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The Reality of Real Estate

HAR.com is your home for the facts
The reality of real estate is that the market is always evolving. There is a lot of misinformation being reported about the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) settlement. We want you to have the facts. HAR has put together valuable resources and information about the settlement’s impact on home buyers and sellers as well as the benefits of working with a REALTOR®.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Compensation is currently negotiable and will continue to be negotiable. Compensation should always be negotiated between agents and the consumers they serve.
MLS participants working on behalf of buyers would be required to enter into written agreements with their buyers before touring a home. These agreements can help consumers understand exactly what services and value will be provided, and for how much.
After the new rule goes into effect, listing brokers and sellers could continue to offer compensation for buyer broker services, but such offers could not be communicated via the MLS. The settlement expressly provides that sellers may communicate seller concessions — such as buyer closing costs — via the MLS provided that such concessions are not conditioned on the use of or payment to a buyer broker.
After the new rule goes into effect, listing agreements should be amended to reflect that offers of compensation cannot be communicated via the MLS. The settlement expressly provides that sellers may communicate seller concessions — such as buyer closing costs — via the MLS provided that such concessions are not conditioned on the use of or payment to a buyer broker.

  • NAR recently submitted a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) urging them to revise its policies pertaining to fees veterans cannot pay when using their VA home loan benefit.
  • NAR specifically calls on the VA to allow their buyers to compensate their representative directly, which is currently prohibited under their policies. The letter stresses the importance of professional representation for veterans in the purchasing process and outlines the potential consequences for VA buyers in situations where compensation is not offered from a seller.

No. Under the settlement, buyers still have the same options when it comes to compensating their real estate representatives. That is, the listing brokers can compensate the buyer broker, the seller can compensate the buyer broker, or the buyer can compensate their broker directly. Based NAR’s interpretation of current guidance, buyers should still be able to get financing from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHA under these scenarios. NAR is working to verify that this interpretation will hold. However, none of these agencies will allow the buyer to finance a commission into the mortgage at this time.
According to NAR, financing commissions is not feasible under the current structure of the residential mortgage finance system, and there is no clear short-term legislative or regulatory fix.
Yes. According to NAR, a buyer can request the listing broker to pay compensation to the buyer broker.
It is the consumers choice to use a REALTOR®. However, the services REALTORS® offer are invaluable, such as their expert guidance, market knowledge, negotiation skills, ability to tackle complex contracts and much more. You can navigate the real estate market with confidence when you have a REALTOR®.
No. We do not believe that an unrepresented buyer at an Open House invokes the requirement of having a Buyer Representation Agreement in place.
The settlement only deals with properties for sale on this issue of buyer representation, and it does not address rentals or change anything about needing a written agreement prior to showing a rental property. It would still be a smart idea to have a conversation with the client about how the agent will be compensated and have the Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement signed.

Value of Using a
REALTOR®

REALTORS® enhance the home buying and selling journey with their valuable expertise and collaborative approach. A REALTOR® is your trusted advisor.
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Guides for Homebuyers

Your Home. Your REALTOR®
PDF in English Download
PDF in Spanish Download
Down Payment Assistance
PDF in English Download
PDF in Spanish Download
Homeownership Help for Houston’s Heroes
PDF for Educators Download
PDF for Firefighters Download
PDF for Healthcare Employees Download
PDF for Law Enforcement Download
Beware of Real Estate Scams
PDF in English Download

Resources for Homebuyers

Down Payment Assistance

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Mortgage Calculator

Estimate your monthly mortgage payment and property taxes based on past rates.
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RealInsight

Find useful information about home buying, insurance, appraisals and more.
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