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Central Texas housing experts talk impacts from $418M real estate industry settlement

Housing market
Posted at 6:13 PM, Mar 18, 2024

CENTRAL TEXAS — A historic change is coming to the real estate industry.

25 News looked into how a massive legal settlement could impact the local real estate industry and our neighbors looking to buy and sell their home.

Chris Meza is a Central Texas Realtor and managing partner with Carbajal Realty.

He has a longstanding in the industry and relies on commissions to help support his family.

“It makes up 90 to 95 percent of my professional career and living at this moment," Meza said.

Meza has questions and concerns about Friday’s National Association of Realtors $418 million dollar settlement.

Part of the settlement, changes homeowners from feeling obligated to paying buyer’s agents around a three percent commission, an industry standard, when they sell their home. It now allows for more flexibility and negotiation of the buyer agent commission.

This is a decades old industry standard but those in the lawsuit argued that the MLS database was unfair and kept commissions higher.

Meza not only has serious concerns about his future income but how the change could impact the people he works for.

"You do have to look at and be concerned about buyers and how those commissions are going to be covered moving forward — especially in particular the first-time home buyer, where they may not have that cash sitting around ready to buy properties," he said.

Chris Walker runs the real estate company CBW Real Estate Investments here in Central Texas.

He believes this change could make the real estate industry more competitive, but could also give sellers more negotiating power and help buyers and seller's wallets.

"I think in seasons of economic times like we have today where interest rates are high, housing prices have kinda been inflated, that one or two percent might make a difference for somebody who may need to fall off in a certain window for a house payment or mortgage payment or something like that," Walker said.

The changes NAR agreed on are expected to take effect in July but that's pending acceptance of the settlement by a federal court.
To read more about the settlement, click here.