NAR (And Now Compass) Settled. Y’all Had Thoughts: The Download

Real estate professionals respond in the aftermath of NAR’s big commission lawsuit settlement and Compass’ brand new one.

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Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: Real estate pros react in the aftermath of NAR’s big settlement, and Compass’ brand new one.

It seems we’ve been living in a state of uncertainty for years as the commission lawsuits wended their way through the courts, culminating in the Halloween shocker of a multibillion-dollar verdict in Sitzer | Burnett.

Since then, industry entities who had underestimated the potential impact of the commission suits — and who are now facing a proliferation of copycat lawsuits — have started drilling down and looking for solutions in the form of their own settlements to try to put the lawsuits to bed.

Last week, NAR’s surprise announcement of a $418 million settlement, along with a host of potential changes to the way commissions are disclosed and paid, had Realtors reeling and has fueled fear, frustration and, in some quarters, rejoicing for finally putting an end to at least some of the industry’s uncertainty.

BREAKING: Because a Friday cannot exist without a major development in this ongoing saga, early this morning Compass announced its own $57.5 million settlement.

Of course, we were on top of the initial news, but we’re not stopping there. As always, we’re providing a place for folks to respond, reflect, get educated and even freak out when warranted. This week we’re looking at the aftermath of the latest settlements and helping you forge a path forward.

Ready to sound off? Join the conversation in this week’s Pulse survey: What’s the biggest challenge with NAR’s proposed settlement?

While many industry insiders expected NAR to eventually reach a settlement, last Friday’s news of a settlement still came as a surprise to many.

NAR said it worked with the plaintiffs in multiple lawsuits across the country to come up with a list of reforms and pay a $418 million penalty to protect the organization, and two-thirds of its members, from multiple pending lawsuits.

Narratives differed inside and outside of the industry, with some saying that the NAR settlement would put downward pressure on commissions and home prices and others focusing on the number of agents who would be forced out of the industry.

In addition, much of the focus has been on who’s not covered by the settlement, including more than 90 brokerages with a residential transaction volume in 2022 of more than $2 billion.

READ: Who’s out: The brokerages not covered in the NAR settlement

Real estate agents are, of course, known for being social creatures with well-established public-facing digital profiles. That offered the opportunity for many to take to their social media channels, explaining, complaining and correcting what many saw as media misinformation.

READ: Agents storm TikTok with flood of complaints after NAR settlement

As always, we’re hyper-focused on practical, real-world responses to the news. Through the Inman contributor program, we ensure that you have real-time, boots-on-the-ground insights to help you navigate every change that comes along, no matter how earth-shaking. You’ll also find agents and brokers just like you sounding off and asking the tough questions.

Here’s some of the best info and advice we shared with you this week:

Thanks to NAR settlement, real estate is in its Wild West era

Bi-coastal broker Cara Ameer outlines the problems, concerns and frustrations inherent in the terms of NAR’s commission lawsuit settlement as agents learn to navigate a new reality.

READ: NAR settlement may disrupt mortgage partner agent programs

After the NAR settlement, 5 keys to buyer relationship marketing

NAR’s $418M settlement throws a wrench at the MLS. So now what?

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