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Unpacking the Impact of NAR Settlement on Home Showings: A Buyer's Guide

Wooden desk, paperwork, pen and small flowers.

Navigating the real estate market can be complex, and recent changes stemming from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) settlement have added new layers to the process of viewing homes. It's essential for buyers to understand these changes and how they impact the home-buying journey. I'm Amanda Allen with Coldwell Banker, and I'm committed to making this transition as smooth and transparent as possible.

What Does the NAR Settlement Mean for Buyers?

Even though these changes primarily affect how realtors conduct business, they significantly impact buyers too. Previously, buyers could simply call a realtor and request to see a home. It was a straightforward process, and many buyers would look at multiple homes over several months before finding the right one. Some buyers work exclusively with one realtor, while others might use several. This flexibility in shopping for homes can continue, but with a few new requirements due to the NAR settlement.

Key Facts About the NAR Settlement

The NAR settlement requires real estate agents who use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to have written agreements with buyers before showing them properties. This change ensures clarity and understanding between all parties involved. This contract is called the Residential Buyers Representation Agreement.

The Content of the Buyer Agreements states:

  • Clearly disclose the agent's compensation.

  • Prohibit the agent from receiving more than the agreed-upon amount.

  • Inform the buyer that fees are negotiable.

No Mandate for Buyer Representation:

The settlement does not require buyers to have a separate buyer's agent. Buyers can still choose to work directly with the listing agent, who represents the seller, if both parties agree.

Commission Considerations:

  • Buyer's Commission: The buyer's commission is always negotiable and agreed upon between the buyer and the agent. This flexibility has always been in place.

  • Seller's Choice: The seller may choose to pay the buyer's commission, cover part of it, or not pay it at all, depending on the agreement. This too has been standard practice.

  • Case-by-Case Basis: The specifics of commission payment can vary widely based on the property and the terms negotiated with the realtor and their brokerage. Again, this is not new.

Why the Change?

The primary difference now is the requirement for transparency. The NAR settlement mandates that these options be disclosed upfront in clear terms. This is to ensure all parties understand their choices and the associated costs from the beginning. This increased level of disclosure is the main outcome of the NAR settlement, aiming to enhance clarity and fairness in the real estate process.

Addressing Buyer Concerns:

I understand that many buyers are reluctant to sign a buyer's representation agreement just to see homes. This is a significant shift from the past, where such agreements were typically only signed when a buyer was ready to make an offer. As a realtor, I'm not thrilled about this change either, as it disrupts the traditional way of building relationships with clients. However, these regulations are now mandatory, and we must comply.

A Practical Solution: Limited-Time Buyer Agreements

To make this transition easier for you, I offer a practical workaround: limited-time buyer representation agreements. Here's how it works:

  • Short-Term Agreements: I can create an agreement for a short period, such as three days, one week, or another limited timeframe that suits your needs.

  • Flexibility and Freedom: This allows you to view homes without feeling locked into a long-term commitment with a realtor. It provides the flexibility to assess if the working relationship is right for you.

  • Win-Win Solution: This approach meets the regulatory requirements while addressing your reluctance to sign a long-term agreement immediately.

Moving Forward Together

My goal is to make your home-buying experience as stress-free as possible. I'm here to provide guidance, answer your questions, and help you navigate these changes with confidence. By offering limited-time buyer representation agreements, I strive to create a win-win situation for all parties involved.

If you have any questions or need further clarification, please don't hesitate to contact me, Amanda Allen, at Coldwell Banker. I'm dedicated to ensuring you have the best possible experience as you search for your new home.

I'm committed to adapting to these changes while prioritizing your needs and preferences. I look forward to working with you and helping you find your dream home in a way that feels comfortable and secure.

© 2024 Amanda Allen, Coldwell Banker. All rights reserved.

Amanda Allen Texas Realtor

Amanda Allen

Coldwell Banker Realtor, Heath TX


(903) 603-0648


Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you have any questions or if there is a real estate-related topic that you would like me to cover in a future blog post, please don't hesitate to let me know. I value your feedback and am always looking for ways to provide informative and engaging content for my readers. If you do suggest a topic that I end up writing about, I would be happy to give you credit for the suggestion.

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