotiated with your listing agent a real estate fee that will include covering both the listing agent and a buyer agent should there be one, and that real estate fees may be negotiable. 

If you have any questions about this topic, give me a call, I’ll do my best to assist you. And remember, my team and I are on standby 7 days a week, to help you and your family take the smoother road to sold. 

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