Dear CAR Member,

President's Message Video

Almost two weeks ago, an appeals court ruled that the Dept. of Justice can reopen its investigation into NAR. Several years ago, the DOJ began an investigation into NAR’s cooperative compensation rule, and the parties agreed to a proposed settlement in 2020. However, the DOJ then withdrew from the settlement in 2021 and sought to reopen the investigation. NAR sued to prevent the DOJ from doing so, and last Friday, April 5, an appeals court ruled in favor of the DOJ, allowing them to reopen the investigation. 

NAR has stated that this ruling in the DOJ investigation does not affect the settlement agreement that NAR announced on March 15 in the class action litigation to resolve nationwide litigation over claims from home sellers related to broker commissions. NAR has not indicated whether it will appeal this ruling.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation rejected a request to centralize in Kansas City many cases around the country challenging rules regarding buyer broker compensation. The Court decided to wait and see if the settlement is approved and how many claims or cases remain after the settlement approval process. This decision did not address whether the settlement should be approved. The settlement approval process will continue. The likely next step in cases against C.A.R. will be for the parties and courts to determine whether the cases will go forward while the settlement approval process is playing out. NAR is pleased with the ruling. It reflects that NAR’s settlement, which, if approved by the court, would end litigation nationwide for NAR and other released parties in the cases brought by home sellers. NAR stressed that the ruling does not affect the approval process for the settlement agreement. 

With regard to the NAR settlement, we know that there are still many unanswered questions. Therefore, last week C.A.R. created a Legal Quick Guide about certain practice changes that will be required under the settlement. Rest assured that we are developing materials and creating or revising several standard forms to help you in your business, and we will continue to update our guidance as we receive more information. Download the Quick Guide here.

April is Fair Housing Month, which commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the federal Fair Housing Act. It’s a moment for all REALTORS® to remember our commitment to making sure that the dream of homeownership can be achieved by all. REALTORS® play a leading role in ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to own a home. This is a reminder to show your commitment to Fair Housing by joining us next Tuesday, April 16, for C.A.R.’s Third Annual Fair Housing Day in Ontario, California. This event is FREE and open to all REALTORS®. Reserve your spot here.

At the end of this month, C.A.R. is hosting several important events in Sacramento that you won’t want to miss. We’ll start off with “Capitol Conversations: Navigating California’s Housing Solutions,” a panel discussion from C.A.R.’s Center for California Real Estate on Monday, April 29. Held in tandem with C.A.R.’s Legislative Day and the C.A.R. Directors Meetings, this panel features a select group of state legislators who are at the forefront of addressing California’s housing crisis. They’ll offer their valuable perspectives on the latest legislative developments, innovative strategies to boost affordable housing, and overcoming regulatory barriers that stand in the way of housing development. Join us in Sacramento by registering here.

Then join us on Wednesday, May 1, for C.A.R.’s Legislative Day in Sacramento to meet with state legislators to discuss critical real estate issues and urge them to support creating opportunities for homeownership. The new Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas and Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher will address REALTORS® that morning to share their thoughts on housing and homeownership in California. Come in a night early to attend our REALTOR® Block Party on Tuesday, April 30! We’re closing down a city block for food trucks, music, games, photo opps and more. Legislative Day is free for all California REALTORS® to attend. First-time attendees are eligible for a Legislative Day scholarship to help cover travel expenses. To attend Legislative Day and the REALTOR® Block Party, or to apply for a scholarship, please contact your local association of REALTORS®. 

The Center for California Real Estate (CCRE), the institute of C.A.R., recently hosted a panel of experts in technology and real estate. Discussants delved into the transformative impact of artificial intelligence on the industry and how it’s revolutionizing decision-making and personalizing client experiences. The recording from “AI in Real Estate: Prospects, Challenges & Future Directions,” is now available for you to view at your convenience. Watch the recording here and find upc oming CCRE events here.

Lastly, C.A.R. is here to help you succeed in your business and achieve your professional goals by providing you with unparalleled value through our innovative tools, services, and educational offerings. Earlier this year, we made available a digital version of our new 2023 C.A.R. Impact Report on C.A.R.’s website. The report highlights just some of  the ways in which C.A.R. helped to ensure your continued success in 2023. We heard from many of you that you preferred to have a printed version, so I’m pleased to inform you that you will receive a printed copy mailed with your Q2 Spring 2024 issue of California Real Estate magazine. Look for it in your mailbox any day now or get the digital ver sion here.

Thank you, and I’ll see you next time.

Melanie Barker
2024 C.A.R. President