NOTE: Before reading this post, please be aware that none of the content presented here is intended to be "LEGAL ADVICE".
We are only reporting the information that is currently available in the Public Domain. Consult with NAR or your own attorneys for advice.
Must Read for Florida Real Estate Agents:
Are you a LISTING AGENT (Seller's Agent) or a BUYER'S AGENT?
Hopefully as a Real Estate Professional, you are keeping up with 'Current Events" in the Local Real Estate Space.
The 3 Top Reasons to become the Premier "LISTING AGENT" or Seller's Agent in your Local Market.
- 1Protect your ability to EARN a Living
- 2Be in Control of your Income
- 3Generate Higher Commissions and secure Financial Independence.
Have you heard about the NAR LAWSUIT?
The NAR Lawsuit Update 2023
The NAR Lawsuit against agent commissions is now a class action. Buyside might be going bye-bye, and people are scared. But what can you do about it?
If you’re nervous about the NAR lawsuit, it’s hard to blame you…
The NAR Lawsuit Update 2023
In November 2020, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against NAR alleging that the organization had violated antitrust laws. The lawsuit specifically claims that NAR's rules for online property listings, commissions, and access to lockboxes have resulted in reduced competition and higher costs for home buyers and sellers.
The DOJ alleges that NAR's policies have prevented real estate agents from offering more innovative and cost-effective brokerage services, which could ultimately harm consumers. NAR has denied the allegations and has stated that it is committed to promoting competition and providing high-quality services to its members.
The lawsuit is ongoing, and it remains to be seen how it will be resolved. However, it highlights the importance of fair competition and transparency in the real estate industry, and the potential impact that industry regulations can have on consumers.
- The Moehrl case is now a class action covering thousands of home sellers across the country.
- Some industry observers think buyer’s agent commissions will shrink, if not disappear entirely.
- Zillow and other portals could benefit from a need for additional promotion of listings.
(54 Page Ruling - PDF)
Real Estate News Article:
What does this mean for Florida Realtors aka Real Estate Agents?
Real Estate Agents? Fee only Fiduciaries? In Florida? No... Or Maybe?
ACCORDING TO ChatGPT:
Could the NAR Moehrl case affect Realtors in Florida?
YES, the NAR Moehrl case could potentially affect Realtors in Florida and other states if it is re-filed and successfully pursued in court. If the plaintiffs were to win the case, it could lead to changes in the way that real estate commissions are negotiated and paid, which could impact how Realtors in Florida and other states conduct business.
One of the key issues in the Moehrl case is the practice of requiring all brokers who list a property on an MLS to make a unilateral, non-negotiable offer of compensation to any broker who finds a buyer for the property. This practice is common in many states, including Florida, and has been a longstanding part of the real estate industry. If the case were successful, it could potentially lead to changes in how commissions are negotiated and paid, and could impact how real estate transactions are conducted.
It is worth noting that the case was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice in November 2019, so it is unclear at this time whether it will be re-filed and pursued further. However, the case has drawn attention to issues related to real estate commissions and antitrust laws, and may lead to changes in the industry in the future.
The LAWSUIT could change things for Real Estate Agents in Florida.
When? That is the Million Dollar Question
What is the "Moehrl Case"?
The NAR Moehrl case refers to a class-action lawsuit filed against the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in March 2019. The lawsuit alleged that NAR and four of the largest real estate broker franchisors in the US - Realogy, HomeServices of America, Re/Max, and Keller Williams - violated federal antitrust laws by conspiring to require home sellers to pay inflated commissions to the brokers representing the buyers of their homes.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claimed that NAR's rules required all brokers who list a property on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to make a unilateral, non-negotiable offer of compensation to any broker who finds a buyer for the property, typically around 2.5-3% of the home's sale price. The plaintiffs argued that this rule prevented home sellers from negotiating lower commission rates and resulted in higher costs for sellers and ultimately for buyers.
