PHOTO: RE/MAX a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). FILE
Agents affiliated with CENTURY 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Sotheby’s International Realty, Corcoran, and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate will now have the opportunity to disassociate from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) pending approval from parent company Anywhere Real Estate, which recently reached a settlement. Separately, RE/MAX will also cease requiring its agents to maintain NAR membership.
However, it’s important to note that in certain markets, agents who choose to leave NAR might forfeit access to their local MLS. Furthermore, agents who are not NAR members are not permitted to use the Realtor trademark designation.
Both Anywhere and RE/MAX were involved in two class-action antitrust lawsuits and settled out of court in September, with settlements totaling $83.5 million and $55 million, respectively. On October 6, Anywhere disclosed that part of their settlement terms includes the option for agents to opt out of NAR membership. Shortly after, RE/MAX also made a public announcement regarding similar settlement terms. In addition to eliminating NAR requirements, both companies are removing buyers’ commission mandates and stipulating that agents must clearly disclose that commissions are negotiable.
Despite this rule change, Anywhere’s CEO and President, Sue Yannaccone, emphasized the company’s continued support for buyers’ agents, stating, “We strongly believe in sellers offering compensation to buyers’ agents to attract more eligible buyers to a listing, thereby increasing the likelihood of a successful transaction.” RE/MAX President and CEO Nick Bailey echoed this sentiment, affirming their commitment to buyer agency, cooperative compensation, and the idea that consumers benefit most when working with real estate professionals.
These developments follow Redfin’s recent decision to withdraw from NAR, citing concerns about alleged sexual harassment within the association and its fee requirements for buyer agents.
Prior to Anywhere and RE/MAX’s announcements on October 6, NAR had revealed its intention to allow listing agents to offer $0 commission to buyer agents, reversing its previous stance on its Participation Rule.
It’s worth noting that NAR continues to face ongoing antitrust lawsuits, with the first case scheduled for trial on October 16. Other firms, including HomeServices of America and Keller Williams, remain defendants in these lawsuits.
SOURCE: CHICAGO AGENT MAG