In the worst housing market we’ve seen in a lifetime, home buyers and sellers finally have some good news. Yesterday’s settlement between the Department of Justice and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) prevents Realtors from punishing online brokers, who often give consumers a discounted commission rate.
Under NAR’s rules, your listing broker could opt-out of allowing your home to be displayed on other brokers’ web sites. How that could possibly be in the seller’s best interests has never been explained. But under the settlement, NAR has to scrap these rules and avoid future discrimination against online brokers.
This settlement should encourage more innovation and competition for both buyers and sellers, driving down costs and complexities. Hopefully this case has been a wake-up call to traditional Realtors, who need to invest in technology and new ways of providing information and service to home buyers and sellers if they want to remain relevant in the future.