The case was named after one of the plaintiffs, a home seller named Christopher Moehrl. In November 2019, the case was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs without prejudice, which means that the plaintiffs reserve the right to re-file the lawsuit in the future. It is unclear at this time if the case will be re-filed.
What should FLORIDA Realtors do to protect against the NAR Moerhl case?
As the NAR Moehrl case has been voluntarily dismissed without prejudice, it is unclear at this time whether it will be re-filed and pursued further. However, there are a few steps that Florida Realtors can take to protect themselves against potential legal challenges related to real estate commissions and antitrust laws:
READ MARCH 29th UPDATES:
Florida Real Estate Agents: Protect Your Career and Livelihood.
Stay informed: Keep up to date with the latest news and developments related to real estate commissions and antitrust laws. This will help you to stay aware of any potential legal challenges and to take appropriate action if necessary.
Be transparent: Ensure that you are transparent with your clients about how real estate commissions are calculated and paid, and about any potential conflicts of interest. This will help to build trust and avoid any misunderstandings.
Consider alternative commission structures: Explore alternative commission structures, such as flat fees or hourly rates, that may be more flexible and better suited to the needs of your clients.
Seek legal advice: If you are unsure about the legality of your commission structure or are facing legal challenges related to real estate commissions and antitrust laws, seek legal advice from a qualified attorney who specializes in this area.
By taking these steps, Florida Realtors can help to protect themselves against potential legal challenges related to real estate commissions and antitrust laws, and ensure that they are operating in compliance with all relevant regulations and laws.
So if being a LISTING AGENT is the Goal...
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Do More Research:
LISTING AGENT RESPONSIBILITIES:
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a listing agent's responsibilities include:
Representing the seller: The listing agent is responsible for representing the seller and promoting their interests throughout the real estate transaction.
Pricing the property: The listing agent must work with the seller to determine an appropriate listing price for the property based on market conditions and other factors.
Marketing the property: The listing agent is responsible for creating a marketing plan to promote the property to potential buyers, including listing the property on the MLS, advertising online and offline, and conducting open houses.
Providing property disclosures: The listing agent must ensure that all required property disclosures are provided to potential buyers, including any known defects or issues with the property.
Responding to offers: The listing agent is responsible for presenting any offers received to the seller and negotiating on their behalf to reach a mutually acceptable agreement with the buyer.
Facilitating the closing: The listing agent must work with the seller, buyer, and other parties involved in the transaction to ensure that the closing process goes smoothly and that all required documentation is completed.
Maintaining confidentiality: The listing agent must maintain confidentiality and protect the seller's interests throughout the transaction.
These are some of the key responsibilities of a listing agent, as outlined by NAR "National Association of Realtors".
However, it is important to note that the exact responsibilities may vary depending on the specific real estate transaction and the requirements of the seller.
listing agent vs selling agent:
In a real estate transaction, the listing agent and selling agent are two different roles.
A listing agent is responsible for representing the seller and marketing their property to potential buyers. They work with the seller to set an appropriate price, create a marketing plan, and advertise the property to attract potential buyers. Once a buyer is found, the listing agent presents any offers received to the seller and negotiates on their behalf to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
A selling agent, also known as a buyer's agent, represents the buyer in the transaction. Their role is to help the buyer find properties that meet their needs and preferences, and to negotiate on their behalf to reach a mutually acceptable agreement with the seller. The selling agent is typically paid a commission from the seller's proceeds from the sale.
It is worth noting that in some cases, the listing agent may also represent the buyer as a dual agent. In this scenario, the agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the transaction and must maintain neutrality and fairness to both parties. However, dual agency is regulated by state law and is not allowed in some states.
Overall, the listing agent is responsible for representing the seller and marketing their property, while the selling agent represents the buyer and helps them find and purchase a property that meets their needs.
Inman Article regarding the NAR Lawsuit
Bombshell multibillion-dollar commission suit now a class action
The "Real Deal" article about the NAR Lawsuit
Monumental NAR lawsuit snags class action status
Federal commission suit alleges antitrust violations by trade group, brokerages