real estate agent discusses compensation with clients

NAR Settlement & Real Estate Commission Changes: How Will Buyers Agents Be Paid?

The proposed NAR settlement is set to bring some changes to the real estate industry. Still, it’s essential to remember that real estate commissions have always been, and will continue to be, negotiable. While adjustments may occur, skilled and experienced agents can still thrive by adapting to the evolving market and showcasing the value they bring to their clients.

Key Takeaways

  • Despite changes proposed by the NAR settlement, real estate commissions remain negotiable. This flexibility allows skilled agents to adapt to market shifts and continue thriving by demonstrating their value to clients.
  • Agents should approach discussions about commissions with transparency and facts, avoiding defensiveness. Clear communication about costs and compensation methods, such as potential changes in buyers’ agent compensation, is crucial for maintaining trust and managing client expectations.
  • To succeed post-settlement, agents are encouraged to differentiate themselves through expertise, exceptional service, and innovative fee structures.

How to Discuss the NAR Settlement with Your Clients

Discussing compensation can be challenging, especially in the current climate. It’s crucial not to become defensive when talking about commissions. Instead, present the facts. Here are some points to guide your conversation:

1. Navigating transactions

As your real estate agent, I’ll help you navigate the complex financial and legal aspects of property transactions.

2. Clear costs

We will spell out and agree on costs before we start working together.

3. Buyers agent compensation

As a buyers’ agent, I may still be compensated by sellers’ agents. We’ll discuss what happens if a seller’s agent isn’t offering compensation and explore the options for each property you’re interested in.

Look to your brokerage for more insights into handling these discussions. Some brokerages are experimenting with flat fee structures, which might appeal to some clients.

Ways to Prove Value to Your Real Estate Clients 

The proposed settlement doesn’t dictate a specific fee structure for agents but calls for more transparency about how buyers’ agents are paid. Here’s how you can adapt and thrive post-settlement:  

1. Set yourself apart by becoming an expert.

Continuously enhance your knowledge and skills to stand out from the competition. Specialize in niches like luxury homes or eco-friendly properties to attract clients who value and are willing to pay for your expertise. Learn more ways to differentiate your services by reading our NAR Settlement Guide.

2. Offer exceptional service.

Provide unparalleled service to your clients by understanding their needs, communicating effectively, and guiding them through the buying or selling process. A reputation for exceptional service can help you grow your commission rates and attract referrals.

3. Consider alternative fee structures.

Explore alternative fee structures that align with your clients’ preferences while ensuring fair compensation. Consider tiered pricing based on service levels or performance-based commissions.

4. Emphasize your value.

Clearly communicate the value you bring to your clients. Highlight your marketing strategies, negotiation skills, and successful track record. Show them how your expertise can result in higher sale prices or smoother transactions, justifying your commission.

5. Work more efficiently.

Use technology to streamline your processes and work more efficiently. Leveraging tools that automate tasks and boost productivity can help you serve more clients without compromising service quality, ultimately increasing your income potential.

While the NAR settlement may present challenges, it also offers opportunities for agents willing to adapt and innovate. By focusing on your expertise, providing exceptional service, and communicating your value, you can maintain strong income potential in the evolving real estate landscape.

Learn more about the proposed NAR settlement and how to demonstrate value to your clients by downloading McKissock’s free guide: How to Navigate the National Association of REALTORS® Settlement.