NAR President Tracy Kasper Provides Some Perspective

We wanted to pass along the below video and letter from NAR President Tracy Kasper providing some more perspective on the ongoing Burnett antitrust litigation.  As you know, a verdict was reached last week in the Burnett et al v. NAR et al case. While it was not the outcome we hoped for, NAR does plan to appeal.

Hi all,

There has been a lot happening at the National Association of REALTORS® this past week since the verdict in the Burnett et al v. NAR et al case and the announcement of our new interim CEO, Nykia Wright. I wanted to share some additional perspective (VIDEO LINK) about where we are at this moment in time.

As disappointed as I know we all are by the immediate outcome, this is just one chapter in a longer legal process as we plan to appeal the verdict. While we don’t have all the answers about how this will continue to play out, know that we are working around the clock to evaluate the situation and get the best advice about the path forward.

In my note last week right after the verdict, I addressed some immediate questions we’d anticipated. Today, I’m following up with some additional high-level guidance to help you communicate about the verdict – please see below.

Finally, I encourage everyone to keep sharing with your clients and communities the value you as REALTORS® provide to your clients day in and day out. I have seen a number of these personal reflections in recent days, and they are so impactful and inspiring. Keep them coming, everyone.

As always, we will continue to keep you updated.

Thank you for all that you do!

NAR President

What does this mean for me and my business?

  • We all should continue to express that commissions are negotiable and set between a broker and their client.
  • As always, it is critical to maximize transparency with your clients about their choices and your terms.
  • Continue to use your listing and buyer agreements to help them understand 1) exactly what services and value you are providing and 2) how much you charge.
    • For buyers, this includes options for offers of compensation from a listing broker or paying for your services directly or a combination.
    • For sellers, this includes options to allow offers of compensation to be made by their listing broker to a buyer’s broker, and if so, how much and under what terms.

What should I tell my clients who ask me about the verdict or lawsuits?

  • The National Association of REALTORS® believes that the jury reached an outcome that is neither supported by the law nor the facts presented in the case and plans to appeal.
  • The trial had to do with a very pro-consumer rule for local MLS broker marketplaces where listing brokers make offers of compensation to buyer brokers who identify someone who wants to buy the sellers’ home.
  • Those offers can be any amount, can vary over time, are based on things like service and the market, and are negotiable. Neither the buyer nor seller broker gets paid until the home sale and purchase close based on what the seller and buyer have agreed to in writing.
  • The offer of compensation practice ensures efficient, transparent and accessible marketplaces where sellers can sell their home for more and have their home seen by more buyers while buyers have more choices of homes and can afford representation.
  • Plaintiffs have said wealthy people could still afford representation without the practice, but that hardly seems fair. The National Association of REALTORS® is going to continue to advocate for this pro-consumer practice and, as noted, plans to appeal the jury’s verdict.
  • Know that agents who are REALTORS® will still and always be there for clients to guide you through the financial, legal and community complexities of buying and selling a home.
  • The verdict doesn’t change the many choices buyers and sellers have when deciding whether to hire a real estate agent who is a REALTOR®. Compensation will continue to be negotiable and set between a broker and their respective client, as it always has been.

What can I do to help?