What’s changing in Utah’s housing market after real estate lawsuit settlement

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SALT LAKE CITY — The spring home buying season is here, and realtor Alicia Holdaway says Utah’s housing market is getting busy.

“We’re seeing multiple offers come back,” Holdaway told KSL-TV on Monday. “We’re seeing open houses with dozens of people through them again.”

The pickup in buying comes at a time when the real estate world is undergoing a major shakeup. As KSL reported last week, the National Association of Realtors has agreed to settle lawsuits accusing the organization of keeping real estate agent commissions artificially high.

The National Association of Realtors has agreed to pay $418 million to home buyers who have sued over that premise. The group also has to change its rules to prohibit seller’s agents from promising compensation for buyer’s agents on the site where homes are listed for sale.

Commissions will now have to be negotiated separately.

“The idea that commissions should be transparent — at least from my experience — they have been,” said Kreg Wagner, general counsel at the Utah Association of Realtors. “They have been negotiable.”

Holdaway echoed that.

“It’s always been negotiable,” she said, “but the consumer may feel more empowered to negotiate.”

Experts say this settlement could lead to lower agent commissions. Utahns on average pay 4.9%, according to one study from Clever Real Estate. That equals about $24,581 on a typical home.

Realtor Alicia Holdaway says Utah’s housing market is getting busy. (Photo: Winston Armani, KSL-TV)

“It’s not a terrible thing that agents have to prove their value and support their value in what they’re being compensated for,” Holdaway said.

But she worries some buyers will skip getting an agent over concerns about paying — and have no one watching their back.

“That’s not in anybody’s best interest,” Holdaway said.

The settlement also requires that going forward, realtors sign an agreement with buyers. But the Utah Association of Realtors said that has already been happening in the Beehive State.

“That shouldn’t be a seismic change for Utah,” said Wagner. “We’ve been doing that for decades.”

If the settlement is approved by a judge, the changes are expected to take effect in the middle of July.

Kreg Wagner, general counsel at the Utah Association of Realtors, says a recent settlement by the National Association of Realtors should not cause seismic changes for Utah home buyers. (Photo: Winston Armani, KSL-TV)

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This article was originally published by a www.ksl.com . Read the Original article here. .