Surprise! Agents Won’t Work for Free

In typical lockstep fashion the mainstream media has had a heyday with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) lawsuit settlement and the fallout they wish upon real estate agents. Almost every news outlet has predicted the demise of real estate agents and heralded the destruction of what they call the “cartel” of real estate brokers.

The reality is that the situation regarding how real estate is bought and sold in this country has not changed. Buyers and Sellers still want to use agents to navigate complex real estate transactions and they still value the advice agents are obligated to offer as a fiduciary of the client.

The stories of buyers forgoing agents to hire attorneys, or go it alone, are anecdotal. The fact is 90% of people in this country know the value of real estate agents and that trend will continue.

A buyer can always hire an attorney for a real estate transaction and pay them hourly. The attorney won’t be able to show homes, offer advice on pricing, inspections, loans, vendors, neighborhoods, schools or futures developments that impact the property. The charges pile up--even if there is no sale. Agents are paid when they do a good job; otherwise, they get nothing.

During the wild wild west days of Covid many buyers told harrowing tales of writing 20 offers before they got a home. Guess what? The attorney will be paid hourly for each of those offers that went nowhere. Agents sometimes work for months to get a client a home and only get paid when they are successful. There is no other business in this country where someone will work for a client for years and not receive a dime if there is not a transaction.

The media stretched the truth about how much lower commissions are in Europe for real estate agents. This is true but that is because buyers and sellers are left to navigate the real estate transaction on their own and agents are only permitted to perform minimal tasks for them. The lower commissions also don’t reflect that in Europe much of the transaction expense is paid to an attorney. It’s not any cheaper in Europe to buy or sell; the fees are just paid to different parties.

The NAR lawsuit settlement will change the way incentives to buyers are advertised. What hasn’t changed is that buyers and sellers want to use agents, and the best agents are worth every penny they are paid. No lawsuit is changing that.

About Dripping Springs Elite Real Estate Professionals

Dripping Springs Elite is NOT a brokerage. We are a professional organization of top real estate agents in the Dripping Springs area from different brokerages who collaborate and work together to make buying and selling the best we can be for our clients. DS Elite is also dedicated to building up our community and its nonprofits to strengthen the quality of life for all residents. Contact one of our agents today!