Skip to main content

NAR President Vows To Continue To Fight Commission Lawsuits

In her first national interview since a Missouri jury found the real estate industry liable for colluding to artificially inflate real estate agent commissions, National Association of Realtors (NAR) president Tracy Kasper said the trade group would continue to advocate for what it feels is best for consumers.

“We will continue to fight,” Kasper told Kelly Evans of CNBC’s The Exchange last Thursday. “We want to take care of those concerns.”

In the seven-minute interview, Kasper addressed the commission lawsuits and the overall housing market, telling Evans that the projected decline in mortgage rates in 2024 is good news for the real estate industry.

“We have such a pent-up buyer pool that has just been waiting of the sidelines,” Kasper said. “The interest rates rose so quickly that it took so many of them out of the market. We are starting to see them come back and they are going to finally start being successful.”

Despite the good news surrounding mortgage rates, Kasper said the inventory shortage will still be an issue in 2024.

“We are seeing a normalization of the market and it is something that is very welcome,” Kasper said. “The market has only increased about 4% [year-over-year] — those are the single digit increases we’ve been waiting for.”

While lower mortgage rates and slower home price growth will mean improved housing affordability for many buyers, Kasper voiced concerns about what the end of cooperative compensation could mean for many buyers, depending on the final ruling in the Sitzer/Burnett commission lawsuit.

“Our buyers are already, for the most part, struggling to come up with a down payment,” she said. “They’re going to struggle to come up with closing costs in addition to that, and what we don’t want to see is the marginalization of those buyers … our first-time homebuyers, our first-generation homebuyers and even our middle and low-income buyers. We talked about our veteran buyers and we cannot disenfranchise them simply because they can’t out-of-pocket pay for professional representation.”

Kasper said the last thing NAR wants to see is buyers simply not entering the market because they cannot afford the help they need to navigate the home-buying process.

“It’s interesting because I hear that buyers don’t need a Realtor; they can find their home on the internet and they can go to the seller and they can get it,” Kasper said. “But at the end of the day, even just that process of finding that home, I can walk in with them and I can say you qualify for your loan, but the house isn’t going to qualify for the loan. The loans are particular and we can put that expertise to work for them before they go down a path of heartbreak,” she added. “They’ve paid for an appraisal just to find out that the house doesn’t qualify, right? So even with that one step, it’s important to have a Realtor.”

Over the past two decades the real estate industry has seen a massive proliferation of online listing portals, making it easier for consumers to browse available inventory on their own. However, Kasper said these is no way replace the MLS.

“The MLS is the vehicle by which all brokers share information, which is good for the consumer. That way they don’t become disenfranchised, and the information is not fragmented,” Kasper said. “The MLS is also a lot more accurate than a lot of those portals. At the end of the day our rules at NAR and with our MLSs are making sure that our data is accurate, that it is transparent and that we have an efficient marketplace, so consumers don’t have to shotgun it and head in one direction or another and can just go to one place for their information.”

No Comments yet!