real estate agent shows home to buyers

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

The proposed NAR settlement has indeed brought changes to the real estate industry, but it’s important to understand that real estate commissions have always been (and will continue to be) negotiable. While there may be some changes to commissions, skilled and experienced agents can still maintain a healthy income by adapting to the evolving market and emphasizing the value they provide to clients.

How to Discuss the NAR Settlement With Your Clients

Talking about compensation is difficult for many agents, but it is even more difficult in the current climate. It’s vital that you don’t go on the defensive when speaking about commissions. Instead, present the facts. Here are some speaking points to help guide your conversation. 

  • As a real estate agent, I will help you navigate the complicated financial and legal aspects of property transactions. 
  • Costs will be spelled out and agreed to before we work together. 
  • As a buyers agent, I may still be compensated by sellers agents. We’ll discuss upfront what happens when a sellers agent isn’t offering compensation, and I’ll keep you informed of compensation options for each property that interests you.

Look to your brokerage for more insight on handling these discussions with clients. Some brokerages and agents are experimenting with a flat fee structure, which may appeal to some consumers.

Ways to Prove Value to Your Real Estate Clients

It’s important to note that the proposed settlement does not suggest a specific fee structure for real estate agents. It only requires more transparency on how buyers agents are paid. So, how do you adapt to these changes? Here are some points to ponder as you face the post-settlement real estate industry.

1. Set yourself apart by becoming an expert.

By continuously enhancing your knowledge and skills, you can set yourself apart from the competition and justify your commission rates. Specialize in specific niches, such as luxury homes or eco-friendly properties, to attract clients who value your expertise and are willing to pay for it. 

Learn other ways of differentiating your services from other real estate agents by reading our NAR Settlement Guide.

2. Offer exceptional service.

Focus on providing an unparalleled level of service to your clients. Go above and beyond to understand their needs, communicate effectively, and guide them through the complex process of buying or selling a home. Building a reputation for exceptional service can help you grow your commission rates and attract new clients through referrals.

3. Consider alternative fee structures.

Be open to exploring alternative fee structures that align with your clients’ preferences while still ensuring fair compensation for your work. For example, consider offering tiered pricing based on the level of service provided or discuss the possibility of performance-based commissions with your clients.

4. Emphasize your value.

Clearly communicate to your clients the value you bring to the table. Highlight your marketing strategies, negotiation skills, and track record of success. Help them understand that your expertise can often result in a higher sale price or a smoother transaction, offsetting the cost of your commission. 

5. Work more efficiently.

Embrace technology and streamline your processes to work more efficiently. By leveraging tools and platforms that automate tasks and enhance your productivity, you can serve more clients without compromising the quality of your service, ultimately increasing your income potential. 

While the NAR settlement may bring challenges, it also presents opportunities for agents willing to adapt and innovate. You can maintain a strong income potential in the evolving real estate landscape by focusing on your expertise, providing exceptional service, and clearly communicating your value. 

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