This week we got our first glimpse into some of the practical, procedural changes that we’ll see in the aftermath of NAR’s commission lawsuit settlement.

May is Commission and Compensation Month here at Inman. We’ll sort through the noise and misinformation and provide you with the most up-to-date facts and strategies about how to prosper in the wake of the commission settlements. And look for straight-to-your inbox updates with Inman’s new weekly digest, Commission Chronicles.

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: We got our first glimpse into some of the practical, procedural changes that we’ll see in the aftermath of NAR’s commission lawsuit settlement.

Ever since we got the first intimations that the National Association of Realtors would be settling its commission-related lawsuits, we’ve been waiting and hoping for clarification about exactly how things would work in practical terms. We knew there’d be buyer agreements required, but what would they entail? How would compensation work? Where would communication on commission flow through if not from the MLS?

Now, NAR is starting to provide some of the nuts and bolts facts and figures that agents and brokers will need to navigate the market in the months ahead. They’re updating their Facts for Realtors page with settlement information as it becomes available, including more details about the practice changes everyone will need to get up to speed on in the days to come.

One interesting detail that has come to light via NAR’s new content was a new date for implementation. According to the executive summary NAR provided, the changes were approved by the trade group’s Leadership Team effective Aug. 17, 2024. Previously, changes were expected to roll out in mid-July.

EXTRA: NAR commission settlement rules will go into effect in August

Part of the reason for the change in deadline was because the August date was the earliest that a class notice could go out following April 24’s preliminary approval of the settlement. Final approval is currently scheduled for November 2024.

NAR clarifies when a buyer contract will be required under settlement by Andrea Brambila

Under the proposed settlement, which has already received preliminary approval, just marketing services to a buyer or just talking to a buyer on the seller’s behalf — for instance, at an open house or showing a client’s listing to an unrepresented buyer — does not mean you are “working with” a buyer, according to NAR’s updated FAQ.

But providing actual brokerage services to a buyer, i.e. identifying potential homes, arranging a showing, negotiating for the buyer, presenting the buyer’s offers, or performing other services for the buyer, are “working with” a buyer, the trade group said.

Alternatively, in a situation where the agent is an authorized dual agent and/or in a designated agency situation where the broker represents both the buyer and the seller but has different agents work with both, he or she is working with the buyer, as well as the seller, so a contract would be required before a home tour.

Don’t miss the chance to click through and dig into Brambila’s coverage, including:

  • What it means to tour a home
  • The difference between a written agreement and a written agency agreement
  • What the agreement must specify in regard to compensation
  • What happens to active agreements prior to the July deadline for changes

EXTRA: Zillow to offer short-term ‘non-exclusive’ touring contracts

Understanding what’s about to happen is one thing, but putting it to work in your business is something else. It requires knowledge and strategy since you’ll have to craft new conversations and new value propositions.

Differentiating your service now is essential since it gives buyers a reason to use you instead of the next buyer agent on the block — or the listing agent. Get your mind right, get your facts straight and learn to communicate the factors that make you the only game in town when it comes to stellar buyer services.

How buyer agents can level up amid commission uncertainty

Buyer’s agents have a critical responsibility to be the best they can be, new Inman contributor Filippo Incorvaia writes, as they navigate industry changes and advocate for themselves.

EXTRA: How to own your value in a post-NAR settlement world

Help buyers find their right-now home by selling the 10-block radius

No longer is finding the dream home the only consideration when looking for real estate. You must find a community fit for your buyers, too, new Inman contributor Charles Banfield writes.

EXTRA: 6 steps that transform neglected clients into lifelong partners

12 factors that convince a buyer to pay a full-service commission

Expressing your value to clients begins with knowing yourself, writes mega-team leader Carl Medford. You cannot articulate what you have never taken the time to determine on your own.

Christy Murdock is a freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. Connect with Writing Real Estate on Instagram and subscribe to the weekly roundup, The Ketchup.

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