The rate of homeownership in the Black community hovers around 45%, a stark contrast to nearly 75% for White households. There are lawsuits, including a current federal case, that could make this gulf even greater. Strong, dynamic local real estate marketplaces are a cornerstone of community development and economic growth. Local broker marketplaces – in which real estate agents share all listings openly and transparently with all other agents – help foster healthy competition.

Meanwhile, compensation rules that allow a home buyer’s real estate agent to be paid out of the proceeds from the home sale – instead of out of the buyer’s pocket upfront – help expand access to homeownership and increase the pool of buyers for sellers’ homes.

However, the pending lawsuits could upend these vital local marketplaces. The suits seek to require buyers to pay for the services of their real estate agent directly, rather than having the buyer’s agent fee paid by the seller’s agent at the time of closing. If successful, such a verdict would significantly increase the transaction costs of buying a home – with major repercussions for local economies…

FULL TEXT: Implications of Local Lawsuit Could Exacerbate Racial Homeownership Gap - Chicago Defender

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