Since 2019, there have been federal lawsuits brought by home sellers and buyers against the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), real estate companies and Multiple Listing Services (MLSs). At the center of almost every lawsuit is a claim that NAR’s Participation Rule (requiring the listing firm to make an offer of compensation to firms working with buyers) has led to artificially fixed and inflated commissions, and higher buyer costs and home prices.
On October 31, in Burnett v. NAR et al, the jury found the National Association of REALTORS® and their co-defendants liable for violation of the federal antitrust laws based on the NAR Participation Rule. The jury found NAR, two real estate firms and MLS co-defendants engaged in price fixing and awarded $1.785 billion in damages to the plaintiffs. Damages are automatically trebled (tripled) in antitrust cases. NAR is appealing the case.
Be sure to watch the recording of the WRA Legal Update Live webinar, “NAR Lawsuit Update: What It Means in Wisconsin,” HERE. The following WRA resource page also provides additional information relating to the cases as well as WRA and NAR antitrust resources: https://www.wra.org/Antitrust/