Slow US housing market has real estate agents leaving the field in droves


    Harsh conditions have slowed the U.S. housing market, which has forced real estate agents to leave the field, The Washington Post reports.

    The industry swelled with newcomers during the pandemic but has slowed significantly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 440,000 full-time real estate agents and brokers in 2023, about 72,000 less than in 2022.

    The National Association of Realtors had nearly 1.5 million agents registered as of mid-April, down more than 100,000 from 2022.

    With relatively high interest rates, deals have become scarce for many agents. 

    A survey of about 2,000 real estate agents conducted earlier this year by the Consumer Federation of America found that 49 percent sold fewer than two homes in 2023. 

    Real estate agents could soon face new rules that could change how they conduct business and get paid.

    Under the new rules slated to begin in August because of a court settlement between the NAR and a group of home sellers, the NAR can no longer require a broker listing a home on the MLS to offer any upfront compensation to the buyer’s agent. Also, agents must enter a written agreement with the homebuyer, including a negotiated commission and fees.

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