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Baldwin REALTORS® Association Responds to NAR's Litigation Resolution and Compensation Disclosure Changes

Robertsdale, AL — March 22, 2024 — In response to recent developments announced by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), Baldwin REALTORS® Association, the local arm of the trade organization for REALTORS® in Baldwin County and the Gulf Coast region, offers insights tailored to our local community.

 

On Friday, March 15, 2024, NAR announced a settlement, which aims to end claims related to broker commissions. This proposed agreement, still pending court approval, removes the ability for sellers to advertise buyer-broker compensation on the MLS and requires negotiations regarding compensation to occur directly between the parties in each transaction. 

 

A false narrative that has been circulating is that there is a standard set commission rate for real estate agents. In reality, NAR does not set commissions; they are negotiable. The rule being eliminated is the requirement that commissions be advertised on the MLS platform. Baldwin REALTORS® reaffirms that commissions are negotiable and stresses the significance of transparent negotiations between parties. "Our association remains dedicated to fostering fair and transparent real estate transactions while adhering to antitrust compliance guidelines," states Jennifer Foutch, Executive Officer of Baldwin REALTORS®.

 

While NAR asserts no wrongdoing, the agreement reflects its commitment to resolving issues in a manner beneficial to its members and consumers. The settlement provides a path forward.

 

"The value of a REALTOR® has not changed. They remain the REAL Expert, Advocate, and Advisor for home buyers and sellers," emphasizes Foutch. "Our members continue to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and service, providing invaluable guidance throughout the real estate transaction process."

 

However, the association acknowledges potential challenges for first-time homebuyers and lower-income buyers if an offer of buyer-broker compensation is not provided by the selling party. "Without an offer of buyer-broker compensation from the selling party, first-time homebuyers and lower-income buyers may experience difficulty in obtaining a realtor expert to walk them through the homebuying process," says Jaime Cooper, 2024 President of Baldwin REALTORS®. This is due in part to current mortgage financing rules which limit how buyer-side commissions can be financed. "Homeownership is the fastest way to build wealth in our economy and we want that dream of homeownership to be widely available”.

 

As America's largest trade association, NAR's efforts shape the real estate landscape nationwide. As the local arm in Baldwin County and the surrounding Southern region, Baldwin REALTORS® stands ready to support our members and uphold the highest standards of professionalism and service.

 

 

About Baldwin REALTORS® 

Baldwin REALTORS® is the source for real estate in Southern Alabama. We provide resources, education and tools to over 3,000 professionals across the region. We work to protect the interests of property owners, and our members serve buyers and sellers as REAL Advocates, Advisors, and Experts. Realtors agree to abide by a strict code of ethics and are held to a high ethical standard by their peers through their association membership. The term Realtor is a federally registered trademark owned by the National Association of REALTORS® and denotes membership in the Nonprofit Association.

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