Yesterday, we attended Gov’s annual update on new laws and forms for 2024.

He touched on many topics – including that landlords in California might be agreeing to tenants for life because it’s so hard legally to get rid of them – but the most interesting was his comments on the realtor lawsuits and commissions for the buyer-agents.

To demonstrate the difficulty of coming up with a viable solution, the best the California Association of Realtors can do is to add paragraph G3 into the purchase contract (above) and hope the buyer’s agent already has a written agreement for the buyer to pay the commission. At least paragraph G3 will pass the responsibility of paying the buyer-agent commission along to the seller so the buyer doesn’t have to pay it, but in a multiple-offer situation, all it will do is send your offer to the back of the line.

When in a bidding war, buyer-agents will be forced to omit paragraph G3 and saddle the buyer with the commission payment instead.

What’s worse is that the federal judge presiding over the successful realtor lawsuit will be deciding in May whether or not to make it a national law that PREVENTS the seller from paying the buyer-agent’s commission altogether, or let the current commission structure ride until the appeals process is complete.

It appears that the buyers will be paying their agent’s commission, sooner or later.

In an interesting twist, Gov was describing how the best solution for evicting a tenant is to bribe them with cash-for-keys and we even have a form for it now. But bribing a buyer-agent is completely out of line? A home seller should have the ability to pay the buyer-agent commission if they see fit.

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