8/13 Antitrust Litigation Update

August 15, 2019

 Hello all,

On August 13th NAR released a press release regarding the motions NAR filed last week asking the courts to dismiss the pending class action antitrust litigation. Now, we wait while the plaintiffs file a response to those motions. Then, we'll have an opportunity to reply to the plaintiffs' responses. That takes us well into September. And then, we wait for the courts to rule.

In the meantime, as association leaders and engaged members in NAR, we want to ensure that you are equipped to speak about this important litigation confidently with members and consumers. You live the story we are telling in this litigation. You are the story that will win in the court of public opinion. You own the story. Please feel free to share it. These talking points can be your guide. 

  •  REALTORS® are champions of homeownership, property rights and the communities they serve. Every REALTOR® adheres to a strict code of ethics based on professionalism, consumer protection and the golden rule. REALTORS® draw on their unmatched knowledge to help buyers and sellers navigate one of the most complicated financial transactions of their lives. And REALTORS® are engaged neighbors committed to building and enhancing the communities they serve.

  • The MLS system and the way commissions are paid create competitive, efficient markets that benefit home buyers, sellers and small business. The MLS system creates a highly efficient residential real estate market that fosters cooperation between brokers to the benefit of consumers. Commission structures (including how the listing broker pays the buyer broker) ensure greater access for a large community of home buyers who might otherwise be priced out of the market, which also would limit options for sellers. 

  • Local, expert brokers play a crucial role in helping buyers and sellers achieve their goals. Given the volume of information buyers have to navigate and the complexity of this transaction, buyer brokers serve many essential, highly informed roles ranging from scheduling home tours and inspections to coordinating with lenders and appraisers to coordinating attorney reviews and closing documents. Consumers agree: 78 percent of homebuyers say their broker was an important information source, and almost 90 percent would recommend their broker to a family member or friend.

  • These lawsuits are wrong on the facts, wrong on the economics, and wrong on the law. Commissions are negotiable and, in fact, can be negotiated at any point during the transaction. The MLS and associated brokerage system create highly competitive markets with increased transaction volume and superior customer service. Consumers have many choices of different service and fee models among many brokers. Over 100 years, the courts have repeatedly validated this pro-competitive, pro-consumer MLS system, recognizing it increases the efficiency of the market and thus serves the best interests of sellers and buyers alike.


Best regards,
Katie Johnson

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Katie Johnson
General Counsel & Chief Member Experience Officer | Legal Affairs & Member Experience
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® | Chicago, IL
Office: 312.329.8372
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