How a Realtor® Settlement Could Influence Housing Costs

A recent settlement between the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and home sellers could be a game-changer in lowering home costs. Here’s how it might influence housing prices once it’s made official.

Lower Transaction Costs. Traditionally, a 5%–6% commission (usually split between buyer’s and seller’s agents) is factored into the final home price. With the NAR settlement eliminating pre-set commission offerings on the MLS, sellers can now negotiate directly with buyer’s agents. This could lead to a decrease in overall transaction costs, potentially shaving a portion off the final sale price.

Increased Competition Among Agents. Without a standardized commission structure, competition among agents for client representation could intensify. This could lead to agents offering more competitive rates or bundled service packages to attract sellers. These cost savings could then be reflected in lower asking prices.

Shifting the Burden of Agent Fees. Previously, buyer’s agent commissions were often rolled into the overall home price. The settlement might mean buyers now pay their agents directly. This upfront cost might make some buyers more price-conscious, potentially leading to a downward pressure on prices, especially in high-demand areas.

More Listings, More Options. With sellers potentially saving on commission costs, they might be more incentivized to list their homes. An increase in available properties could create a more balanced market, giving buyers more negotiating power and potentially leading to lower prices.

Words of Caution. While the settlement has the potential to reduce home prices, it’s important to consider some critical factors:

  • Negotiation Expertise. Negotiating fees effectively requires knowledge and experience. Inexperienced buyers or sellers might end up paying the same or even more if they lack strong negotiation skills.
  • Impact on Agent Services. Lower commission rates could incentivize agents to offer fewer services or raise their base fees. You may also have less experienced agents working with you, who don’t mind a lower commission. This could impact the quality of representation for both buyers and sellers.
  • Market Dynamics Still Matter. While the settlement might influence pricing, overall market forces (like supply and demand) will still play a major role in determining home values.

The Bottom Line. The NAR settlement brings uncertainty into the real estate market. While the potential exists for lower prices, it’s too early to predict the full impact on housing costs. Stay informed about market trends and consult with your qualified mortgage professional (that’s me).

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Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.

Stress Awareness Month

April is Stress Awareness Month. It’s also tax time (coincidence? hmmm…) and then there’s inflation and it’s an election year and the world is in turmoil. It’s no wonder we’re feeling some pressure.

This month is a great reminder to prioritize your well-being. We’ve compiled 4 easy tips to help you minimize stress and feel more centered throughout the month.

  1. Get Outside. Exercise is a powerful stress reliever — and it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Brisk outdoor walking, dancing, cycling, or a yoga class are all great stress relievers. Even short bursts of activity throughout the day can make a big difference.
  2. Tame the Tech Monster. Constant notifications and screen time can be major stressors. Set boundaries with your technology. Designate specific times to check email and social media, and silence notifications during work hours or relaxation time.
  3. Prioritize Sleep. When you’re well-rested, you’re better equipped to handle stress. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night if you can.
  4. Connect with Loved Ones. Social support is crucial for managing stress. Spend time with the friends and family who make you feel good.

Following these simple tips can lead to a calmer and more balanced April. Take good care of yourself!

Home Improver: Organized Home, Organized Life

Feeling overwhelmed by your spring cleaning to-do list due to a messy home? Give yourself a break. You’re not alone. Clutter happens. It’s well known that a cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind. But there’s good news: creating an organized home can have a powerful impact on your overall well-being and efficiency.

Let’s take a look at how decluttering each room in your home can benefit your mental state and productivity:

  • Living Room. A living room filled with misplaced items can feel visually stimulating (not in a good way) and stressful. Dedicate specific storage solutions for remotes, magazines, and blankets. This allows you to unwind after a long day.
  • Kitchen. A cluttered kitchen counter can make meal prep seem daunting. Are you still using that Instant Pot? We didn’t think so. Sell or donate it and focus on what you actually use. Invest in organizers for utensils, spices, and pantry staples. Imagine your clear countertops having a sense of purpose that make cooking a more streamlined experience.
  • Bedrooms. Messy bedrooms can disrupt sleep, impacting your focus and energy levels. Put away clothes, clear surfaces, and ensure everything has a designated spot (not tossed in the back of your closet). A serene bedroom environment allows for restful night’s sleep and a clear head in the morning.
  • Home Office. A disorganized workspace can make it difficult to concentrate and find important documents. Use organizers for files, stationery, and office supplies. A clutter-free workspace fosters clear thinking and helps you tackle tasks efficiently.

Decluttering creates a space that supports your well-being and drives productivity. By eliminating visual clutter, you reduce stress and free up brainpower to focus on living well. An organized home brings a calm energy — and it’s the ideal environment for getting things done.