Redfin settles antitrust lawsuits for $9M

Sum of deals by NAR, brokerages inches toward $1B

Redfin Settles Broker Commision Suits
Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman (Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Redfin is joining the long list of brokerages opting to resolve the antitrust lawsuits over agent commissions. 

The discount brokerage and listing platform agreed to pay $9.25 million to settle class-action claims brought by home sellers, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The company was named as a defendant in several lawsuits, including two known as Gibson and Umpa. A federal judge last month merged the cases, now known as only Gibson.

Redfin’s proposed deal joins that of other brokerages also targeted by the Missouri-based lawsuit, including Compass, which agreed to pay $58 million in March and Douglas Elliman. Elliman’s deal includes an agreement to pay $7.75 million with an additional $10 million in contingency payments depending on the firm’s future cash on hand. 

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With another deal on the table, the total settlement amount for the antitrust litigation nationwide is inching closer to $1 billion — which is still significantly less than the $1.8 billion jury verdict in Sitzer/Burnett, the first of the cases to head to trial. The judge could have trebled the judgment upon final approval, which would have brought the total to more than $5 billion.

Redfin’s deal was first reported by Bloomberg Law. News of the settlement comes more than a month after the National Association of Realtors’ announced its agreement to pay $418 million to settle the lawsuits. 

Redfin has spoken out against the 1.4 million-member trade group. In an announcement weeks before the Sitzer/Burnett verdict, the company said it would require its agents to cancel their NAR membership in areas where the organization doesn’t control access to multiple listing services. 

The firm also resigned from the group’s board in June, citing issues with NAR’s operations. Allegations of sexual harassment from NAR’s former president Kenny Parcell surfaced in August, which Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman told the New York Times pushed the company’s devolving relationship with NAR “to another level.”

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