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The springtime has traditionally been the most popular season to list and sell a home, but a major shakeup in the real estate industry could be changing that. The National Association of Realtors recently announced a $418 million settlement that could potentially lower the standard 6% commission paid by sellers, making it cheaper to sell a home post-settlement. Despite this potential cost savings, homeowners may be hesitant to wait to list their home due to the uncertainty surrounding the settlement and the impact it may have on buyers.

One of the main reasons why spring has historically been the best time to buy a home is because of the pleasant weather conditions. Additionally, families with children often prefer to move during the spring so that they can close on a home and stay in the same school district. By the spring, people are also more likely to have paid off any debt accumulated over the holidays, making it a more financially stable time to make a big purchase like a home.

However, the settlement with the National Association of Realtors could present a major downside for homebuyers. Under the current system, the buyer’s agent’s commission is included in the total cost of the home, which buyers can pay off over the length of their mortgage. After the settlement, buyers may be required to pay flat fees upfront to agents, adding to their financial burden. This could make it more advantageous for buyers to close on a home sooner rather than waiting for the settlement to go into effect.

While waiting to list a home until after the settlement may allow sellers to negotiate lower agent commissions and potentially avoid paying the buyer’s agent’s commission, it may not be worth the risk of delaying the sale. Real estate experts like Mike Downer recommend listing a home as soon as possible, as the value provided by a skilled agent can outweigh the cost savings of lower commissions. Ultimately, the decision of when to list a home should be based on individual circumstances and market conditions, rather than the potential impact of the NAR settlement.

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