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Navigating the New Landscape: How the NAR Settlement Affects Homebuyers


How the NAR Settlement Affects Homebuyers

Paul Kaplan

I've made it a professional goal to be known as a leader in the Real Estate industry in the Palm Springs market for the past 20+ years...

I've made it a professional goal to be known as a leader in the Real Estate industry in the Palm Springs market for the past 20+ years...

Mar 28 5 minutes read

You've likely seen headlines about the recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) settlement impacting buyer agent commissions. It's a significant change for the real estate industry in Palm Springs as well as the entire country, and we at The Paul Kaplan Group, Inc, understand you might have questions about how it affects your homebuying journey.

In our latest blog post, we break down the key points of the settlement and explain what it means for you as a buyer. We explore what to expect, how negotiations might change, and how we can help you navigate this new landscape.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reached a settlement that will change the way buyer agent compensation is handled. This settlement is scheduled to take effect in July 2024, but it's important for homebuyers to understand how it might impact their search, with the caveat that the dust hasn't completely settled yet.

What's Changing?

Previously, compensation for buyer agents was often included in the listing price of a home. Under the new rules, this information won't be readily available on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  This means:

  • Meeting with an Agent is Key: Buyers will need to have a conversation with a real estate agent to discuss their options for buyer agent compensation. At The Paul Kaplan Group, we believe in transparency and will offer different service levels with varying compensation plans for you to choose from.
  • Signed Agreement Before Showings: Before showing you any properties, you'll need a signed agreement outlining buyer representation. This ensures everyone is on the same page about compensation.

What Does This Mean for You?

This settlement introduces more flexibility in buyer agent compensation, potentially impacting several aspects of your homebuying journey:

  • Seller's Compensation: Sellers may or may not be willing to cover the buyer's agent's commission in the listing price. However, they might offer a concession to cover this fee.
  • Negotiating with Sellers: You can negotiate with the seller to include the buyer's agent's fee in their concessions. If not, you might end up covering this fee as per your agreement with your buyer's agent.
  • Targeting Properties: You could choose to focus on properties where the seller offers to cover the buyer's agent's fee.
  • Financing Options: In some cases, your lender might be able to include the buyer's agent's fee in your mortgage loan.

Going Solo: Weighing the Risks

The settlement opens the possibility for buyers to approach sellers directly to negotiate a purchase without an agent. However, we at The Paul Kaplan Group strongly advise against this approach. While dual agency, where one agent represents both buyer and seller, is still permissible in California, it presents inherent conflicts of interest. Imagine a court case where the prosecutor also defends the defendant – it's simply not ideal for securing the best outcome for either party.

In a real estate transaction, an experienced buyer's agent acts as your advocate, looking out for your best interests throughout the process.  They can negotiate the best possible price, identify potential issues with the property, and guide you through complex paperwork.  Going solo means sacrificing this crucial representation and potentially leaving yourself vulnerable to unforeseen challenges.

The Paul Kaplan Group: Your Trusted Partner in a Changing Market

While the NAR settlement is a significant development, it's important to note that appeals are possible, and the real estate industry might undergo various interpretations of the settlement terms. Here at The Paul Kaplan Group, we're committed to staying on top of these changes and keeping you informed.  We'll navigate the evolving landscape with you and ensure you understand how it affects your homebuying journey.  Contact us today for a free consultation and let's discuss your options! 760-459-1396 or [email protected]


The new settlement brings more options to the table, but it also emphasizes the importance of clear communication with your buyer's agent.  We're here to help you make informed decisions and find your perfect Palm Springs oasis, even amidst the changing landscape!  CLICK HERE for more information about buying a home in the Palm Springs area. 

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