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How to Talk About the NAR Settlement with Clients and Prospects

March 25 2024

agent broker leaderThe Ides of March brought a whopper of an announcement to the real estate industry: that the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) had settled the commissions lawsuit.

Thanks to wall-to-wall media coverage, it's likely that your sphere of influence has had some questions about the news: Is buyer agency a thing of the past? When do changes go into effect? How does this affect me if I buy or sell a home?

How do you address the settlement with your sphere — or should you even wade into that conversation at all right now? After all, things are still in flux, and many real estate organizations are still figuring out how to adapt to the changes, which go into effect in July.

To help you out, we're offering a list of do's and don'ts to help guide your conversations with clients, leads, and your social sphere.


DO stay away from negativity. Social media is an increasingly combative place, to be sure, and it's easy to be drawn into arguments about the settlement. But people don't want to follow or work with a negative person, so be sure to keep any posts or conversations on the positive side. Acknowledge that things will be changing without veering off into the negatives of this development.

DO explain that buyer agency agreements have not changed (yet). The changes from the NAR settlement go into effect mid-July, and few (if any) brokerages have changed their existing buyer agency agreements at this time. You can tell your sphere that while changes have not gone into effect yet, you will keep them updated on the approach your brokerage decides to take when the time comes.

DO create more stories about how you serve your clients. With the value of real estate agents in question in the media, take time to create social media posts and stories that show the value you bring to the table. Record short video case studies with clients that show how you helped them overcome challenges in their home buying journey. Ramp up your efforts to collect client testimonials, too.

DO talk to your peers and local industry leadership. We get that this situation can be frustrating, so if you need to vent, be sure to do it in spaces that the public doesn't frequent. Try private industry-only Facebook groups or similar online spots, or chat with colleagues about it in person.

DO conduct a gut check before posting. If you're unsure whether a post or comment is worth making, check in with yourself first. Ask how the post benefits your business or your clients. If it doesn't, rethink posting it.


DON'T rage post. We get it — there are a lot of misleading headlines and social media posts out there right now, and the urge to correct them may be strong. Don't take the bait, though. Refrain from posting in article or social media comment sections, especially if agitated. Remember that your social media sphere can see what you've written when responding to public posts from pages. Your professional reputation is worth more than the 10 seconds of satisfaction you get from responding to inaccurate stories.

DON'T argue about why agents deserve commissions. Consumers don't want to hear about it, especially at a time when commissions are under a microscope. Instead, show the value of what you bring to the table by talking or posting about how you serve clients and help them navigate roadblocks in the sales process.

DON'T prognosticate publicly. It can be fun to speculate on the shape of the changes to come in the wake of the settlement. But the internet has a long memory, and anything you post can be dredged up in the future — not a great look if your predictions don't pan out. Save the speculation for chats with colleagues instead.