Department of Justice files Anti-Trust Lawsuit Against National Association of Realtors®
If there were ever a sign that it is the year 2020, this may just well be it. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an anti-trust lawsuit invoking, among other allegations, the "Sherman Act" against the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). This likely comes as no surprise as similar class-action suits we have previously written of have been filed for largely similar reasons with a great deal of focus on commission policies and disclosure said to be enacted in ways that "reduce price competition among brokers and lead to lower quality service for American home buyers and sellers."
The commission fees under the most scrutiny throughout the class-action suits and this latest against NAR® focus primarily on those of Buyers agents and their alleged lack of disclosure. This is a black-eye to the real estate industry regardless of the outcome because it enhances the perception that many hold about Realtors®, Agents, Brokers, and the industry at large. We know our Realtor® community and how hard they work and how unfairly the perception levied upon them. Like any industry, there are sure to be those who create such perceptions and NAR and individual MLS Boards have always done everything in their power to regulate and punish offenders, but this latest lawsuit is one that seemed inevitable.
Lack of disclosure is always the biggest issue in real estate, but in the case of commissions the lack of understanding is what we believe to be just as prevalent. We'll keep you posted on this as it progresses, but rest assured that the Realtor® community is one of the hardest working and under-appreciated that we know, and while pricing should always be fair no matter the venue or profession, suing for discounted service for the wrong reasons will only result in discounted quality.
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