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Transparency, Trust and Real Estate

Written by Chris Christiansen on Jun. 25th, 2024
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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and various brokerages across the nation have reached a landmark resolution, settling antitrust lawsuits that will bring significant changes to real estate transactions. This settlement aims to promote fairness and transparency within the industry, introducing two pivotal shifts that will impact the way consumers work with real estate agents.

The first major change is that properties listed in databases such as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) will no longer include an offer of compensation to buyer’s agents. Historically, these listings specified a commission paid to the buyer’s agent by the seller, a practice that has been scrutinized for its potential to limit consumer choices and inflate costs. Moving forward, while listing agents and sellers can still offer and negotiate compensation for buyer broker services, it will not be a standard inclusion in MLS listings. This change empowers sellers and buyers to discuss and agree on compensation directly, fostering a more open negotiation process.

The second change requires homebuyers to establish a formal written agreement with their agent before touring a home. This agreement involves discussing and agreeing on the scope of services the agent will provide, as well as determining the payment method and amount for those services. Previously, many buyers operated under informal arrangements with their agents, often leading to misunderstandings or assumptions about compensation and service expectations. By formalizing these agreements, the settlement aims to ensure clarity and transparency, allowing consumers to make more informed decisions and better understand the value of the services they receive.

These changes, though seemingly simple, represent a significant shift in the real estate landscape. By removing the automatic offer of compensation in MLS listings and requiring formal agreements, the settlement promotes consumer choice and aims to eliminate potential conflicts of interest. Buyers and sellers alike will benefit from a more transparent and equitable marketplace, where compensation and service terms are explicitly negotiated and agreed upon.

Oregon REALTORS® and the Mid Valley Association of REALTORS® have long championed the principles of clarity, transparency, and professionalism. These recent changes align with our commitment to these values, ensuring that our clients receive the highest standard of service. As the industry adapts to these new regulations, we remain dedicated to guiding consumers through these transitions with the expertise and integrity that define our identity.

In conclusion, the antitrust lawsuit settlement marks a pivotal moment for the real estate industry. By requiring clear agreements and eliminating automatic compensation offers in MLS listings, the changes introduced aim to create a more transparent and fair marketplace. Consumers can now approach real estate transactions with greater confidence, knowing that their options and interests are better protected. Oregon REALTORS® and the Mid Valley Association of REALTORS® will continue to uphold the values that have long defined our profession, guiding our clients through this evolving landscape with unwavering dedication.

Chris Christiansen

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