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New initiative focuses on agents for underserved buyers 

Realtor.com is highlighting the 111 things independent buyer representation does for Black, Hispanic, Asian American, LGBTQ+, veteran and first-time buyers.

June 18, 2024
2 minutes

Following NAR's landmark settlement in March, Realtor.com launched a campaign to celebrate buyer agents — and counter questions about their value and compensation.

With deadlines for changes to MLS fields and buyer representation agreements drawing closer, Realtor.com is building on that momentum with a new initiative that highlights the benefits of buyer agents for "historically underserved and underrepresented communities," the company said.

In April, Realtor.com shared a list of 111 things a buyer agent does for their clients. Now, it has unveiled updated versions of that list, with custom messages for specific groups.

Who is the focus? The new initiative is focused on Black and Indigenous people (BIPOC); Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI); and Hispanic, LGBTQ+, first-time, veteran, and lower-income buyers — all of whom face added challenges when purchasing a home.

"Buyer's agents provide essential expertise and support in the biggest financial transaction of people's lives. This is especially true for first-time and underrepresented buyers with limited resources or knowledge of the process," said Realtor.com CMO Mickey Neuberger. "However, if the commission settlements increase upfront costs or reduce access to buyer agency it could make homeownership less affordable to the very people who need the most help."

"Faced with the biggest real estate affordability crisis in recent history, the last thing we should do is make it even harder for these individuals to access a chance at generational wealth," Neuberger said.

Why it matters: Inequalities and challenges abound, Realtor.com pointed out. LGBTQ+ people are 25% less likely to own a home than all Americans. Seven of 10 veterans don't know they qualify for a zero down home loan. A quarter of Hispanic buyers complete their home purchase entirely in Spanish. The gap between Black and white homeowners is larger than it was in 1968 when the Fair Housing Act passed.

But opportunities abound as well. 

"The large majority of net new homeowners over the next twenty years are expected to be from Hispanic and other diverse communities. The overall health and well-being of America's housing economy will rely on these consumers having access to competent buyer's agent representation to help them navigate through a complex and challenging home purchase process," said Gary Acosta, NAHREP CEO and co-founder.

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