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Navigating the Changing Harrisonburg Real Estate Market: Potential Impacts of the NAR Settlement


The recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) settlement has brought about changes that could ripple through local real estate markets, including here in Harrisonburg, VA. While the full extent of these changes remains to be seen, it's essential for both buyers and sellers to understand the potential implications. Here at Valley Realty Associates, we're committed to keeping you informed about the evolving landscape.

Key Changes and Possible Effects on the Harrisonburg Market

  1. Increased Transparency in Buyer Broker Commissions

  • Compensation offers moved off the MLS: NAR has agreed to put in place a new rule prohibiting offers of compensation on the MLS. Offers of compensation could continue to be an option consumers can pursue off-MLS through negotiation and consultation with real estate professionals. And sellers can offer buyer concessions on an MLS (for example—concessions for buyer closing costs). This change will go into effect in mid-July 2024.

  • Potential Impact: This could lead to more buyers questioning and potentially negotiating buyer broker fees. It's important to note that this does not guarantee lower commissions overall.

  1. Emphasis on Written Buyer Representation Agreements

  • Realtors must now obtain a signed buyer representation agreement before showing homes.

  • Potential Impact: These agreements formalize the relationship between buyers and their agents, clarifying expectations and ensuring everyone is protected.

Possible Scenarios for the Harrisonburg Market

  • Potential for Fee Negotiation: Increased transparency could give buyers more leverage in negotiating commissions, especially if their needs are simple.

  • Emphasis on Agent Value: Agents will need to clearly articulate the value they bring – market expertise, negotiation skills, and their ability to streamline the process – to justify their fees.

  • Focus on Service Differentiation: We might see real estate brokerages developing tiered service packages to accommodate buyers with varying needs and budgets. Some buyers might prefer lower commission options for basic services.

  • Stability Remains Possible: While the NAR settlement introduces change, Harrisonburg has a robust real estate market driven by factors beyond commission structures. We could also see prices and the overall market remain resilient.

How Buyers Can Prepare:

  • Be Informed: Understand how buyer broker commissions work and the services typically provided.

  • Discuss Expectations: Have open conversations with potential agents about their fee structure, the services they'll provide, and your specific needs as a buyer.

  • Seek Value: Focus on finding an agent with a proven track record, strong local market knowledge, and excellent communication skills.

How Sellers Can Prepare:

  • Choose Wisely: When selecting a listing agent, prioritize those with a strong track record, strategic marketing plans, and exceptional negotiation skills.

  • Understand Market Dynamics: Stay aware of current market trends in Harrisonburg, including average sale prices, days on market, and overall buyer demand.

  • Embrace Transparency: Be prepared for potential conversations with buyers regarding the buyer broker commission.

Valley Realty Associates: Your Trusted Guides

The Harrisonburg real estate market is dynamic, and the NAR settlement adds a new element to consider. Our team is dedicated to monitoring these changes and providing you with the expert guidance you need to navigate this evolving landscape successfully.

Contact us today to discuss your buying or selling goals. Let us help you make informed decisions and achieve your real estate objectives in Harrisonburg, VA.

Phone: (540) 236-5800       Email:

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