Wilmington Area Local Happenings – March 2024


Spring is here along with all of its local activities! Before we get into those, I would like to address the recent National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) lawsuit settlement. Please read on for some facts about this settlement and my thoughts about it.

NAR Settlement Agreement

There has been a lot of misinformation in the media about the NAR settlement, and the resulting implications for consumers and the real estate industry and its participants.

First, commissions have always been negotiable and will remain so – nothing has changed there. What is changing is that they will no longer be permitted to be displayed in the MLS, if the settlement is approved by the court, starting in July 2024. Right now, in our market, when a real estate broker takes a listing, the commission is decided between the listing agent and the seller. The agent typically offers a portion of that total commission to the buyer’s agent. That is also agreed upon in writing in the listing agreement. That portion is displayed in the MLS for buyer agents to see. That is the piece that will likely be changing going forward. The commission to buyer agents will need to be negotiated outside of the MLS.

What also may change, is who pays that commission. Will sellers continue to offer it? Will buyers agree to pay their agents instead? Will lenders allow commissions to be included in mortgages, along with other closing costs? No one knows for certain how this will play out. My thoughts are that it will be dependent on the markets we are in. If it’s a strong seller’s market, buyers may pay more of the commissions. If it’s a buyer’s market and sellers want to make their homes more attractive to potential buyers, they may offer to pay the buyer agent commissions. Just like any other home sale and purchase associated cost.

Second, a buyer agency agreement will need to be signed prior to going on showings with a real estate broker. This isn’t a big change in the way I conduct my business. If you have worked with me as your buyer’s agent, in almost all cases, we have a preliminary buyer consultation and discuss buyer agency (along with your goals, home dreams, and the buying process in our area), either before or at the same time as your first showing. Having a buyer agency agreement in place before going to look at homes protects consumers and agents, and is a good thing for all parties, in my opinion.

Overall, I think this whole occurrence and discussion is good for consumers and the professionals operating in our industry. I believe it will help shift our industry into one that, over time, may be viewed more favorably by the public as one that is professional and valued.

For example, I had an active CPA license from 2010-2020 and worked in tax preparation most of that time. There were consumers who chose to work with professionals like me to have their taxes prepared for a fee, and there were consumers who chose to prepare their taxes on their own. The same can be true when you’re buying and selling a home. You can choose to pay a professional real estate broker to represent you, or you can try to navigate the process on your own. Some will value the service enough to pay for it, and some will not.

For more information about the settlement, please read this article. https://www.nar.realtor/magazine/real-estate-news/law-and-ethics/the-truth-about-the-nar-settlement-agreement?narmail=SettlementAgreementFollowup&date=03-26-2024&user=6948940&itid=9403199

This is not meant to include all aspects of the settlement, just the ones I see as most relevant to all of us. Please reach out to me anytime if you have questions or would like to discuss it further, kim@thecoastalrealestategroup.com or 910-679-6072.

Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival

The annual NC Azalea Festival is coming up April 3 – April 7, 2024! There are events in and around Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. There is a concert and parade downtown, and of course the Garden Party at Airlie Gardens on Friday, April 5. It may be too late to get tickets for some of these events, but you can learn more through the link below. Feel free to join me at Dockside on Friday afternoon! That can be just as much fun as the ticketed events:) https://ncazaleafestival.org/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paidsearch&utm_campaign=NCAF24&gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjwh4-wBhB3EiwAeJsppApkk0D8HuawAmIMAwuxPEqJqroQfoVwrTtvM6YaGwc8-7_lit0QNBoC7L8QAvD_BwE

Wilmington Continues to Grow

You can feel it if you live here! People love our area and continue to move here, making us one of the fastest growing areas in the country. https://www.starnewsonline.com/story/news/local/2024/03/26/wilmington-nc-metro-among-fastest-growing-in-us-census-data-shows/73010212007/

Efforts to Conserve “The Point” on Topsail Beach

A conservation group is looking to raise money to purchase and conserve a portion of Topsail Beach. https://www.starnewsonline.com/story/news/local/2024/03/26/nc-coastal-land-trust-plans-to-buy-the-point-on-topsail-beach-nc/73104791007/

Hi there!

Hi, I'm Kim Crouch, and I help people and investment entities buy and sell their homes in Wilmington and coastal southeast North Carolina!

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1001 Millitary Cutoff Rd Suite 101
Wilmington, NC 28403



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Hi, there!

Hi, I'm Kim Crouch, and I help people who want to live in Wilmington near Wrightsville Beach, and aren't quite ready to move yet, figure out how to buy their NC coastal home now. 

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