Kayla works for Mauricio at the Agency, and she sent this in! If listing agents recognize the value of buyer-agents and convince their sellers to pay them a decent commission, then the current model might survive. Or will they take the lazy way out and just hope buyers come to them directly without an agent? It is also possible that the courts will outlaw sellers paying a buyer-agent commission, which will force the issue – I hope we get some notice on that!

Two prominent real estate agents have started a new trade association in a direct swipe at the embattled National Association of Realtors.

Founded more than 100 years ago, the group known as N.A.R. has long held sway over the American real estate industry, collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in annual dues from its 1.5 million members. It owns the trademark to the word “Realtor.” But in recent years, the organization has been saddled with a barrage of antitrust lawsuits and sexual harassment allegations. Over the past several months, multiple top leaders have stepped down, stoking concerns in the industry that the organization is on the edge of implosion.

Jason Haber, a New York agent with Compass, and Mauricio Umansky, the Los Angeles-based celebrity agent and founder of the luxury brokerage the Agency, told The New York Times that their new group, the American Real Estate Association, could be an alternative.

Mr. Umansky said that A.R.E.A. will offer its members a nationwide database of home listings as an alternative, built from the technology he acquired for his own private listings service. That platform, which they’re calling the National Listing Service, is currently live with limited listings at theNLS.com.

“A centralized database with access to the full scope of listings across the country is better for everyone in the industry, and someone just had to do it,” Mr. Umansky said.

In addition, A.R.E.A. will allow agents to set their own commission rates and will not require any cooperation between buyer and seller agents.

Organizationally, A.R.E.A. will not have a president and vice president, Mr. Haber said. He emphasized that rather than seeking to replace the 100-year-old association, his goal was to offer something new.

“N.A.R. was too big to fail, until it failed,” he said. “People want something different. We’re setting ourselves up for failure if we try to replicate the N.A.R. model.”


(‘cooperation’ = sellers paying a buyer-agent commission).

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