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The proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) was announced Friday, March 15 but the settlement must be approved by the court before it will be final. This settlement outlines a three-pronged change in NAR MLS policy, representing further evolution in real estate practices. It is crucial to note that this settlement remains tentative and could be modified prior to judicial approval.
Washington's REALTOR community, however, stands ahead of the curve, already adhering to much of the settlement’s envisioned reforms. 

  • First, the settlement requires buyer brokers to establish an agency agreement with buyers from the outset of service delivery, a practice already familiar to Washington brokers.
  • Second, compensation paid by seller must be negotiated in a decoupled manner, ensuring the listing firm's compensation is not tethered to any offer of compensation a seller may make to the buyer broker – again, a measure already implemented by brokers using Forms 1A or 1A-SWF as their listing agreement.
  • Finally, an NAR MLS will be prohibited from publishing any seller offer of buyer broker compensation, a new step for all but indicative of the shifting landscape of the industry

The real estate industry has historically adapted to various challenges—from staggering interest rates to the tumultuous waves of COVID-19—and has demonstrated resilience and an innate capacity for innovation.

Washington REALTORS® has consistently helped our members navigate these changes and challenges. As the industry anticipates the court's decision on the proposed settlement, we are committed to ensuring that you are well-equipped to embrace these changes, so you can continue to provide excellent service to your clients in this ever-evolving marketplace.
If you have questions on this topic or any other real estate topics, members can visit the Legal Hotline Additionally, check out our consumer campaign resources, including our Agency Law consumer-facing website: and our Broker resources at
Thank you for being a Washington REALTORS® member!