February 3

Watch and Win!


After months of litigation from plaintiffs’ attorneys alleging that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) dictates real estate agent commissions, the trade group has finally taken a stand to clarify its position.

In a recently released video, NAR interim CEO Nykia Wright emphatically stated that the claim that NAR controls real estate professionals’ pay is completely false.

Wright firmly asserted, “NAR does not establish commission rates, nor has it ever done so, and it never will. This is the unequivocal truth.”

She went on to address the negative portrayal of the industry by certain plaintiffs’ lawyers, sensationalist reporters, and individuals with limited knowledge of the real estate business.

The influential trade group suffered a significant blow in October when it lost a $5.3 billion class-action lawsuit in Missouri, known as Sitzer/Burnett. The jury concluded that NAR and various real estate brokerages colluded to stabilize or increase commissions, utilizing NAR’s cooperative compensation rule as a means to achieve this.

NAR is currently facing nearly two dozen additional commission-related lawsuits across the country.

During the video, Wright also tackled the argument that the internet age and available tools for homebuyers should have reduced the cost of using a buyer’s agent. Michael Ketchmark, the attorney who won the Sitzer/Burnett case, contends that the workload of buyer’s agents has diminished with the advent of the internet.

Wright countered this notion by stating, “While the internet can be a valuable tool, it cannot replace the essential services provided by Realtor agents. A real estate transaction is far from a simple click-and-purchase process, akin to buying a plane ticket online. The majority of Americans choose to engage a real estate professional when buying or selling a home, not out of obligation, but because of the invaluable assistance they provide in navigating the challenges inherent in the process.”

The trade organization highlighted various ways in which it supports Realtors, such as advocacy, lobbying, training, education, and professional certifications. According to a statement accompanying the video, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has been at the forefront of the industry for over a century, prioritizing ethics, professionalism, advocacy, and consumer satisfaction. This has led to transparent and competitive marketplaces, as well as stronger communities. Additionally, the video addressed the emergence of a new association called the American Real Estate Association, founded by Mauricio Umansky and Jason Haber, who are critical of NAR. Despite the competition, NAR welcomes anyone who can match their impact and provide similar value. The organization takes pride in their work, helping sellers achieve competitive prices and buyers find their dream homes. Recently, Kevin Sears was appointed as the new president of NAR, succeeding Tracy Kasper, who resigned due to alleged blackmail. Kasper had taken over in August following a sexual harassment scandal that led to the resignation of her predecessor, Kenny Parcell. Furthermore, several long-time NAR staff members, including CEO Bob Goldberg and head of HR Donna Gland, have also departed since the $5.3 billion Sitzer/Burnett verdict in Missouri.
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