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Should you sell your home now or wait for the Realtor settlement this summer?

New York CNN  —  Listing your home in the spring used to be a no-brainer. But a major real estate shakeup is complicating the equation. That shakeup is coming from a $418 million settlement the National Association of Realtors announced last week with groups of homesellers that could go into effect as early as July. The settlement will eliminate the long-standing standard 6% commission paid by the seller, which could ultimately make it cheaper to sell your home post-settlement. But is it worth waiting to list your home and potentially risking a sale? Why’s spring such a popular time to buy a home, anyway? Would you rather be unloading boxes from a moving truck in a potential snowstorm or heatwave as opposed to when it’s a pleasant 60-degree day? That’s one of the main reasons spring has been the most popular season to buy a home. For families with children, it’s also an ideal time to close on home because it would allow them to stay in the same school. By springtime, people are also more likely to have paid off any debt they took on over the holidays, said Phil Crescenzo Jr., the southeast division vice president at Nation One Mortgage Corporation. In an aerial view, homes sit on lots in a residential neighborhood on March 15, 2024, in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images Related article How does the National Association of Realtors’ settlement affect you? The case for getting in on spring homebuying season The settlement could present a major downside to homebuyers. Under the current system, the buyer’s agent’s commission is baked into the total they pay for a home. That meant buyers could pay that added cost over the entire length of their mortgage. But after the settlement is finalized, many may have to pay flat fees upfront to agents. That would add to the financial burden for homebuyers – especially first-timers. And that’s on top of coming up with all the money they need for a home downpayment, closing costs, a lawyer and all the other fees associated with buying a home. Buyers, therefore, may have more of an incentive to close on a home sooner rather than later. There’s also no guarantee a federal court will sign off on the settlement as is. The unknowns associated with that are enough of a reason not to wait to list your home, said Crescenzo. From conversations he’s had with real estate agents, he said he’s not seeing any signs that the NAR settlement is delaying listing activity. “There is no reason to wait,” Mike Downer, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Realty in Naples, Florida. “The seller does not currently need to provide any compensation to the buyer’s agent.” The case for waiting until the summer The biggest advantage of waiting to list your home until the settlement is finalized is being able to negotiate an agent’s commission down more than they otherwise would’ve been able to. On top of that, they may be able to avoid having to pay the buyer’s agent’s commission. That could allow them to pocket thousands of dollars more on the sale of their home. If selling your home boiled down to a business decision, Mike Downer, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Realty in Naples, Florida, said he’d try to list it as soon as possible. “If I am trying to test the market, there would be no need to list it [now],” he added. But in his view, the NAR settlement shouldn’t be a major consideration when it comes to timing. “An agent who provides value will always be worth more than an agent who does not provide value,” because they can help you net more money for the sale of your home, he said.