Updated Mar 15, 2024 - Business

National Association of Realtors agrees to slash commissions in $418M settlement

Illustration of a percent sign with a house and upside-down house within the zeroes, forming upward and downward pointing arrows.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The National Association of Realtors will pay $418 million in damages to settle allegations it conspired to boost agents' commissions, the organization said on Friday.

Why it matters: If the settlement is approved, the lawsuits will change the way we buy and sell homes — potentially lowering the commission rates that buyers pay.

  • A federal court still has to approve the deal.
  • Home sellers had sued the Realtors association, which was found liable for keeping agent compensation artificially high.

Our thought bubble, from Axios' Emily Peck: This deal, if approved, has the potential to change the way the real estate market works.

  • It could lower costs for buyers and radically disrupt the way real estate agents work — maybe driving many from the business altogether.

Details: NAR will pay the settlement over about four years.

  • The organization denied wrongdoing regarding the compensation rule at the center of the litigation.
  • "It has always been our goal to preserve consumer choice and protect our members to the greatest extent possible," Nykia Wright, interim CEO, said in a statement.

Zoom out: The settlement adds to financial and administrative troubles faced by the organization in recent months.

  • NAR's CEO, Bob Goldberg, resigned last year, just days after a previous $1.8 billion verdict against the group over commissions.
  • He had already faced calls to step down in the fallout of sexual harassment and discrimination allegations levied against the group's former president months before.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated with more details from NAR's press release.

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