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MARCH 27, 2024  |  { 7 }
              COMMUNITY UPDATE

     Home Sellers Can                                                          Records Shed Light on               Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit where
     Say Goodbye to Hefty                   County-Wide Children’s             Program Pairing Cops                Attorney General Matt Platkin once
                                                                                                                   worked as a policy adviser, examined the
     6 Percent Commissions                  Health Resource Fair               with Mental Health                  program and issued a laudatory report last
     Under New Real                           The Cumberland County Children’s                                     year. Researchers analyzed 342 calls in
                                            Inter-Agency Coordinating Council   Professionals                      Cumberland and Union counties between
     Estate Deal                            (CIACC) will be hosting a county-                                      the program’s launch and mid-January
                                            wide Children’s Health Resource Fair   By Dana DiFilippo, New Jersey
     By Karin Price Mueller | NJ Advance                                       Monitor, March 18, 2024             2023 and concluded the program “shows
     Media for, March 16, 2024       on Thursday, April 4, at the Rowan   This story is being republished under a   much promise and should be expanded
        This story is being republished under   College of South Jersey, Cumberland   special NJ News Commons content-sharing   and examined across the country.”
     a special NJ News Commons content-     Campus Gymnasium (3322 College     agreement. Link to story: newjerseymonitor.  Platkin’s office initially denied the New
     sharing agreement. Link to story:  Drive in Vineland) from 11:30 a.m. to   com/2024/03/18/records-shed-light-on-  Jersey Monitor’s requests for the records
     news/2024/03/in-a-big-change-sellers-will-  1:30 p.m.                     program-pairing-cops-with-mental-health-  Brookings based its study on, but a judge
                                              This free event will provide families
     likely-pay-lower-commissions-on-home-                                     professionals/                      last month ruled they must be released,
     sales-big-change-for-home-sellers-lower-  and individuals with information for   Documents from the state Attorney   allowing redactions to protect the privacy
                                            children ages birth to 21 years old who
     commissions-are-on-the-way-experts-say.                                   General’s Office show a program— first   of people the program has served.
     html?outputType=amp                    have emotional or behavioral needs,   used in Cumberland County—that pairs    A portion of Union County’s call log
        As part of an agreement to settle a   intellectual or developmental disabili-  police with mental health professionals   from Arrive Together program.
                                            ties, and/or substance use issues.
     series of lawsuits over inflated real estate                              to respond to crisis calls resulted in fewer   A call log from Union County listed 626
     commissions, the National Association of   Vendors will include: Cumberland   arrests and uses of force in two New   calls made in 2022, with brief, misspell-
                                            County Department of Health, The
     Realtors said Friday that big changes are                                 Jersey counties.                    ing-riddled descriptions for less than a
     on the way.                            Division of Developmental Disabilities,   The documents were released this   third of those calls.
        The group said it will pay more than   Horizon NJ Health, Inspira Health   month after the office fought the New   Another document contained narra-
                                            Network, South Jersey Legal
     $418 million to settle the lawsuits. But                                  Jersey Monitor and The Record of Bergen   tives from 82 cases, where callers reported
     much more significantly, industry experts   Services, WIC, NJ Department of   County in court for nine months to shield   a hodgepodge of concerns. Mental illness,
                                            Human Services, Maryville Addiction
     say, the settlement will upend the real                                   them from public view.              substance use, and domestic disputes were
     estate market and create more competi-  Treatment Center, Acenda Health, and   The program—Arrive Together,   common threads in many of those cases.
     tion, which will lead to lower commis-  many more.                        which stands for Alternative Responses   Multiple calls arose from suicidal juve-
                                              Stop by the college gymnasium any-
     sions.                                                                    to Reduce Instances of Violence and   niles, people with dementia, people expe-
        The realtor group said it will elimi-  time between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.   Escalation—partners a community-based   riencing homelessness, missing people,
                                            for information and resources that are
     nate a longstanding rule that mandated                                    mental health counselor or screener   neighbor disputes, nonviolent activity
     a non-negotiable commission be posted   available to families in Cumberland   with a plainclothes police officer in an   like shoplifting and panhandling, military
     on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), its   County.                      unmarked car during certain mental or   veterans, and people with workplace and
                                              If you are interested in being a ven-
     real estate database, which handles more                                  behavioral health calls.            child custody frustrations.
     than 90% of home sales. Currently, to list   dor, e-mail Beth Thomas at bthomas@  People in mental crisis or with untreat-  Of the 82 cases, two cases resulted in
                                   or call 856-327-7602, ext.
     a home with MLS, the non-negotiable                                       ed serious mental illness are likelier to   uses of force, the reports show. In one, the
     commission is typically between 5 and 6   7133.                           interact with and be killed by police, with   crisis-response team used force to end “a
     percent.                                                                  experts estimating at least a quarter of   struggle” and handcuff a suicidal juvenile
        By removing that rule, real estate com-  big chunk of a home seller’s profit.  fatal police encounters involve people   who refused to get in an ambulance to go
     missions can be negotiated, which could   For example, a home that sells for   with mental illness. The Arrive Together   for a full crisis evaluation. In the other, an
     lead to lower costs for home sellers.  $800,000 will give a seller’s agent a   program is intended to defuse such   officer and screener responded to a report
        Asked for comment, the National   $48,000 paycheck if that agent also brings   encounters, keep people out of the crimi-  of a disorderly person at a school bas-
     Association of Realtors referred NJ   in the buyer. If a separate agent brings in   nal justice system, and connect them with   ketball game; the woman “became irate”
     Advance Media to its statement.      the buyer, $24,000 would go to each agent   community services.          during their psychological evaluation,
        “This would mean that offers of broker   and their offices.              It launched in Cumberland County in   expressed suicidal thoughts, and bit the
     compensation could not be communicated   Home sellers in the United States pay   December 2021 and is now operational in   knee of a trooper trying to handcuff her
     via the MLS, but they could continue to be   roughly $100 billion in real estate com-  all 21 counties.       for medical transport.
     an option consumers can pursue off-MLS   missions annually, according to a report in   In his budget address last month,   Six cases resulted in arrest, half for out-
     through negotiation and consultation   the New York Times.                Gov. Phil Murphy announced he aims to   standing warrants, one for shoplifting, and
     with real estate professionals,” said Nykia   “The forces of competition will be let   spend another $9.5 million next year—  one for assault of a family member. A rea-
     Wright, the group’s interim CEO, in the   loose,” Benjamin Brown, co-chairman of   nearly twice what’s now budgeted—to   son for the sixth arrest was not provided.
     statement.                           the antitrust practice at Cohen Milstein   implement the program in more munici-  Crisis response teams more often
        The commission of 5% to 6% is typi-  and one of the lawyers who hammered   palities and expand the hours the teams   interacted with people during proactive
     cally paid by the seller, and if a home’s   out the settlement, told the New York   operate. Crisis-response teams have   outreach and follow-up visits, rather than
     buyer is working with their own agent, the   Times. “You’ll see some new pricing mod-  reported more than 2,100 interactions   actual 911 calls, records showed.
     commission is typically shared between   els, and some new and creative ways to   since the program launched, according to   In most cases, the teams provided
     the two agents upon a sale.          provide services to home buyers. It’ll be a   a budget summary.          information to connect people with
        A 6.0 percent commission takes away a   really exciting time for the industry.”  The Brookings Institution, a              Continued on page 10
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