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What the NAR Settlement Means For Idaho

by | Mar 19, 2024 | Idaho Real Estate

The National Association of Realtors, NAR is making headlines with their unprecedented settlement that if approved by the courts could transform how broker commissions are managed. This move directly impacts over a million NAR members, including agents, brokerages, and MLS services, setting a new precedent for transparency and negotiation in commission structures.  This article will detail what the NAR Settlement means for Idaho and those buying and selling homes in the state.

Key Changes and Their Impact

Transparency in Commissions

The settlement mandates a shift in how broker commissions are disclosed. Specifically, the practice of advertising cooperative compensation on MLS is changing. Sellers traditionally agreed to a broker fee, shared with the buyer’s agent through MLS listings. Now, such compensation must be negotiated outside of MLS, requiring buyers to understand their agent’s fees upfront through a Buyer Representation Agreement.

Negotiation of Fees:

Sellers retain the flexibility to negotiate commission fees and may opt to offer a cooperative fee to the buyer’s agent. This isn’t a novel concept; however, clarity around fee negotiation has been lacking in certain states, leading to misconceptions about commission rates. The settlement aims to rectify this by ensuring all parties are informed and agreeable to the terms from the outset.  The NAR does not set commissions or require a set fee. Fees are negotiated via a seller representation agreement and buyer representation agreement before a transaction begins for the majority of real estate transactions in Idaho.

The Idaho Example

Idaho has been ahead of the curve, with clear stipulations regarding brokerage and cooperative fees. This practice ensures buyers and sellers are well-informed from the beginning, reducing surprises and fostering a fair, transparent real estate environment.

Market Misconceptions

Despite rumors that the settlement could lower home prices or eliminate buyer agent fees, it’s essential to understand that the value provided by real estate professionals remains unchanged. Agents play a crucial role in guiding clients through the complexities of buying or selling a home, and their services come at a cost. This settlement doesn’t abolish fees but emphasizes transparency and choice, ensuring clients know what they’re paying for and why.

Real Estate Professionals as Small Businesses

It’s vital to remember that agents, operating under brokerages, run their businesses. This means they have the autonomy to set their service fees, which are negotiable and subject to the client’s choice. This autonomy respects the professional judgment of real estate experts and the consumer’s right to choose.

In Conclusion and My Personal Opinion

In writing this article, I’ve delved into the legal documents and discussions with my team at Silvercreek Realty Group to clarify misunderstandings and share insights. The real estate sector is undoubtedly at a crossroads, needing evolution. While I have reservations about removing cooperative fee advertisements from MLS, my commitment to transparency has never wavered. That’s precisely why I chose to work with Silvercreek Realty Group and take pride in operating openly in Idaho’s real estate scene.

The structure of real estate organizations like NAR, local associations, and MLS does seem a bit dated. Their focus on increasing membership for revenue, making entry into the profession too easy, raises questions about maintaining high standards. With over 8,000 agents in the Treasure Valley alone as of 2023, the bar for entry is low, involving just a course, exams, and a background check, with no rigorous vetting process. This ease of entry might contribute to the lack of transparency that led to legal challenges against NAR.

Despite intense competition, which theoretically should lower fees, many agents are selected by sellers or buyers based on personal connections rather than expertise, creating disparities. Given that the average real estate agent in Idaho makes around $40,000 a year, not accounting for expenses, the competition paradoxically keeps fees high for agents to remain viable. Elevating the requirements to become a real estate agent, such as implementing a college degree prerequisite or mandating years of experience in relevant fields, could enhance professionalism and ensure that those entering the industry are truly qualified.

With an industry filled with qualified professionals, we would see a more positive light shining on real estate agents and what they do in a real estate transaction.  In the meantime, I encourage those looking to buy or sell a house in Idaho to take your time when choosing your real estate professional.  I wrote an article to help guide buyers and sellers in making this decision because it is important.  A good agent should have experience, qualifications, and a proven track record with real client reviews and sales,  not just be someone you know or are related to.

If you have more questions about what the NAR Settlement means for Idaho or how it could affect you if you are considering selling or buying a home please reach out.  I am passionate about this field and would love to chat.

Boise Real Estate ProfessionalFor expert guidance on moving to Boise, or selling a home in the area contact Jennifer Louis, a Boise real estate and relocation expert. Set up a time for a consultation here.  In the meantime, make sure to follow me,  Jennifer Louis, Boise Metro Real Estate Expert, and local relocation guide on Instagram, Facebook, or my blog for fun facts about Boise and of course a few things real estate.  (208) 509-9122 or

Meet The Author

Jennifer Louis

Residential Real Estate Expert

Jennifer Louis, Boise Area Real Estate Expert is a relocation specialist for Boise and the Treasure Valley. Helping hundreds succeed in finding their perfect home while simultaneously assisting homeowners to prepare and sell their homes.

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