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How Will the National Association of Realtors Settlement Affect Your Plans?


Among the many symptoms of financial long COVID is that the cost of buying a house is becoming increasingly unaffordable.  In fact, many people in their 30s who have been consistently employed for more than a decade, doubt that they will ever be able to afford their own home.  For a brief period in 2021, when mortgage interest rates were the lowest they had been in many years, the lucky few, who had worked from home during the pandemic and put the portion of their budget that had previously gone toward commuting to work and dining out toward debt repayment instead, jumped at the chance for homeownership.  Good luck to anyone who has tried to buy a house since 2022, though.  A recent court decision could reduce the cost of buying and selling a house, although the decision makes it more difficult for real estate agents to continue earning as much money per sale as they have previously earned.  To find out more about how the National Association of Realtors settlement might affect your real estate investing plans, contact a Washington, D.C. real estate lawyer.

Details of the National Association of Realtors Settlement

The national Association of Realtors (NAR) agreed to a settlement this month in which it promised to pay $418 million in damages to a large group of consumers who suffered financial losses because the National Association of Realtors inflated the prices that the consumers had to pay to buy or sell their houses.  The National Association of Realtors agreed to stop the practice in which real estate agents representing sellers set a commission amount, typically six percent, before agreeing to list a property on Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the NAR’s real estate listing database.  90 percent of residential real estate sales involve agents affiliated with NAR and properties listed on MLS.

Pursuant to the settlement, real estate agents can no longer refuse to list a property on MLS simply because they are unsatisfied with the commission amount.  This leaves room for more negotiation about commission amounts.

Buying and Selling Real Estate Properties Could Become Less Expensive

The NAR settlement comes as a relief to anyone who wants to buy or sell a house in this economy.  If you are looking to buy a house for the first time, sky high real estate agent commissions will not be an obstacle to finalizing the sale.  The people who may benefit the most are real estate investors who already own one or more investment properties and have money to spend on buying additional ones; for them, the cost of doing business could get even lower.  As for individual real estate agents, although they may earn less money per sale, finalizing sales could get easier, mitigating their possible reduction in income.

Contact Tobin O’Connor Ewing About Changes to Real Estate Law

A Washington, D.C. real estate attorney can help you strategize about buying real estate in the D.C. area.  Contact Tobin, O’Connor, and Ewing in Washington, D.C. or call 202-362-5900.




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