The fabric of North Carolina communities is woven with the dreams of homeownership — dreams that are made tangible and transparent through the dedication of REALTORS®. Given the recent media coverage regarding the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) commission lawsuit settlement, achieving clarity is imperative. It’s important to dispel misconceptions and highlight the true, client-centered values upheld by our state’s REALTORS®.

Despite what is overwhelmingly being reported nationally, North Carolina is among the few states that has prioritized both buyer representation and transparent, negotiable fees for decades. The most basic example pertains to every real estate transaction across the state, where buyer’s agreements are not mere formalities but required contracts presented to every buyer client. This process represents a commitment to honesty and clarity from the start, ensuring that both buyers and sellers enter the real estate process grounded in mutual understanding and clear expectations about compensation.

It’s critical to address the myths surrounding REALTOR® fees perpetuated by media attention and coverage. Contrary to the narrative of a fixed 6% commission, REALTOR® fees are negotiable, reflecting personalized, value-based services tailored to the unique needs of each client.

This fact underscores REALTORS®’ commitment to fairness and providing value for all parties involved in the transaction. For example, most people aren’t aware of the hundreds of steps and details of selling or buying a home. A REALTOR® is uniquely qualified to handle the many details of the process. These services include a myriad of highly specific, expert, and detailed tasks that range from advice regarding pricing of a home, contract preparation and negotiation, renovations, and navigating regulatory requirements that homebuyers and sellers need. These are value-added services in the real-estate transaction, and are rightfully rewarded through a fair, transparent, and negotiated commission.

Imagine being one of the thousands of homebuyers each year moving into a new North Carolina community — starting a new job, retiring out-of-state, or any other of the countless reasons one would purchase a home. Navigating the intricate and community-specific details of legal guidelines, tax or impact fees associated with each community, or even potential noise pollution, are only a few examples of problems that can arise during the process.

REALTORS® serve as more than just facilitators; they are indispensable guides through the complicated and sometimes stressful process of buying or selling a home. Their extensive market insights, vast community knowledge and involvement helps countless homebuyers avoid pitfalls in what is often the most important purchase of their lives.

The NAR settlement brings about new practices, particularly in how we talk about compensation. Yet, the core mission of our REALTORS® remains unchanged. REALTORS® play a crucial role in simplifying the complex world of real estate, helping both buyers and sellers navigate the market confidently and with peace of mind. Our REALTORS® are committed to guiding them every step of the way with integrity, expertise, and clarity. As we navigate changes required by NAR’s settlement, the constant is, and will continue to be, the REALTORS®’ dedication to the buyers and sellers they represent.