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(The NAR lawsuit has resulted in an agreement/settlement, but as of this writing, it has yet to be approved by the court.)

I find most of the news and conversation on the NAR (National Association of Realtors) lawsuit hyperbolic and annoying. The media is spouting rhetoric that I interpret as intentionally misleading, and the real estate industry is responding with the same platitudes and salesmanship that have been a hallmark for decades.

In a recent interview, I briefly addressed the lawsuit and offered my initial impressions. And in a recorded screencast, I review some FAQs from the National Association of Realtors website. For more detail, you can find both videos here. For now, I’ll offer two facts and two opinions:


Two Facts:

1. The lawsuit story started when a group of sellers sued four of the largest real estate broker franchisors, claiming they didn’t know it was an option not to pay the agent working with the buyer. It’s never been true that sellers have had to pay the agent working with the buyer, but the convention became so ingrained that I can see how some sellers might have believed it to be true.

2. If the settlement is approved, buyers and their agents must execute an agreement before viewing properties. This agreement will lay out the agent’s compensation, which cannot change.


Two Opinions:

1. If this lawsuit and settlement result in buyers/sellers insisting on more quantifiable and clearly communicated value, the disruption will have been worth it. However, this will have been a wasted opportunity if the result is more conventions that come along with more platitudes and hollow salesmanship from agents. The real estate industry needs to prioritize quantifiable value. Those I’ve worked with and myself have spent years not only thinking about what makes us quantifiably valuable but also about the most effective way to communicate this value.

2. Not only do agents need to innovate and change, but for the result to be positive for all involved, buyers and sellers must take the time to ask good questions and consider the answers.