Tripp's Tip: When Reading News Media Headlines, Believe only 6% of it


I’m calling 3 Pinocchios on the news reporting on the Friday announcement by the National Association of Realtors that they were settling a lawsuit claiming they kept sales commissions artificially high.

First Pinocchio: A CNN headline and article proclaims that sellers and buyers no longer have to pay x% commission anymore. This headline is patently FALSE. The FACT is: real estate commissions have ALWAYS been negotiable. Additionally, true professionals who can negotiate their fee that demonstrates the value they bring to their client is the professional who is incentivized to negotiate the best deal for the client.

We won’t work for free - nor would you.

Second Pinocchio: News articles claim that this settlement will bring down the price of homes. FALSE. I’m sorry, but there are market factors here that news headlines don’t accomodate (they don’t sell articles because it takes too long to explain the actual facts). FACT: market supply and demand ultimately dictate prices. When there’s short supply, then prices will stay strong. When there’s an over supply, prices will moderate.

Keep in mind that news outlets were the ones out there claiming that the sky was falling and that home prices were going to drop precipitously. Have they? No! Nor will they.

Third Pinocchio: The news claims that commissions paid in the US are higher than other countries like Germany, Australia and Britain. Whether TRUE or FALSE, this is a sensational claim. Either way, I don’t want the housing market of any of those countries. FACT: I live in America because of the opportunities we have here - and those other countries, while nice in their own way, don’t offer the opportunities that I have here.

You can disagree…but you don’t have to stay here if it’s that bad.

I’m not trying to be ugly or snarky here, but truly I am proud of the homes I have owned over the 22 years of homeownership. I wouldn’t be where I am without the benefits they provided me and my family. And this is the story of millions of people.

Don’t look at the headlines and buy into the garbage they’re selling. Most of it is clickbait anyway.

So what will change in late July as a result of the lawsuit?: Sellers will not be able to list in the MLS any compensation to a buyer's broker.

Yup. That's essentially it. Sure there's deeper implications for buyers that will need to be considered and discussed. Conversations will have to happen sooner between buyers and agents about how we get paid. Buyer broker agreements will have to be signed before properties can be shown. There will be challenges for VA buyers because of current limitations on fees that can be added to closing costs.

  • This doesn't mean a buyer's agent fee can't be negoatiated as part of a deal - it can
  • This doesn't mean buyer agents will now work for free, because we won't (the seller agent has as their goal to get the seller the highest sales price, so buyers will definitely want a professional negotiator working and advocating for them)
  • This doesn't mean the sellers' broker works for free, because we won't

I'll be watching this in real time and welcome a direct conversation with you about this.

As a Realtor with 20 years in the real estate industry, I didn’t stay in business this long by accident or with luck. I am committed to serving my clients and providing an exceptional experience for them. 

Thanks for your time. Let’s grab coffee soon.

Jon Signature

Jon Tripp

P.S. I have two new properties coming on the market very soon in Woodbridge and Manassas. If you’re looking for a home and would like to learn more about these or other properties, reach out!

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