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Texas real estate broker worries vets, active service members would be impacted following NAR settlement

Michael and his service dog Will
Posted at 6:54 PM, Apr 22, 2024

CENTRAL TEXAS — Last month, a court settlement proposed by the National Association of Realtors would loosen the requirements paid out to representatives of buyers and sellers when it comes to purchasing a home.

The settlement is valued at $418 million, and it's from anti-trust lawsuits — the lawsuits accuse members of the NAR of artificially inflating rates.

NAR maintains its innocence saying it does not set commissions, and commissions were negotiable long before this settlement.

Michael Roberson is a Fort Cavazos veteran with 20 plus years of service in the Army.

He says he and his family have bought multiple properties with a VA home loan.

"We would never have been able to do it without the VA home loan," he said.

Michael was injured during his time in service and always has Will, his service dog, by his side.

He says the VA home loan created a clear path of home ownership for him and his family and says that "the beauty of a VA home loan is that you get into a home no money down."

25 News met with Myka Allen-Johnson to learn more about the NAR settlement's potential impact to veterans like Michael and active service members.

Allen-Johnson is a licensed Texas broker and owner of Elevate Texas Real Estate — she is also an owner of The Real Estate Business School of Solado.

"VA loan guidelines say that a veteran purchaser using a VA loan cannot pay a buyer's agent commission," she said.

She says that traditionally, sellers paid the buyer's agent commissions for those representing Veteran purchasers.

Now, with the requirement that a seller is not required to pay a buyer's agent commission, Veteran purchasers could be at-risk and unrepresented when trying to buy a home.

She says it's a complex issue, but urges people with VA home loans to stay educated on their rights.

"If our veterans can't pay a commission and our seller doesn't pay it, most brokerages nationwide are not gonna be able to help veterans because our insurance that covers transactions is only good if we get paid," she added.

There are still many uncertainties.

Allen-Johnson says there are reports that NAR is working with the veteran’s administration to work out some solutions.

Still, the settlement is expected to go into effect in July.