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Understanding the NAR Settlement: Implications for Sellers of Real Property

McGregor Palms Realty For Sale Sign with NAR Logo

The recent settlement with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) heralds significant changes in the real estate industry, particularly affecting how property listings are managed. Set to take effect in mid-July 2024, these changes are reshaping the landscape for all parties involved in a real estate transaction, including sellers.

This article will explore the wide-ranging effects of the new settlement, detailing the potential advantages and disadvantages that property sellers in Florida, as well as across the nation, will encounter. We will delve into how these changes under the new settlement terms are set to reshape the selling experience, impacting everything from commission structures to transaction dynamics.


What the New Settlement Will Change

  • MLS Commission Communication: One of the pivotal changes is that commissions for the buyer's agent can no longer be communicated via the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Instead, these must be negotiated individually with each offer, and can vary by agent or buyer.
  • No Required Buyer's Agent Compensation: Sellers are not obligated to offer any compensation to the buyer's agent as a condition for listing their property in the MLS, providing flexibility in how they handle these negotiations.
  • Seller's Agent Fees: Sellers must still pay their own REALTORS / real estate agents who represent them during the transaction, ensuring professional guidance is maintained.

The changes brought about by the NAR settlement arguably benefit sellers more than buyers and involve fewer adjustments for sellers than might be initially perceived. For sellers, the ability to negotiate or even opt out of offering any compensation to the buyer’s agent directly can lead to significant savings on commissions, which traditionally formed a substantial part of the seller’s closing costs. This new autonomy allows sellers to potentially reduce the overall expense involved in selling their property, making it financially advantageous.


Pros of the NAR Settlement for Sellers

  • Greater Negotiation Power: The new rules enhance sellers' negotiation power by allowing them to decide if and how much they want to compensate the buyer's agent. This can be tactically decided per offer, giving sellers a strategic advantage which can significantly lower their overall transaction costs.
  • Enhanced Flexibility in Market Strategy: Sellers can use the commission they offer as a strategic tool to attract buyers and their agents, especially in more competitive markets. Offering incentives could potentially expedite the sale and possibly affect the final sale price positively.
  • Increased Transparency: Advocates argue that the prohibition of listing commissions in the MLS pushes towards a market where sellers, buyers, and their agents must engage in direct, open negotiations on each deal, thereby increasing the transparency of the costs involved.

Cons of the NAR Settlement for Sellers

  • More Complex Negotiations: The need to negotiate commission with each buyer’s agent introduces complexity and variability that could complicate closing deals, particularly for sellers unfamiliar with such negotiations.
  • Potential Market Confusion: As the market adjusts to these new norms, there may be initial confusion and a period of instability. This could temporarily affect how quickly properties are sold, including their market prices.
  • Increased Burden on Sellers: Sellers might face increased pressures to market their properties more aggressively if they opt not to offer buyer's agent commissions, potentially limiting their exposure to prospective buyers.
  • Risk of Reduced Buyer Interest: If sellers choose not to offer compensation to buyer's agents, their properties might be less appealing to buyers who rely on agent representation. Buyers might opt to view and only consider properties that offer compensation, thus potentially lengthening the time to sell.


The NAR settlement introduces a paradigm shift in the real estate selling process with both opportunities and challenges for sellers of real property. It grants them more control over financial aspects of the transaction but also requires a proactive and informed approach to navigate these new waters effectively. As these regulations are set to change the real property industry by mid-July 2024, consulting with a seasoned and trusted real estate professional is advisable to best utilize the new system to the seller’s strategic advantage.


Additional Note:

It should be mentioned that even under previous NAR rules, sellers who placed their property on the MLS have always possessed the flexibility to negotiate the commissions paid to the buyer's agent. Sellers could opt to offer a traditional percentage, or the compensation offered could be as low as one dollar, demonstrating significant latitude in determining these costs even prior to the agreement. The recent NAR settlement advances this flexibility further by allowing sellers the unprecedented option of offering zero dollars commission to the buyer's agent.

Published by: Lester Alfonso - 11 April, 2024
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