Real Estate

Does The Commission Lawsuit Spell The End For NAR? The Real Word

This week, Byron Lazine and Nicole White are talking about year-end home sales numbers, Jason Oppenheim’s commission lawsuit comments, and the weekly media review Left, Middle, Right.

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Byron Lazine and Nicole White are two agents in Connecticut who give us their thoughts on the week’s news every Friday in “The Real Word,” a weekly video column on Inman.

This week, Lazine and White are talking about year-end home sales numbers, Jason Oppenheim’s commission lawsuit comments, and the weekly media review Left, Middle, Right.

Topic No. 1: Attom’s Year-End 2022 US Home Sales Report

U.S. homesellers’ profit in 2022 was substantial, according to ATTOM’s Year-End report. Based on this, White believes that the market moving forward will be strong, driven in large part by a lack of inventory. Lazine agrees, saying that even if 2022 was the peak, as some people think, we’re on the back side of the peak, so we’re still near peak prices. This is especially true for homeowners selling in Q1 or Q2 of 2023.

Topic No. 2: Jason Oppenheim’s commission lawsuit warning

Jason Oppenheim of Netflix’s Selling Sunset says that the class action commission lawsuit could be “Armageddon” for the real estate industry, leading to a mass exodus of agents. White also believes that agents who are less skilled in communicating their value will exit the industry.

Oppenheim says that getting rid of dual agency is one possible solution in the aftermath of a change to the commission structure. For the sake of the consumer, White said, she’d rather get rid of dual agency and continue the commission structure as-is instead of changing the commission structure and keeping dual agency.

Lazine agreed, adding that if NAR loses this lawsuit, they are finished. This could be bad for real estate because it could lead to more government oversight and regulation.

Left, Middle, Right

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We can’t talk to our consumers about things that don’t address their most common fear, Lazine said. Affordability on a month-to-month basis has to be part of the equation for buyers.

We should start at the basic: What can you afford? Agents should help buyers figure out that number, then help them figure out how to buy if they’re going to stay in place for seven to 10 years. That’s how you build trust and rapport.

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Know that when these things happen, Lazine said, you have a few days when the market stops. Take your days off during that time rather than afterward. In addition, agents should get out and cover local stories and put them up on social media. It’s a great way to open up a dialogue with followers.

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