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How New Real Estate Commission Rules Could Affect First-Time Buyers

Mixed-race couple sits with their real estate agent in a home

In a twist that could redefine the homebuying landscape, especially for first-time purchasers, the real estate industry faces a pivotal shift. The catalyst? A landmark legal settlement that challenges the traditional method of real estate commissions, shaking the foundations of homebuying and selling as we know it. Read on to learn what the changes are and how they affect first-time homebuyers.

Real Estate Commissions Have Changed

The process has been straightforward for decades: sellers pay the real estate agent a cost subtly woven into the home's price. This method ensured that buyers, often unaware of the intricate financial workings behind the scenes, remained shielded from handling agent commissions. However, the tides are turning. With "commission decoupling," buyers and sellers will now shoulder the responsibility for their respective agents' fees. This change will create a new financial landscape. For first-time homebuyers, that means the homebuying journey may become more challenging.

Economists and analysts predict a substantial reduction in commission costs for real estate agents, perhaps cutting current rates in half. Even though this seems like a silver lining for first-time homebuyers, it poses new challenges. Buyers will now be responsible for agent commissions, and those already scrimping to muster the initial down payment may have to come up with more upfront funds. The additional cost of the commission could stretch their finances to a point where homeownership feels out of reach.

Commission Changes Magnify Housing Inequalities

The impending changes will also illuminate existing housing inequalities. The timing is particularly poignant, coming on the heels of a housing market that has already been challenging for newcomers. For prospective homebuyers who don't have the right homebuying team, the dream of homeownership can feel elusive due to rising home prices and higher mortgage rates.

The impact could affect diverse homebuyers even more. Historically underrepresented in the housing market, these prospective buyers face an uphill battle, one that the new commission rules threaten to steepen. The journey of homeownership risks becoming exclusive to a small percentage of people.

How to Navigate the Changes to Become a First-Time Homeowner

Enter New American Funding (NAF), a champion for those navigating the waters of home financing. In the wake of the historic settlement, NAF remains a steadfast partner to real estate professionals and homebuyers. NAF is committed to providing unwavering support throughout the homebuying journey. This dedication shines through in NAF's efforts to help first-time buyers. NAF gives homebuyers access to financial programs and support to make the journey easier. This support includes tailored financial advice based on individual situations. NAF aims to ensure first-time buyers have the tools, knowledge, and confidence they need as they start owning a home.

Despite the market changes, NAF stands unshaken, confident that financing's foundational role in homebuying remains unchanged. NAF's focus is on fostering partnerships and building bridges between buyers and real estate agents (REAs) that withstand the test of the changing market. NAF continues to work to offer the best lending products and experiences. From application to pre-approval to closing, and servicing that lasts the lifetime of the loan, NAF is with you the entire way through.

NAF Homes Role in First-Time Homebuying

The landscape is shifting, and with it, the strategies for making sure that first-time buyers can still claim their slice of the American Dream. NAF Homes, an affiliated company of New American Funding, emerges as a pivotal player in this new era. It connects prequalified buyers with a network of local agents and agencies. NAF Homes holds the buyer's hand the entire way through. Communication between the Loan Officer and real estate agent becomes streamlined, making sure that you find the right home. This synergy streamlines the homebuying process and cushions the financial strain that some may feel with the evolving commission structure.

Strategies for Empowering First-Time Homebuyers

With the evolving landscape of real estate commissions, first-time homebuyers can turn these changes into opportunities. Here are key ways to do just that:

  • Understand the Basics: Educate yourself on the fundamentals of the homebuying process, including how commissions work now and what changes are expected.
  • Financial Planning: Begin with a solid financial plan that includes saving for upfront costs, which might now include agent commissions. Use budgeting tools and apps to set realistic savings goals.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Consider consultations with financial advisors or housing counselors who can offer personalized advice based on your financial situation and goals. They can help you understand the impact of commission changes on your buying power.
  • Explore Incentive Programs: Research and take advantage of first-time homebuyer incentive programs that can help offset additional costs. This could include grants, tax rebates, or subsidized loan programs designed to make homeownership more accessible. An Experienced Loan Officer will help.
  • Join a Buyers' Community: Engage with online forums or local groups of first-time homebuyers where experiences and tips are shared. Learning from others' journeys can provide valuable insights and strategies for your own homebuying process.

NAF Will Help You Navigate These Changes

With the new real estate commission rules, the path forward for first-time homebuyers is clear: Equip yourself with knowledge, prepare financially, and choose a partner who can guide you through each step of this journey with expertise and empathy. NAF is ready to be that partner. Contact us today to start your homebuying journey.


NAF Homes, Inc. (“NAF Homes”) has a business relationship with New American Funding, LLC (“NAF”). NAF Homes and NAF are affiliates with the same beneficial owners. As a result, the referral of a customer by NAF Homes to NAF may provide NAF Homes, its affiliates and/or its employees with a financial or other benefit. You are not required to use NAF Cash or NAF as a condition of the purchase, sale or refinance of the subject property or to obtain access to any settlement service.
Loan products offered by New American Funding, LLC. dba New American Funding. NMLS #6606.

New American Funding, LLC NMLS #6606. http://nmlsconsumeraccesss.org Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. This is not a loan commitment or guarantee of any kind. Loan approval and rate are dependent upon borrower credit, collateral, financial history, and program availability at time of origination. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice.

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