When buying or selling a home in Seattle, many people only think about employing a real estate broker to help them. But oftentimes, legal issues arise during a transaction, and as qualified as a broker might be, a broker may not know how to handle the issue.
This is why hiring an experienced real estate attorney is your safest bet to avoid delays in a real estate transaction and potentially save you money in the long run. For one thing, a real estate attorney will be up-to-date on the latest industry changes in real estate.
LAWSUIT INSTIGATES CHANGES
A huge change occurred with the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) in July 2019. As a result of a class-action lawsuit filed in March, NWMLS adopted new guidelines on setting and disclosing commissions for both selling and selling real estate brokers.
The lawsuit, which was filed in a U.S. District Court in Illinois, named the National Association of Realtors and four of the largest real estate brokerages as defendants, alleging that antitrust violations had occurred and that there had been a conspiracy to inflate commission payments to brokers representing home buyers. As a result of the class-action lawsuit, NWMLS decided to be proactive and adopt new rules on commissions.
NWMLS’s new rules deal with the commission paid by a property seller to the broker representing the buyer, known as the selling office commission (SOC). Under the new rules, real estate firms will publicize the SOC being offered by a seller’s broker with other listing information for the property.
It also means that sellers no longer have to offer a commission to a broker who lists their property for sale. If no SOC is offered, the buyer and the buyer’s broker can negotiate compensation as part of the offer to purchase. These changes allow for more flexibility for sellers and buyers.
These changes will also potentially lead to negotiating other terms of real estate purchases in the same vein, and the additional information will provide buyers more insight into the seller’s expense, which will allow them to decide what to offer for a property.
Other regional MLSs and brokerages will probably adopt similar changes, and the result is greater transparency for buyers not familiar with the home buying process—especially first-time buyers.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a property in the greater Seattle area, you not only need a qualified real estate broker but an attorney who knows the ins and outs of real estate law. Meyler Legal, PLLC has the experience and expertise you need to make sure your transaction goes without a hitch. Call 206-876-7770 today to schedule a free consultation about your real estate transaction.