NAR addresses ‘incorrect claims’ in Biden’s housing proposal speech

Although the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is grateful for the White House’s focus on the nation’s affordable housing crisis, the trade group was not thrilled about remarks President Joe Biden made about real estate agent commissions.

In a speech given at Stupak Community Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Biden pitched his administration’s new housing proposals. During the speech, he referenced the settlement agreement that NAR recently negotiated in the commission lawsuits, claiming that “for the first time that Americans can negotiate lower commissions when they buy or sell their home.”

“On a typical home purchase, that alone could save folks an average of $10,000 on the sale or purchase,” Biden added. “I’m calling on Realtors to follow through on lower commissions to protect homebuyers.”

In response to Biden’s claim that this is the first time consumers can negotiate agent commissions, NAR President Kevin Sears issued the following statement.

“While the National Association of Realtors appreciates President Biden’s continued focus on the affordable housing crisis, the President unfortunately repeated incorrect claims that the recently announced settlement agreement allows Americans to negotiate commissions for the first time. Commissions were already negotiable before this resolution was reached and will continue to be negotiable as they have been. Real estate agent commissions are driven by the market and are not the cause of the affordability crisis.”

Sears stressed that lack of inventory and supply is the larger issue when it comes to the housing affordability crisis, and he noted that this is where the Biden administration could focus more effort in helping prospective buyers.

In his speech, Biden noted that the best way to lower housing costs is to “build, build, build.“

“That’s why to help your congressional delegation, I’ve cut red tape so more builders can get federal financing for their new projects,” he said.

Sears and the NAR commended Biden for recognizing the need to build a stronger housing supply.

“We will continue to work with his administration and Congress, as well as in statehouses across the country, to fight for policy proposals intended to make homeownership more affordable and accessible for all Americans,” Sears said.

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