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Agent Commissions And DC Homebuyers

Real Estate Agent with Compass | 1313 14th St NW DC 20005 Licensed in DC & VA

Breaking Down Changes In Real Estate Commission Practices | Washington DC

NAR (The National Association of Realtors) agreed recently to a $418M settlement and mandating of changes to key policies as part of its resolution of multiple class-action lawsuits. The jury in the Missouri Sitzer-Barnett case ordered the defendants to pay almost $1.8B in damages — potentially $5B+ if the court awarded the plaintiffs treble damages. NAR's settlement agreement likely saved the organization from bankruptcy, but where does it leave home buyers, agents and home sellers?

The policy changes agreed to by NAR include the prohibition of publishing offers of broker compensation on any MLS (Multiple Listing Services) databases affiliated with the NAR. That leaves the country divided between affiliated services where brokers must scramble to find alternate methods of publishing commissions, and non-affiliated services, where brokers and buyers still enjoy an equitable and transparent listing platform. 

This is an evolving situation. The court must approve the NAR settlement before any related changes take place. Unsettled lawsuits are still pending, industry experts are working to interpret the way changes will be applied to practice, and brokerage decisions as to continued affiliation with NAR have not been finalized. Changes to commission rules are expected to begin sometime in mid-July.

Consumers should research these new rules themselves. There are differing opinions on potential outcomes and interpretations of the rules. We weighed in with our takes. Read them here.

Posted by

Susan Isaacs, Realtor

The Isaacs Team LLC

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Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

My suggestion is to stop using this word commission and use the words compensation fee or just fee. We are licensed professionals and not unlicensed salespeople. Doctors, layers, accountants, financial advisors do not charge commissions or use that word so why should we?

Apr 19, 2024 01:06 PM
Susan Isaacs | DC Real Estate Consultant

Agree, however that's the word buyers and sellers use. Entire industry would have to change the terminology.

Apr 20, 2024 04:52 AM