Map: Tracking brokerage lawsuits, industry changes across US
Wave of class-actions in different markets threaten commissions
A swell of lawsuits and rule changes are ramping up the pressure on the residential brokerage business and how commissions are paid.
More than half a dozen suits have been filed across the country by home sellers and buyers, many of which allege the National Association of Realtors and major brokerages conspired to drive up commission costs to homesellers.
The complaints challenge NAR’s Clear Cooperation Policy and similar local guidelines requiring agents to offer buyers’ agents compensation in exchange for listing properties on a Realtor-controlled MLS.
On Halloween, a Kansas City jury found NAR, Keller Williams and HomeServices of America liable in one such case and awarded the plaintiffs $1.8 billion in damages, which could be trebled to more than $5 billion. The defendants vowed to appeal while they prepare for another case set for trial next year. The damages there could top $40 billion.
The pressure on the residential business is growing under the wave of lawsuits as well as scrutiny from the Department of Justice. Here’s a look at the most high-profile cases: