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Understanding The Importance Of NAR Lawsuit On Florida Home Insurance Market

Jan 12, 2024

In October of 2023, a jury determined that NAR (National Association of Realtors) colluded to create artificially inflated real estate agent commissions. This stems from more than one class action lawsuit claiming the NAR rules of how buyer’s agents are compensated in home sales violates antitrust laws.

The specific case highlighted is Sitzer v. the National Association of Realtors, specially named RE/MAX, Keller Williams Realty, Anywhere Real Estate (formerly Realogy), and HomeServices of America as defendants in the case.

Before the judge’s ruling after the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs to the case, RE/MAX and Anywhere Real Estate settled out of court for $140 million. On October 31, the judge awarded $1.8 million for the outstanding lawsuits, with the potential for this total to increase to more than $5 billion.

Of course, as with all large civil cases, NAR will continue to fight the ruling. This could drag settlement out for years, with multiple appeals filed to attempt to reduce or overturn the judge’s decision.

The NAR Lawsuit Basics

Over 90% of all home sales in the USA are completed by real estate agents who are NAR members or affiliated with the organization. Under the model, home sellers must offer a commission that is non-negotiable, which is done through the listing agent. The seller pays this commission and includes commissions to both their agent and the real estate agent representing the buyer. Currently, in most areas of the country, this commission is approximately five to six percent of the final home sale amount.

The plaintiffs in these cases argued that this pre-set commission reduces competition and artificially increases home prices. The lawsuits aim to end cooperative compensation for homes bought and sold on MLS listings and allow the buyers to compensate their real estate agents.

The changes to the current compensation model could result in a decrease in commissions by up to 30%. This would help home sellers reduce the cost of selling the home and reduce what was considered by the jury to be excessive real estate fees.

Changes Already Visible

NAR has moved based on the ruling and the yet-to-be-determined cases to increase transparency for home buyers and sellers. The recommendations are already in place to stop identifying buyer services as free or at no cost and also to make any shared commissions transparent to the buyer and the seller.

Benefits to Homeowners

One of the benefits of the NAR lawsuit for homeowners is a decrease in home insurance costs. When the home’s purchase price is lower, thanks to lower agent commission fees, it will also potentially help reduce the cost of home insurance.

One benefit for home buyers is the ability to negotiate directly with their real estate agent on the fees for their services. It is also possible that more home buyers may choose to work directly with the seller’s real estate agent, eliminating the use of a buyer’s real estate agent altogether.

While this may appear to be a cost-saving choice, it could potentially leave buyers attempting to make the largest purchase of their lives without any guidance from a trained professional.

Real estate professionals, home sellers and buyers, and all home insurance companies need to keep informed on changes to how home sales and purchases are moving forward based on this decision.

Del Toro Insurance is committed to helping our customers throughout our areas with all their home insurance needs. We are a leading home insurance company for Hialeah Gardens, Margate, Homestead, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Hialeah Gardens, North Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Naples, and Miami, Florida.

For more information on home insurance costs and options, call us today at 305-335-8676 or drop by one of our convenient locations across the state.

FAQ

What is the NAR lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to address inflated commissions that drive up the cost of homes. Currently, these commissions are shared by the buyer and seller’s agents with a lack of transparency.

What could be the impact of the NAR lawsuit on the Florida home insurance market?
With lower home costs, the cost of home insurance could go down as housing markets heat up and homebuyers are able to make larger down payments.

What is the National Association of Realtors (NAR)?
NAR is the largest trade association in the USA and has over a million and a half members. Currently, about 90% of all home sales in the country are completed through NAR members or affiliates.

What is a class action lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit involves one or more named plaintiffs filing a lawsuit on behalf of a large group or class of people who have suffered similar damages.

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