Understanding Real Estate Commission Changes: What It Means for You

Legal settlement in real estate, symbolized by a house, a gavel, and the text "NAR Settlement" in the background

The landscape of buying and selling homes is undergoing a significant transformation, particularly concerning real estate commission changes. This pivotal shift has the potential to impact both home sellers and buyers, sparking a mix of excitement and uncertainty.

What Are the Real Estate Commission Changes?

For decades, real estate commissions have traditionally been a percentage of the sale price of the home, typically around 6%, divided between the buyer’s and seller’s agents. Recent developments, however, are set to alter this long-standing structure.

“Real estate commissions are being slashed!” headlines proclaim. But what does this mean for you? The truth is, the full implications of these real estate commission changes are still unfolding. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  • Sellers may no longer be required to offer a commission to the buyer’s agent, potentially reducing the overall cost of selling a home.
  • Buyers might need to negotiate commission fees directly with their agents, changing the dynamics of home purchasing. [Internal link: Discover how to negotiate effectively with your agent]

Here’s What Matters to Buyers and Sellers in a Nutshell

Unless you’re in the business, you probably have no desire to read through all of the court documents or proposed settlement. You just want to know what changes will possibly impact you. So here’s an excerpt from a National Association of REALTORS® press release, highlighting the changes that will most likely affect you:

“In addition to the financial payment, NAR has agreed to put in place a new MLS rule prohibiting offers of broker compensation on the MLS. This would mean that offers of broker compensation could not be communicated via the MLS, but they could continue to be an option consumers can pursue off-MLS through negotiation and consultation with real estate professionals. Offers of compensation help make professional representation more accessible, decrease costs for home buyers to secure these services, increase fair housing opportunities, and increase the potential buyer pool for sellers. They are also consistent with the real estate laws in the many states that expressly authorize them.

Further, NAR has agreed to enact a new rule that would require MLS participants working with buyers to enter into written agreements with their buyers. NAR continues, as it has done for years, to encourage its members to use buyer brokerage agreements that help consumers understand exactly what services and value will be provided, and for how much. These changes will go into effect in mid-July 2024

The Implications of Commission Changes

The settlement introducing these changes was sudden, leaving many agents and clients in the dark about the specifics. Here’s what matters most:

  1. Sellers: While you can’t publicly offer commission in listings, offering one privately could still attract more potential buyers. [Internal link: Learn more about
  2. Buyers: You’ll likely have to sign a written agreement with your agent, specifying the commission fee, which could be integrated into the purchase price.

Navigating the New Landscape

These real estate commission changes may seem daunting, but they also offer new opportunities for negotiation and cost savings. Here are a few considerations:

  • Selling Your Home: It’s crucial to understand how omitting commission offers from listings could affect your sale. [Internal link: Maximizing your home’s appeal to buyers]
  • Buying a Home: The need for clear agreements with agents emphasizes the importance of understanding what services you’re paying for. [External link: Federal Trade Commission advice on choosing a real estate agent]

The Bottom Line

The real estate commission changes are a significant shift in the industry, with potential benefits and drawbacks for all parties involved. As these changes roll out, staying informed and consulting with knowledgeable professionals is key. [Internal link: Contact us for personalized advice]

For the most up-to-date information on how these changes could affect your buying or selling process, reach out to your local real estate professional or visit reputable sources online.

As your Oakland County, Michigan realtor, Tom Gilliam at RE/MAX Classic, I’m here to guide you through the changing real estate landscape. Please feel free to contact me anytime at 248-790-5594, or visit my website at https://homes2moveyou.com/  for more information and resources to assist you in navigating these new developments in real estate.

The Takeaway:

While the headlines about changing real estate commission structures might sound exciting and like a potential game-changer for you as a home seller or buyer, they are misleading, because nobody knows exactly how things are going to play out. While it’s true that commissions may shift, the details remain uncertain.

If the proposed settlement is accepted by the courts, sellers won’t be able to advertise agent commissions, however they will still be allowed to offer them, just not within their listing. In many cases this will still benefit the seller to do so in order to get the most exposure for their house, and sell it for the most money possible.

Buyers will be given the option to not work with a buyers agent, however that could come with some unexpected downsides and difficulties, and may not produce the savings they anticipate. Fortunately, you will still be able to hire your own representation, and have an agent looking out for your interests and helping you through the process.