Real Estate

As RE/MAX Settles, It’s Time To Re-Think Buyer-Side Chats

No one can predict the future, but you can prepare. Find out what to prepare for and pick up the tools you’ll need at the immersive Virtual Inman Connect on Nov. 1-2, 2023. And don’t miss Inman Connect New York on Jan. 23-25, 2024, where AI, capital, and more will be center stage. Bet big on the roaring future, and join us at Connect.

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: With the RE/MAX settlement, it’s time to take a hard look at buyer value-adds.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the way you handle buyers is about to change. That’s because RE/MAX is the latest big-box, big-name, big-time brokerage to cut a deal on the bombshell commission lawsuits, changing their practices, according to a statement by Michael Ketchmark, lead trial counsel for the plaintiffs in the Sitzer/Burnett case, so that they’re “no longer forcing homesellers to pay buyer’s agents.”

On Monday, RE/MAX and plaintiffs for the Sitzer/Burnett lawsuit, which is scheduled for trial Oct. 16, filed a notice in the U.S. District Court in Western Missouri alerting the court that RE/MAX had agreed to settle all of the claims against the company as part of a proposed nationwide class settlement. The deal was jointly negotiated with the plaintiffs in the larger bombshell suit known as Moehrl.

“The Settlement resolves all claims in the Lawsuits and similar claims on a nationwide basis against RE/MAX … and releases RE/MAX and the Company, their subsidiaries and affiliates, and RE/MAX sub-franchisors, franchisees and their sales associates in the United States from the Claims,” the SEC filing said.

“By the terms of the Settlement, RE/MAX agreed to pay a total settlement amount of $55.0 million … into a qualified settlement fund. In addition, RE/MAX agreed to make certain changes to its business practices.”

While the settlement awaits approval, agents and brokers are already looking ahead to the ways they’ll rethink their buyer commission setup. At the same time, they’re thinking through the implications, including the fact that more buyers may simply choose to work with the listing agent or, worse yet, try to go it alone.

How do you make your value proposition practically irresistible? How do you ensure that buyers want to work with you instead of just taking you on as a buyer’s agent because your services come at no cost?

Today on The Download, we’re looking at ways to make sure you’re doing everything you can to add value at every buyer consultation.

5 ways to encourage buyers in the current market

In today’s market, you may be coming up against buyer hesitation as interest rates (and home prices) remain elevated. Your challenge is to inspire buyers — compel them to buy and convey the advantages. Here are Mauricio Umansky’s tips for doing just that.

5 ways to bring the wow-factor with your first-time homebuyers

Many would-be homeowners have been scared away by the challenges of today’s market, Realtor Jonathan Pressman writes. For buyers who are determined, though, you can offer the expertise and tools that will lead to success. What’s more, if you play your cards right, you may just have a client (and a referral source) for life.

Don’t let these 9 hurdles halt your buyer deals

Coach and author Darryl Davis is an expert on every aspect of the buyer journey, from lead gen to the closing table — not to mention post-closing keep-in-touch strategies. However, he knows that there are barriers that sometimes get in the way of a successful buyer transaction. Here he offers words of wisdom to minimize the number of unpleasant surprises you and your buyer have to endure on the way to moving day.

EXTRA: Nail the forgotten art of the buyer consult

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