The National Association of Realtors Settles

Happy Tuesday! Despite our eagle eyes and best efforts, sometimes your intrepid TMD reporters need to crowdsource some sleuthing. After a video showing Kate Middleton shopping at a farm market in Windsor popped up online—her first public sighting since January amid wild speculation over her situation—some on Twitter argued that the woman in question was in fact not the reemerged royal. So we’re asking you, loyal readers: Was that really the Princess of Wales out for a stroll?

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) raided Shifa Hospital in Gaza City early on Monday, following intelligence reporting that senior Hamas officials were once again utilizing the building. “Hamas tried to reestablish its base in the hospital and use it as a shelter for terrorists on the run,” IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said yesterday. “We will not allow this and will attack and continue to attack any place Hamas tries to reestablish its grip.” More than 200 terrorist suspects were arrested for questioning and more than 20 Hamas gunmen were killed during the fighting, according to Israeli officials. One IDF soldier was killed in the mission. Also on Monday, President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone for the first time in a month—and Biden reportedly warned Netanyahu against a military incursion into Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters after the call that Israel agreed to send a team to Washington, D.C., to discuss plans and concerns for a Rafah mission in the coming days.
  • North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles on Monday in a test launch that coincided with Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Seoul, South Korea, for a summit on advancing democracy. The barrage—which saw the missiles land in the sea off of North Korea’s east coast, just outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone—was the first in nearly two months, and was swiftly condemned by U.S., South Korean, and Japanese officials.
  • Pakistan launched airstrikes against Taliban targets in Afghanistan Monday, in retaliation for an attack Saturday in which an explosive-laden truck and suicide bombers killed at least seven Pakistani soldiers. The Taliban said that Monday’s attack killed five women and three children, and their forces fired at Pakistani forces along the northern border in retaliation.
  • Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers said Monday that their client could not obtain a $454 million bond to guarantee payment of the New York civil fraud judgment against him. In their filing Monday, the former president’s lawyers said it’d be “impossible” to secure such a bond after 30 surety companies rejected his request for the amount. The legal team asked instead that Trump be allowed to post a $100 million bond as he appeals the case.
  • Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, acting in his capacity as circuit justice for the D.C. Circuit, on Monday turned down former Trump aide Peter Navarro’s request to delay a jail sentence set to begin this afternoon. Navarro, who sought to remain out of prison while appealing his case, was sentenced to four months in prison after he was convicted last year of criminal contempt of Congress when he refused a subpoena by the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. 

Settling the Sellers’ Market

(Picture via Getty Images)
(Picture via Getty Images)

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced a landmark settlement Friday that would resolve more than a dozen lawsuits brought by home sellers contesting the trade group’s real estate commission practices. The settlement involves not only compensation to sellers—to the tune of $418 million—but also policy changes that could lower agent commissions, open up competition, and decrease housing costs. 

For your millennial and Gen Z Morning Dispatchers who have all but given up on the prospect of home ownership in the near future, the settlement came as welcome news. But the effects on housing costs will likely be modest against the high interest rates and supply crunch pushing home prices up.

NAR has long dominated the housing market. The group is the country’s largest trade association and boasts nearly 1.5 million members. The association’s practices effectively set rules for the rest of the industry, including the 5 to 6 percent commission paid by home sellers and split between their own agents and their buyers’ agents. NAR rules require sellers to include a commission offer in their listings that is visible to buyers’ agents but hidden from the buyers themselves. Agents must abide by NAR rules in order to list homes on multiple listing services (MLS), private property databases controlled by NAR and its affiliates that are used by agents to circulate listings. 

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