On a sad note, I had four friends lose parents last week alone. Three died of COVID-19. It’s unbelievable. I recently made the decision to allow the NAHREP staff to work from home for the remainder of the year. We are lucky because not everyone has a job that can be done from home and I understand why some of the people out of work are questioning the closure policies. The fact is nobody knows everything about this disease.
That said, I would rather allow my staff to work from home, and be wrong, than require them to come in and be wrong. I would rather everyone wear a mask, and be wrong, than not wear a mask and be wrong. I would rather be safe for everyone around me, and be wrong, than not be safe and be wrong. To err on the side of safety, in the face of a life-threatening infectious disease, is a no-brainer for me. Stay healthy, everything else can be replaced.
This week, in a brief to the judge of a major antitrust lawsuit known as Nosalek, the U.S. Department of Justice called for decoupling buyer and seller agent representation. If the DOJ gets what it wants, it would mean that listing agents would no longer be permitted to share their commissions with agents representing buyers, and buyers would have to pay out of pocket to have an agent represent them.
I was in D.C. on Friday for the celebration of life for my friend, Dave Stevens. Dave was a former FHA Commissioner under Barack Obama and an icon in the mortgage banking industry. I was lucky to know Dave as a good friend.
If you’re not familiar with the Sitzer class action lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors and several of the largest real estate brands, it centers on how real estate agents are compensated. The lawsuit claims that the practice of seller and buyer agent cooperation or sharing of commissions is an anti-trust violation and has resulted in inflated commissions paid by consumers. While a jury in Missouri has already sided with the plaintiffs, the judge has not rendered a final verdict.