House hunters fear Realtor settlement could make homebuying harder

Jeff Collins, The Orange County Register on

Published in Business News

It doesn’t specify who will pay buyer commissions in the future. So, while buyers could end up paying their own fees directly, seller-paid buyer commissions aren’t necessarily a thing of the past.

For example, sellers still can post offers in the MLS to pay “concessions,” which buyers can use to pay their broker fees.

Questions abound

Some agents are starting to get questions about the settlement from their clients.

“We’re getting a question right now during listing appointments,” said Letty Vermeulen, an agent with Aspire Los Angeles. “People are a little bit confused about what that’s going to mean for them. And I think sellers want to make sure that they’re still being competitive, that their listing is still going to get the attention it deserves.”

If buyer fees are lower, they’ll have more money to spend on a house, Vermeulen said.


“Buyers want to know how they can possibly negotiate their fees, because obviously that’s going to put them in a better position to purchase,” she said.

But other buyers are worried they’ll have less to spend if they pay their commissions directly.

The Wall Street Journal reported that some home shoppers are hustling to buy a home before the settlement takes effect.

Buyers who knew about the settlement were split over whether it will be good or bad for them.


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