The Real Deal National

NAR moves to nix antitrust lawsuit over broker commissions

The trade association has filed a motion to dismiss an antitrust case that has inspired similar complaints from home-sellers
May 24, 2019 11:42AM

From left: NAR president John Smaby, Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider, Keller Williams CEO Gary Keller, HomeServices of America CEO Gino Blefari, and Re/Max CEO Adam Contos (Credit: Getty Images, Wikpedia, iStock, and Hitchcock + Associates)

From left: NAR president John Smaby, HomeServices of America CEO Gino Blefari, Keller Williams CEO Gary Keller, Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider and Re/Max CEO Adam Contos (Credit: Getty Images, Wikpedia, iStock, and Hitchcock + Associates)

Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss a March 6 complaint alleging that Realogy, HomeServices of America, Keller Williams and RE/MAX violated antitrust law by requiring a “blanket, non-negotiable offer of buyer broker compensation” when listing a property on a multiple listing service.

The complaint, filed by Christopher Moehrl, a home seller from Minnesota, alleges that the “Buyer Broker Commission Rule” has inflated costs for sellers. The National Association of Realtors, a co-defendant in the case, announced the motion to dismiss the complaint, which has already inspired similar suits from home sellers. The motion to dismiss Moehrl’s complaint claims that the buyer-broker rule does not exist and that there is no anti-competitive agreement in place, Inman reported.

The dispute comes amid other inquiries into MLS practices and their implications for home sellers. The U.S. Department of Justice has demanded that financial services and analytics firm CoreLogic turn over over its MLS data on buyer-broker commissions and the policy language related to the handling of such data. Earlier this month, CoreLogic was named as a defendant in a suit filed by the Austin Board of Realtors in Texas accusing the company of selling data to appraisers. [Inman] — Georgia Kromrei