What’s Real About the Real Estate Headlines?

If you follow any major publication, you know that real estate and real estate commissions have been a hot topic as of late. However, the headlines aren’t always what they seem, so my goal with this month’s blog is to help you understand how to decipher the real-world vs the headlines.

One major discrepancy in how the media is reporting on the news about real estate commissions is that they are saying real estate commissions have been set unfairly and are regulated by the National Association of Realtors. However, real estate commissions have always been negotiable. In Madison alone, there are firms where you can spend a very nominal flat fee to “list” your home on the MLS – this flat fee includes only the MLS input, and not anything else (professional photography, contract writing, negotiations, etc). Other firms/teams/agents offer an assortment of turnkey solutions for home sellers at a higher commission rate. These solutions may be including, but not limited to: professional staging and deep cleaning, professional photography and videography, targeted social media ads, mailers (just an example of the services we offer at Husky Homes!).

Another headline hot topic is pertaining to a buyer agent’s offer of compensation. Currently on our MLS, there is a field where the offer of compensation is shown to buyer agents (i.e. what is the listing brokerage is offering to pay a buyer agent’s brokerage to procure a buyer for their listing, out of their total commission paid by the seller). This offer of compensation field will no longer be a required field in the future. While it has been a required field on our MLS, any offer of compensation for a buyer agent could always go into that box – 3%, 2.5%, 1%, $1000, etc. The change moving forward will be that this will no longer shown on the MLS nor a required field; therefore, an offer of compensation for a buyer agent is not required.  

Husky Homes believes in proving our value to earn our commission as buyer agents and listing agents, and we do this through a robust set of services that ultimately allows a consumer to work with us to buy or sell a home with less stress. We have all the tools and the proven track record to help a homeowner sell their home for more money in less time, and we have all the systems to lead a buyer into a successful contract to make a smart investment into their future. This is why commissions have always been and will continue to be negotiable- they should and are paid in direct proportion to the value being offered. We believe in the tremendous value that a buyer agent and listing agent provides to a real estate transaction, and we further believe that being paid fairly for our time, the value we provide, and these services ensures that all parties to these transactions have their own professional representation and the best possible outcomes.

Another change that you might be hearing about in the news that is factual is that starting in July, buyers will be required to sign a Buyer Agency Agreement prior to any showings when working with a buyer agent. At Husky Homes, the process that our agents follow is to have a home buying consultation with all new homebuyers, and to discuss our services and responsibilities as a buyer agent – including discussing the buyer agency agreement prior to showings actively happening. Unfortunately, there are many agents who do not operate the same way, and these agents do not discuss buyer agency with purchasers until it’s time to write an offer – this has always been incorrect.

We believe these headline changes will enforce transparency and that they will ultimately set the bar higher for agents in our profession, providing a higher quality service to all real estate clients. One thing to keep in mind with all of this is that the ruling is not yet 100% final; here in Madison, we are still waiting on exactly what other changes may come to our specific MLS, and exactly when. We will be sure to educate our local consumers when we know the exact extent of any changes to come. If you have any additional questions about what you’re reading in the news, do not hesitate to reach out. 

Posted by Alison Crim on
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