Home sellers are suing NAR and top brokerages for fixing high commissions and forcing them to pay buyer’s brokers. The lawsuits claim that this violates the law that bans agreements that harm competition and trade. The lawsuits affect different parts of the U.S. and have different progress and outcomes, and could change the real estate industry by lowering costs, increasing competition, and giving more options to consumers.
Class-Action Antitrust Suits Filed Against National Association of REALTORS®
The class-action antitrust suits filed by home sellers claim that the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and some of the country’s top brokerages, such as Realogy, HomeServices of America, RE/MAX and Keller Williams, conspired to inflate commission rates and require sellers to pay buyer’s brokers regardless of the services provided.
The lawsuits also allege that NAR and the brokerages violated Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, which prohibits agreements that restrain trade or competition. The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief and damages for the alleged anticompetitive conduct by the defendants.
The lawsuits cover different states and regions across the U.S., and involve different multiple listing services (MLSs) that enforce the NAR’s rules and policies. The lawsuits also have different timelines and statuses in terms of class certification and trial dates.
The lawsuits could have a significant impact on the real estate industry if the plaintiffs win out, as it may change the way commissions are structured and paid. They could also lower the costs for sellers, increase competition among brokers, and create more transparency and choice for consumers.
To learn more, read Lawsuits Against National Association of REALTORS 2023.