ROUNDTABLE: How a new lawsuit could impact home sales in Las Vegas Valley – Fox 5 Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The way you buy or sell a house is about to change dramatically.

A federal judge last week signed off on an anti-trust settlement reached by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and a group of home sellers. The home sellers sued claiming the current commission system inflated home prices. Both sides settled and that brings us to what happens next.

Very soon, perhaps by the Fall, seller’s agents won’t be required to offer commissions to buyers’ agents.

We invited six real estate professionals to give us their opinions on what this means for everyone beginning with home buyers.

JOHN HUCK: “Now these people have to come up with 6% or so right off the bat? Do you think you will you’ll lose a lot of first time buyers?”

MIKE ROLAND, REALTOR: “It certainly hurts I mean, buyers already have to come up with a down payment and closing costs or out-of-pocket expenses. And now they’re gonna have to factor in whatever that commission is to their agents. So it doesn’t make it any easier. So it does create some challenges for first time homebuyers who already are squeezed out in this market is already harder and harder to purchase. So we’ll see it’ll be interesting.”

KARINA SILVA, REALTOR: “What we’re going to also see is sales price being negotiated. If the buyer is paying for earned compensation that could come off right off the top of this sales price.”

JOHN HUCK: “Okay, so there is a way of baking it into the sales price.”

STEVE HAWKS, REALTOR: “Yeah, that the sellers can say, here’s $20,000 for closing costs, do it with you want with it. So now the loan officer and the buyer’s agent will be competing for the contribution that the seller gives towards the closing cost of the buyer.”

Our six real estate professionals seem to agree that there is a lot of ambiguity in this settlement and the market will decide how it plays out in the real world.

KOLTON VILLA, BROKER/REALTOR: “I think there’s, there’s so much misinformation. You see, all across the media about this. I saw an article yesterday that the standard 6% real estate commission is forever going away. Right? Well, let’s get one thing straight. It was never standard. Commissions have always been negotiable. This is giving a little bit more choice to consumers, whether they’re a buyer or seller.”

The settlement may change how commissions are worked out. Some believe that will lower commissions across the board and eventually force down home prices.

Our panel sees a major shake-out happening in their industry and some see opportunity.

KOLTON VILLA, BROKER/REALTOR: “You know, we’re really looking at this as an opportunity for us, it’s really going to shake out over the next number of months, there’s, there’s a lot of real estate agents, the industry that unfortunately, you know, may get weeded out.”

JOHN HUCK: “So after this big shakeout that we’ve been talking about what kind of agents will be left in the valley? The best ones!”

MIKE ROLAND, REALTOR: “Full time ones like in Vegas, do you see a ton of bartenders, baristas, cabana girls, they all have their real estate license, it’s a really popular side hustle because everyone should have one or two years, their second cousin is gonna buy a home and use them, it’s gonna become more challenging for that type of agent.”

KARINA SILVA, REALTOR: “You know, homeownership is the biggest asset that they’re going to purchase in their life? Why would you leave that up to somebody that does it part time? Why wouldn’t you leave that to somebody that has, you know, all of the years that we have an experience and somebody who knows how to navigate difficult waters?”

JORDAN CLAUDIO, REALTOR: “Everyone is probably in agreement with that. This is going to be much more upfront, talking with buyers, right? The communication has to flow. If you’re a buyer’s agent, and you want to stay a buyer’s agent. You have to communicate more effectively.”

The new reality may weed out the less-than-serious buyers.

JOHN HUCK: “Do you think it’ll also discourage a lot of looky-loos?”

DAVID BROWNELL, BROKER/REALTOR: “Well, it could I mean, there’s one model that suggests that a buyer will pay their agent not dissimilar to how an attorney has paid by the hour. And if that happens, the looky loos will not want to won’t be going out. Just go for a casual Sunday drive around to check out six or eight houses. That definitely it’ll it’ll definitely minimize the number of homes that may get seen.

MIKE ROLAND, REALTOR: “Gone are the days where you’d call an agent say I want to see 123 Main Street and we’re there by 2 pm. Today that’s going away now it’s hey, come to my office, we’re gonna have to have a discussion, I’m going to articulate why you need a buyer agency. And we’re going to enter into an agreement. So how many buyers are going to be excited to do that? The serious ones will. “

JOHN HUCK: “Do you think the future of your industry is going forward?”

DAVID BROWNELL, BROKER/REALTOR: “The consumer will no longer go out and shop for each individual part of the real estate process, but there will be a bundle of all of that provision from the inspection to the loan to the appraisal to the purchase, all of the aspects of the real estate transaction, and the fees associated with them will be rolled into one consumer price. So that it takes a lot of that complicated and confusing element away from the transaction, makes it easier for the consumer.”

STEVE HAWKS, REALTOR: “That FHA now allows the real estate buyer’s agent also to be the loan officer on the transaction. So this is a big change right now. That nobody would ever have. If someone had said that two or three years ago, they said, no, that’s never gonna happen. But now FHA, which is predominately first time homebuyers is now allowing something that no one ever thought would happen. So now that loan officer can be the realtor and the realtor can be the loan officer, which is going to help first time homebuyers obtain that goal.”

JOHN HUCK: “Will there be a longer wait for them to get your services?

STEVE HAWKS, REALTOR: “No. You always have room for one more client (agents laughter).”

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