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CA REALTORS® place open letter in California newspapers

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For release:
May 1, 2024

California REALTORS® place open letter in California newspapers to mitigate confusion about pending changes in industry business practices

LOS ANGELES (May 1) – In light of the preliminary court approval of a settlement by real estate brokerages and the National Association of REALTORS® for antitrust lawsuits, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today has placed an open letter in numerous California newspapers to mitigate confusion about the process of buying and selling a home once new business practices become effective this summer.

The letter is running in nearly 40 local newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Mercury News, Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register, Fresno Bee, Press-Telegram, Desert Sun, Record Searchlight, as well as the California editions of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

View the full open letter here

“If you’ve been reading about real estate lately, you’ve no doubt heard about antitrust lawsuits and settlements by real estate brokerages and the National Association of REALTORS®. You’ve also heard about the settlements resulting in certain changes in how agents will be compensated for their work,” C.A.R. President Melanie Barker said in the letter. “Recent coverage by media entities, industry insiders and anyone with an opinion and a smartphone have offered up a mix of fact and fiction. All this noise has caused confusion, fear and, in some instances, panic about the process of buying and selling a home.”

The letter outlines the two major changes resulting from the litigation settlement. 1) Properties listed in databases known as the multiple listing service (MLS) will no longer be allowed to include an offer of compensation to buyer’s agents and 2) Homebuyers who want to work with an agent will need to sign a written agreement with that agent prior to touring a home. This means before consumers start their home search, they’ll need to discuss and agree with their agent what the agent will do on their behalf, and they’ll need to decide how much and how to pay that agent.

In fact, C.A.R. has supported transparency with respect to how buyer’s agents are compensated for more than two decades since the Association introduced its first buyer representation agreement in 1999. C.A.R. introduced its most recent Buyer Representation and Broker Compensation Agreement in December 2022. 

“We come to this job because we love putting people in homes. We stay in this job because we love working with our clients, who become our friends and neighbors. As we’ve done for decades, through up markets and down markets, through periods of industry change, we will stand by our clients, serve our communities, and continue to do what we do best — work to create a future that enables homeownership for all who want it,” the letter concludes.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 118 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 180,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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