We all know that change can be good, if not sometimes painful? What you NEED TO KNOW is that there are proposed changes to the Real Estate Industry – that COULD make a real difference to YOU – as the consumer (buyer or seller). *** LONGER POST WARNING 😉 ***
I know you think this has already happened with the increased higher interest rates – right? Yep, that is one change that certainly has impacted everyone.
You also may know that the low inventory and higher purchase prices have continued – and are projected to continue for years – also correct!
However, the little known discussion that has been playing out for a number of years now – with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and National Association of Realtors (NAR) – is something “I” believe will be a BIGGER IMPACT and CHANGE TO THE INDUSTRY than most anyone even realizes.
Now while this may not be decided this year, maybe not even next year – what I see is the tsunami effect of things that is building: low inventory / higher prices; higher interest rates; and THEN if we get way-laid with the change to Realtor Compensation as proposed – the CONSUMER LOOSES! How? You may be asking…
Let’s say that for the 115+years now that NAR and Real Estate has been established, there is a way for a SELLER to list their home for sale, having professional representation by their Realtor for their best interests AND in that same agreement compensation is agreed to and offered for a BUYER’s Relator to also be paid. This works well, is openly noted and shared in the listing services of our MLS (which is solely structured around that compensation agreement BTW). Yes, Sellers can decide to sell on their own and NOT USE a REALTOR; just as Buyers can decide to make an offer and NOT USE a REALTOR – BUT, if either party uses a Realtor under the current agreements – each party is PROTECTED AND REPRESENTED in a FIDUCIARY ROLE that is bound by ethics and rules. (If I am working for the Seller – then I HAVE TO PROTECT THEIR INTEREST; If I am working for the Buyer – then I HAVE TO PROTECT THEIR INTEREST) you get the point??
Why does this work?? Because the offer of compensation is addressed with the LISTING with the SELLER and both sides of the transaction are ASSURED OF REPRESENATION. And each Realtor is getting PAID at the CLOSING of the DEAL from the Seller Proceeds.
If a Seller does a For Sale By Owner – there are NO LEVELS OF PROFESSIONAL REPRESENTATION, NO protocols of disclosures or process, and it really becomes a BUYER BEWARE (Caveat Emptor) situation.
If a Buyer decides to purchase without a Realtor Representation, well they can certainly choose to navigate the purchase, finance, inspection, appraisal and closing process ALL ON THEIR OWN – however, each of those steps COULD present an issue for those who may not be familiar with or understanding of their “rights”.
Now – back to the PROPOSED CHANGE – for whatever reason – there is a BUG up someone’s crawl that is saying this system (well proven over the 115 years) that is UNFAIR. The change is to have Sellers Pay for their Realtor Services and the Buyers to Pay for their Realtor Services. And I know, on the service – everyone THINKS that is an equitable resolution.
HOWEVER, what you don’t realize – while the Seller is likely MAKING MONEY ON THE TRANSACTION AND ABLE TO PAY THEIR REALTOR FEES AT CLOSING – the BUYER is BRINGING MONEY TO THE TABLE TO CLOSE: either in the form of their LOAN (which currently ONLY can cover the mortgage expenses), or their own FUNDS OUT OF POCKET.
I’m going to now give an EXAMPLE of what a Buyer Scenario looks like: Buyer decides they want to buy house at $100,000 (good luck finding that right now! – but easy numbers help make the point)
Buyer is “pre-approved” with a lender who has indicated the type of loan they qualify for – FHA may be 3.5% down (or $3500 down), plus closing costs and loan origination fees – well, let’s just call this a Total of about $6000 that will be needed for the Buyer to Close the Loan.
The “process” should / could involve an Inspection ($500) BUYER PAYS OUT OF POCKET AT THE TIME; and an Appraisal ($400) BUYER PAYS OUT OF POCKET TO SCHEDULE. There could be additional inspection costs (termite, well, radon, etc) all of which would ADD TO THE OUT OF POCKET COST – and ALL PAID BEFORE THE CLOSING BY THE BUYER.
To be “safe” and for Buyers to have some understanding of what they need to BUY a house, I use GENERAL NUMBERS LIKE THIS TO PREPARE THEM, and also to gauge their financial ability to make this decision to purchase. If they have ~10% of the PRICE OF THE HOME as funds available for them to use – THEN this may be a deal for the Buyer.
BUT NOW – the Proposed Change, is stating the BUYER is to PAY FOR THEIR REALTOR SERVICES – which as indicated is NOT ABLE TO BE ROLLED INTO THE LOAN (currently) so will be OUT OF POCKET COST. If the Buyer then has to come up with an extra $1000, $2000 or $3000 + to pay for their Realtor Services… DO YOU THINK THAT IS AN UNFAIR HARDSHIP??
I believe that this proposed Change is not only UNFAIR to BUYERS, it puts them in jeopardy to decide to NOT USE A REALTOR (saving the money) but loosing out on their RIGHTS AND REPRESENTATION. I believe this proposed Change is a TERRIBLE SHIFT TO AN INDUSTRY whose sole business has been based on Ethics, Integrity and FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITIES FOR OUR CLIENTS. It is a GAME CHANGER and NOT IN A GOOD WAY.
Why do I go to conferences, pay DUES and work hard for my clients? Because it is something I take personally, it is a DUTY I feel, and it is an HONOR THAT I SERVE. Having an industry change such as this come along and “knock out” all the 20+ years of experience of my service is a SLAP IN THE FACE. DOJ should be asking the consumers if they are REALLY READY to carry the burden of not only having higher prices due to the lack of inventory (and many governmental shortages and failures), to the higher interest rates (again, due to governmental failures and oversight), to NOW – the proposed BURDEN of having to pay for their “rights” to be a protected BUYER DURING THE HOME PURCHASE PROCESS with their Realtor Services NOW BEING ON THEM DIRECTLY.
Yes, I could go on and on about this – with REAL LIFE EXAMPLES of how I not only had Sellers who made MONEY on their Real Estate transactions – but that they GLADLY PAID FOR THE REALTOR SERVICES FOR BUYER INCLUDED, and knew / know that was the way the process amicably worked for ALL.
And more importantly, I can tell you about REAL LIFE EXAMPLES of Buyers who NEVER THOUGHT THEY COULD OWN A HOME, were negotiated into deals that WORKED for them and made them HAPPY HOME OWNERS – with as LITTLE OUT OF POCKET AS POSSIBLE – to which they were FULLY AWARE OF AND ABLE TO PAY, mainly because there was NO ADDED COST OUT OF POCKET TO THEM FOR MY SERVICES.
And, to go a step further – yes, I have the HORROR STORIES as well of people who LOST OUT because of decisions they made WITHOUT THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OF ME (or other REALTORS) as a result of their trying to “SAVE SOME MONEY”.
On the record I will say all of this, and what I believe is that ANYTIME SOMEONE IS TRYING TO TAKE AWAY THE RIGHT OF ANOTHER (in any form: out-right change to constitution or bylaws or process rules) THEN THERE IS ALWAYS A GAIN FOR THOSE SEEKING THE CHANGE and NOT A BENEFIT FOR THOSE WHO ARE AFFECTED.
And my passion to serve is the reason MY CLIENTS continue to use me for their Real Estate needs – they KNOW I am going to STAND UP, SPEAK UP and VOTE in this Industry for the RIGHTS OF THE CONSUMERS.
Here’s a few links if you’d like to see more: