Real Estate News

 

The Lawsuit Verdict and What It Means for You

11/03/2023

This week, a Missouri jury reached a verdict in the Burnett v. NAR, et al. case. I wanted to take a moment to put some things in perspective and point you to some resources that may be helpful. 

First: the fight is not over. While the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the named defendants did not prevail at the district court level, NAR intends to appeal the case and pursue a victory at the appellate level. NAR believes they have a strong legal basis for appeal. Learn more by hearing from the Northern Virginia Association of REALTOR’S® (NVAR) Senior Director of Legal Affairs, Maria Flaks in this video: 


Second: it is ‘business as usual’.  There is nothing you need to do differently because of this verdict. Virginia is one of about 13 states across the country that already have buyer agency built into the law. The NVAR Standard Forms library includes the Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer and Tenant forms (Form #K1338 and #K1282, respectively) which provide transparency and formalize the professional working relationship you have with clients. And, we have several valuable resources to help you explain your value specifically as a buyer’s agent. As always, Realtors® should continue to express that commissions are negotiable and to be discussed between brokers and their clients. 

Third: keep calm and carry on. There is no doubt the verdict was disappointing, and we understand it has caused many emotional reactions that you and your clients may be experiencing. It is essential for you to know the facts and be able to speak with your clients about the incredible value you bring to a real estate transaction.

Finally: NVAR is your partner. In the best of times and the most challenging of times, we are here for you. As the industry continues to evolve, so does NVAR. You can rely on us for information, expertise, resources, programs, products, services and a network of nearly 14,000 Realtors® to help you succeed in the business, regardless of the marketplace dynamics. You can expect more programs and resources specifically on buyer agency to come, like our recent event, “Unpacking Class Action Lawsuits and Brokerage Compensation”. 

Please take advantage of the investment you have made in your business as a member of NVAR. The following are helpful resources, including information to aid consumers’ understanding of broker services and how real estate compensation works:​ 

Thank you for being a valued member of NVAR. 

Sincerely,  

Ryan T. McLaughlin, CAE, RCE 
Chief Executive Officer 
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