Buying a Home for the First Time? How Real Estate Industry Changes Could Impact Buying Power 
June 2024
Buying a Home for the First Time? How Real Estate Industry Changes Could Impact Buying Power 

If you are in the market to buy a house, chances are you have heard about the recent settlement agreed upon by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that throws out a 1990 rule that required agents to offer a commission to the agent who brings in the winning buyer. 

This typically resulted in the seller having to pay 5%-6% of the total commission, with half going to their agent and half going to the buyer’s agent. With the settlement abolishing this rule, homeowners may be able to see a significant drop in the cost of selling their homes because: 

  • Real estate brokers who cooperate to provide data to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) are no longer allowed to include buyer broker compensation, and 
  • Starting on August 17, 2024, buyer’s agents will have to enter into a written agreement with all clients that outlines their fees and services before moving forward with any work. This will allow buyers to easily negotiate their fees with agents or, if they choose, they don’t have to use an agent at all. 

Did you know that the term “Realtor” is a registered trademark used in connection with the National Association of Realtors (NAR)? Only licensed real estate agents who pay membership money to NAR are able to use this title. 

NAR exists to set apart their licensed realtors from the rest of the world of real estate. Home buyers and sellers can trust that their realtors are abiding by the requirements and bylaws of the NAR when they do business with their clients. The recent NAR settlement is intended to make up for consumers having had to pay large commission fees to their realtors over the years. In addition to compensating for this, the settlement terms have placed a much larger amount of the work and responsibility of home buying on the consumers. 

The world of real estate buying is changing rapidly. Whether you are venturing into this world for the first time or you have bought multiple properties, it is important to know how the NAR settlement will affect your next real estate purchase. 

New rules for home buyers 

Compensation offers will not be shared on multiple listing services, meaning that buyers cannot communicate about compensation via the MLS, but they can negotiate prices in person with realtors. Before touring a home, buyers will be required to sign written agreements with their MLS realtors starting on August 17, 2024. Buyers now get to set their own agents’ pay. They can also now ask sellers to pay buyer agent fees at closing. This all results in more negotiation throughout the house-buying process. 

Home-buying process, a new paradigm 

It’s important to ask a real estate agent lots of questions before you hire them to help you buy a home. Here are a few questions you can consider having them answer before you sign any papers to start a working relationship with them: 

  • Are you licensed and a member of the NAR? 
  • What kind of experience do you have? 
  • How will you work to represent my interests in this transaction? 
  • How much do you expect to be paid? 
  • How do you plan to help me find satisfactory home options and negotiate with sellers?  
  • What are today’s real estate challenges, and what are your methods for meeting and overcoming these challenges? 

Whether or not you hire a real estate agent to help you buy your house, it’s essential for you to understand purchase agreement terms. As the NAR settlement has put more responsibility onto the buyer, you will want to consider having a lawyer look over paperwork with you before signing. 

How LegalShield can help home buyers 

When consumers like you become LegalShield Members, you gain access to a dedicated provider law firm in your area. LegalShield provider lawyers are ready to help you navigate the changing tides of the real estate market. Whether you primarily browse online house-buying websites, or you prefer to ask a mortgage broker for help, or you choose to have a real estate agent assist you, legal counsel is important to guide you down the right path with big, complex purchases like this. 

LegalShield provider lawyer Vince Imhoff says it best: “People want lawyers to help them with contracts, especially regarding oil and mineral rights and other property issues, without having to pay real estate agents’ hefty fees. LegalShield can help keep contracts standard and honest about what exactly buyers and sellers are handing over.” 

The NAR settlement has changed the way real estate works, and it isn’t done changing yet. Become a LegalShield Member to take essential legal help with you as you journey into the home-buying world. 


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