The Redfin and NAR logos.
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Redfin leaves NAR: 'Enough is enough' 

In a note signed by CEO Glenn Kelman and other Redfin leaders, the company said “NAR isn’t the future.”

October 2, 2023
2 minutes

Key points:

  • Redfin said its decision was based on NAR requirements around buyer’s agent fees on every listing and ongoing allegations of sexual harassment at the organization.
  • The Seattle-based brokerage will require its agents to leave NAR “everywhere we can,” leaders said in the announcement.
  • Redfin execs noted that their issue is with NAR, not the real estate industry.

Redfin is cutting ties with the industry's top trade organization.

Early Monday morning, Redfin published an announcement signed by CEO Glenn Kelman and other top executives indicating that the Seattle-based brokerage would be leaving the National Association of Realtors. 

In the note, Kelman cited two primary reasons for the decision: an NAR policy that mandates a fee for the buyer's agent on every listing and allegations of sexual harassment at the highest levels of the organization. 

Despite the ongoing commission lawsuits and growing outcry against NAR, Redfin leadership said this wasn't an impulse decision. 

"We've had many meetings with NAR execs to explore compromises on the policies that would let us continue our support," Redfin leaders wrote, adding that the company has paid over $13 million in NAR dues since 2017. 

Mantill Williams, VP of public relations and communications at NAR, told Real Estate News through a prepared comment that the organization respects Redfin's decision but stands by its policies. "Redfin told us in June they were planning to separate from NAR, and we respect their choice to do so," Williams said.

"The U.S. model of local MLS broker marketplaces has long been — and still is — considered the best value in the world. NAR stands by its pro-consumer, pro-competitive guidance for affiliated local broker marketplaces that ensure equity, efficiency, transparency and market-driven pricing options for home buyers and sellers," Williams added.

Redfin, which reported having over 2,400 full-time lead agents at the end of 2022, will go further than simply discouraging NAR membership — Redfin will require many of its agents to "leave NAR everywhere we can," the note read. Kelman and team also added that the company had left the NAR board back in June, well before the explosive New York Times investigation into the organization's ongoing allegations of misconduct.

Kelman, known for his candor and straightforward language, goes even further, saying that "NAR isn't the future."

"Our disagreement is with NAR, not with our industry," the note says. "We love our industry. We've tried to love NAR. But enough is enough."

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