The first week after the realtor-lawsuit verdict went as expected – chaos, doom, and no sexy alternatives. It will take years to appeal, but it won’t matter how it turns out. Buyers are going to be paying their agents.

If sellers aren’t obligated to pay any commission to the buyer-agents, will they appreciate the benefit of incentivizing buyer-agents with a bounty, or reward? Probably not, unless their listing agent makes it very clear, and insists on it.

It is more likely that listing agents won’t push it, and because sellers naturally will want to pay less commission and not more, they will list for 2.5% or 3% and hope for the best. Both will shrug it off, and joke about how it’s about time commissions came down!

It will be a grave mistake.

Why? Because the buyer-broker agreement is a disaster:

  1. Buyers won’t like it.
  2. Agents won’t like it.
  3. The market won’t like it.

Today’s buyers are picky, and you can’t blame them. They’ve had to endure +40% on prices, +200% on interest rates, and -50% on inventory… about challenging!

The buyer-broker agreement will be a disaster because both agents and buyers will sign a short-term arrangement and hope the seller might kick in some of the commission. But then everyone will go back to doing it the same way we always have – refreshing your feed every hour and praying!

The real opportunity will be for buyers to hire an aggressive buyer-agent who does more than just watch the MLS. When a seller hires a listing agent, they get a thorough marketing campaign to source every potential buyer in the market. Buyer-agents can do the same, in reverse!

The buyer-agents who offer a rifle-shot soliciting of specific homes that fit the needs perfectly of their buyers will eventually find one. If an aggressive buyer-agent brings the complete package to the seller’s table without having to mess with a full listing, they will likely get an audience. It could even take the place of listing agents!

Because auctions aren’t close yet, this could be what changes the world of residential resales!

It will mean more off-market sales, which means more fuzzy comps because not much if anything is known about the home’s condition. But if it catches fire and the MLS or a rogue search portal insists on buyer-agents reporting everything about their sales including photos, we could still have a database full of accurate market data. But if we don’t, we don’t – good luck everybody!

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