DOJ Unexpectedly Backs Out of Settlement with the National Association of Realtors®

In earlier blog posts we had informed you of ongoing class action suits against the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) in a suit alleging anti-trust violations against NAR and the 20 largest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) boards in the Country. Recently there was a settlement reached between NAR, the related MLS boards, and the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice (DOJ). That was until last Thursday, when in unprecedented fashion, the DOJ withdrew from the settlement citing their primary reason as the inability to pursue further investigations. 

"The proposed settlement will not sufficiently protect the Antitrust Division's ability to pursue future claims against NAR" stated Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers of the DOJ's Antitrust Division. While unexpected and unprecedented, this hardly comes as a surprise from the DOJ and one can only hope that NAR remains vigilant in their stated "pro-consumer and pro-competition policies", which we here at are certain they will. Real Estate plays an extremely large part in the overall economic health of the market and County, as such it remains one of the more regulated industries, and with good reason. 

Realtors® and Agents, along with their Brokers are among the most diligent groups as it pertains to disclosures, both required and non-required types. The allegations regarding much of this action seem to have been exacerbated as a result of the pandemic and rate driven market which has made it difficult for many Buyers, first time or otherwise to enter the market. If anything, this phenomenon has been counter to the wishes of Realtors® and Agents, yet they seem to be bearing the blame for catastrophic pricing, lack of inventory, and the like which has been driven by politics as much as at any time before in our history. Stay tuned as it sounds like there will be much more to come. 

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