National Changes to Buyer Representation

This past November, NAR reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to develop rules that more explicitly state what is already the spirit and intent of NAR’s Code of Ethics and MLS policies regarding providing information about commissions and MLS participation. 

Expected Outcomes

In accordance with the MLS system’s long-standing focus on creating an efficient, transparent marketplace for home buyers and sellers, the amount of compensation offered to buyers’ agents for each MLS listing will be made publicly available. Publicly accessible MLS data feeds will include offers of compensation, and buyers’ agents will have an affirmative obligation to provide such information to their clients for homes of interest.

Relatedly, the rule changes re-affirm that MLSs and brokerages, as always, must provide consumers all properties that fit their criteria regardless of compensation offered or the name of the listing brokerage.

While NAR has long encouraged buyers’ agents to explain how they expect to be paid, typically through offers of cooperative compensation from sellers’ agents, there will be a rule that more definitively states that buyers’ agents cannot represent their services as free to clients.

To summarize:

  • The amount of commission being offered to the buyers’ agent will now be made publicly available. 
  • Agents must provide consumers access to ALL properties that fit their criteria, regardless of the amount of compensation being offered to the buyer-side agent. 
  • Agents CANNOT claim or make any representation that their services are free or that the cost of their services is paid for by the seller. 



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