Northwest MLS removes buyer broker commission as default

Beginning October 3, Washington-based Northwest MLS, which has over 35,000 subscribers, will release new listing forms that do not offer buyer broker commissions by default. The new forms make the offer of buyer broker compensation much more explicit for sellers, including presenting a variety of compensation options for them to choose from, including no compensation, putting the burden of buyer broker compensation exclusively on the buyer, offering a credit or setting a minimum compensation. Major class-action lawsuits and an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigations into how real estate commissions are handled is spurring change throughout the industry. This action by NWMLS is one example of the evolution in how commission-payment protocol is changing.