Leave a Message

Thank you for your message. We will be in touch with you shortly.

Behind the Headlines

Jennie Wetter March 28, 2024
Do you want content like this delivered to your inbox?
By now you have almost certainly heard SOMETHING about major changes in real estate practice and commissions as a result of the National Association of Realtors reaching a settlement in class action lawsuits last week.
I say SOMETHING because there is SO much "noise" out there in every form of media, it's been almost impossible not to be drawn in.
I would love to tell you this post will set the record straight and provide full clarity as to what all of this means for you as the consumer, for us as brokers/agents, and for the industry in general moving forward, but that is not possible.  It's not possible because there is NO clarity to anything to this point.  I repeat, there is NO clarity! 
Try to remember we are in 2024, where grabbing headlines, media attention, and "click bait" for viewership is seemingly far more important than any form of clarity and truth.  Every media outlet, far too many agents and brokers, trade associations of all kinds, and even people who have zero connection to real estate have seized the opportunity to make headlines to try grabbing your attention over the proposed settlement and their interpretation of what it means.  YIKES!  
Here are a few tidbits of truth:
1)  I promise to stay on top of everything pertaining to these lawsuits, settlements, and upcoming changes to the future of buying and selling homes, and you can trust me and the Infinity Team to give you the straight answers to the very best of my/our knowledge.  ALWAYS!
2)  The settlement agreement that was reached between NAR and the plaintiffs of the Seller class action lawsuits is PROPOSED.  It must be approved by the courts, it could change, and none of this will happen overnight.  Yes, the settlement refers to July 1st implementation of changes.  That's an almost impossible task and the settlement may not even be approved by this date.  
3)  The DOJ is behind the scenes expressing their desire to make their own sweeping changes in the industry.  They could upend all that has been agreed upon at any point. 
4)  Our MLS, the Northwest MLS, is not owned by the Association of Realtors (NAR).  We are member owned, operate independently of NAR, & therefore we are not subject to the settlement.  
5)  Because our MLS is NOT owned by NAR, it's allowed Western Washington to be far ahead of almost everyone else in the industry for many years, implementing policies and procedures to increase transparency to YOU, our clients and customers.  The majority of the proposed settlement changes are already in practice here.  Furthermore, our legislature recently made proactive changes to the real estate agency statues to further protect the consumer.  Our MLS is in the process of evaluating and determining whether it's in your best interests to make further adjustments to our practices based on the national settlements.  More to follow as I learn more.
6)  There is NO SUCH THING as a "Standard 6 percent commission"  Commission has always been negotiable.  Particularly in Washington, for many years, the commission charged by a Listing Broker is completely separate from the offer of commission a seller makes to a Buyer Broker in a listing agreement.  This is known as a "decoupled agreement" and we've been on the forefront.  A seller has always had the option NOT to offer compensation to a Buyer Broker.  Now other states will have to comply.
7)  Sellers - You have, and will continue to have, the power to decide if you are going to offer to assist in paying compensation to a Buyer Broker in the same way you have the power to decide if you are willing to pay any kind of concessions to Buyers such as loan closing costs, inspection repairs, and price reductions to successfully complete your sale.  Buyer Brokers are extremely important to successful transactions AND to reducing your future liability to a disgruntled buyer.  They are not going away for good reason.  
8)  Buyers - as of January 1st, 2024, the law requires we have written service agreements with you, as soon as reasonably practicable, when you engage us to show homes and/or represent you in a transaction, so that you clearly understand our duties to you, our fees, and how those fees are to be paid.  Now more than ever, we have an opportunity to sit down and share our value proposition, our experience, and commitment to you at the outset.  
9)  Buyers - BEWARE!  Unfortunately, not all brokers have the same commitment to trust, transparency, and client service as we do at Infinity.  On a daily basis we are hearing stories of buyers being forced to sign exclusive agreements with Buyer Brokers when they have no idea what they have signed.  We're even hearing of brokers hosting open houses, forcing potential buyers who walk in the door to sign exclusive representation agreements, binding the Buyer to that broker in the future.  UGH!  
10)  At Infinity Real Estate, our commitment to YOU, our clients, and consumers is unwavering.  Earning your trust and your business through transparency, honesty, and ethical practices has ALWAYS been a core value and will not change.  We stand by our statement as proudly as ever that "WE are YOUR advocate, WE are YOUR partner, and WE have YOUR Back!"
It is an honor and privilege to assist each of you, and we are extremely grateful for the support you have given us.  Let us be your guide as all of this moves forward.  Feel free to reach out anytime with questions or further clarification.

Find Your Dream Home

Browse active listings in the area or contact us for off-market listings.

Home Search

What's Your Home Worth?

Have an expert help you find out what your home is really worth.

Home Valuation