Realtors Want to Sell You a Home. Their Trade Group Backs Evicting Others.

The National Association of Realtors is advocating an end to a pandemic-era order meant to keep renters in their homes.


By Ron Lieber

Some of the same people in charge of selling you a home have sued to make it easier to evict people from one.

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention barred evictions for most renters. The C.D.C. recently extended the moratorium through the end of June. Two very different presidents have signed off on it.

But in November, members of the National Association of Realtors — the nation’s largest industry group, numbering 1.4 million real estate professionals — tried to persuade a federal judge to remove it. Both the Alabama and the Georgia Associations of Realtors sued the federal government over the matter, and the national association is paying for all of the legal costs. A hearing is scheduled for April 29.

Why would it do this? The N.A.R. expert on the topic was unable to schedule a phone call with me, according to a spokesman. So I have no pithy interview quote from her to share.

But if you’re selecting a listing agent for your house from among the group’s members, I’d ask that person about this issue if you’re curious or concerned. As I discovered in a round of calls to top-producing sales agents this week, many of them have no idea what the N.A.R. is advocating on their behalf.

“I’m in a bubble with people who are not terribly affected by a lot of things,” said Betsy Akers, who specializes in selling them high-priced homes in Atlanta’s Buckhead district.

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