Affiliating with a Non-Realtor Brokerage - Maryland

11 Replies

Hi fellow BP RE agents,

I moved to Maryland a year ago and will take the state portion of the Salesperson's exam in the next two weeks. That said, my initial goal when getting my RE Salespersons license was to save money on the buyer's commission when buying my first primary residence. I'm looking for a Brokerage that isn't affiliated with the NAR. It seems like it's very difficult to find a broker who isn't also a Realtor in MD. I was an active RE salesperson while living in MA and also a member of the NAR and local boards so I know the value and benefits of being a Realtor.

However, at this time I don't need access to the MLS nor do I need to be a member of the NAR for at least this next year or two, does anyone know of any non-Realtor Brokers that I can look at affiliating with?

Cheers,

-Justin

I couldnt name a single one. With Long and Fosters Metro Referrals division I know you can place your license and not have mls access, however Im not entirely sure if you can forgo being an MAR member. 

Russell Brazil, Real Estate Agent in Maryland (#648402), Virginia (#0225219736), District of Columbia (#SP98375353), and Massachusetts (#9​0​5​2​3​4​6)
(301) 893-4635

The one year of dues would be well worth it for the mls access and market knowledge. I can’t imagine making a purchase decision without it.

this is a gotcha in the industry.. put in your time then sit for the brokers exam and then you can do what you want.. I did this in CA circa 1976 got my brokers in 1978 so I could sell away and be truly independent you could also fight to get MLS without being a member of NAR but you had to threaten to sue at least in CA.. someone actually did and there is case law on it.

but in reality its just the cost of doing business I don't know many other business's were the fixed over head is so low and the income is unlimited.

How are you saving money on the Buyer's commission if you are the buyer? Seller pays RE fees and to be wholly honest the local boards provide forms based on local area rules or laws that being new to the area would be foolish to not have access to or knowledge about. As for the answer to your original question, I am not familiar with any Brokerage in the state that is not affiliated with NAR, MAR, and the local boards.

Besides the yearly dues, what do you see as the downside of joining NAR?

@Justin J. Well, I just may be the cowboy in the group.  My Mom always said I marched to the beat of my own drum.

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is simply a trade group, along the lines of the Airline Pilots Association. The term "Realtor®" is a registered trademark of that group. Someone who represents themselves as a Realtor® is simply a member of NAR.

I was a NAR / MAR member when I firs got licensed, because the office where I worked required it. In fact, the Plymouth and South Shore Association of Realtors® (PASS) requires that ALL members of an office are members - or none are allowed to be. Some MLSs require NAR membership for access, but ours does not.

When I opened my own brokerage, I decided to drop NAR membership. I just wasn't seeing the bang for the buck - and that $500+/year is money that a new brokerage needs to spend on lead generation and marketing.

NAR likes to insinuate that Realtors® operate at a higher level of ethics than non-NAR agents and brokers. That is a cheap smear against a lot of very ethical, hard working real estate agents who have not joined their club.

I can tell you that virtually everything in their code of ethics is replicated in MA state law and/or MLS rules.

The only two exceptions are that if one NAR member asks another whether there are offers on a particular property, the seller's agent is required to answer yes or no.

I simple state "I'm not prepared to discuss other offers. Please present your highest and best offer." I think the NAR Code of Ethics (COE) Rule weakens the seller's negotiating position - which is an attack on the fiduciary relationship that the same COE purports to protect.

The other is that NAR members agree not to sue each other, going instead to arbitration. Not that I love the idea of suing somebody, but I don't want to give that right up should I ever need it.

For what it's worth, I have never had a client or prospect ask me whether I'm a Realtor®, just like you've never asked a pilot whether he's a member of the Airline Pilots Association.

Charlie MacPherson, Real Estate Agent in MA (#9532146)
781-412-4151

@Charlie MacPherson

I left a brokerage where I was a GBAR/GBREB member.  Now that I left to do my own thing, I didn't renew.  It only gets more expensive to become a "designated Realtor" than when you're working for another broker.  And since I only do my own transactions and make referrals, the value proposition isn't really there.  Do you buy the MAR form library?  Unfortunately NH state board doesn't sell their form library.  Not sure what I'm going to do there when I need forms.

@Phil G.   I retained an attorney to be my broker of record, so he has reviewed all of our contracts and we use those instead of MAR.

So many people think it's impossible to do business as a non-NAR member. It's not.

Charlie MacPherson, Real Estate Agent in MA (#9532146)
781-412-4151
Originally posted by @Charlie MacPherson :

@Justin J.

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is simply a trade group, along the lines of the Airline Pilots Association. The term "Realtor®" is a registered trademark of that group. Someone who represents themselves as a Realtor® is simply a member of NAR.

I was a NAR / MAR member when I firs got licensed, because the office where I worked required it. In fact, the Plymouth and South Shore Association of Realtors® (PASS) requires that ALL members of an office are members - or none are allowed to be. Some MLSs require NAR membership for access, but ours does not.

Well we (NAR) just got you the 20% pass through deduction up to $315k for married people, so I think that is pretty good bang for your buck, getting an extra $15k a year into your pocket...though you get it even not being a member even though it was our pooling of funds and our lobbying efforts that got that for our industry.

Russell Brazil, Real Estate Agent in Maryland (#648402), Virginia (#0225219736), District of Columbia (#SP98375353), and Massachusetts (#9​0​5​2​3​4​6)
(301) 893-4635

@Russell Brazil Well done - and I'm sure the other 300 million non-Realtor® citizens are grateful too - at least those who actually pay taxes like you and me.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mean to suggest that NAR is a BAD organization. If you want to be a member, then by all means do so.

But for those starting out in this business, $500+/year is a big bite when you're already paying for MLS, business cards, riders, social media / PPC, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, desk fees, etc.

I do push back on the idea that NAR promotes about the COE making members more ethical than non-members. There are plenty of people who take ethics VERY seriously.

Membership in a trade organization will never turn a dirtbag into a saint upon receipt of a $500 check.

Charlie MacPherson, Real Estate Agent in MA (#9532146)
781-412-4151

Should I be thanking them for the 1.5 trillion in additional debt, too?

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