Justice Catalyst Law, alongside Cohen Milstein, Hagens Berman, Handley Farah & Anderson, Wright Marsh & Levy, and Teske Katz, filed a putative class action on March 6, 2019 against the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and four national real estate brokerages for conspiring to require home sellers to pay for buyers’ brokers at an inflated commission well above a competitive level in violation of federal antitrust law. The suit alleges that the defendants’ conspiracy has centered around NAR’s adoption and implementation of a mandatory rule that requires all brokers to make a blanket, non-negotiable offer of buyer broker compensation when listing a property on a MLS.
These illegally inflated commissions have cheated home sellers while lining the pockets of real estate brokerage firms. Homeownership is one of the only ways for lower-income families to build wealth in this country. When large corporations conspire to increase the transaction costs for home buyers and sellers, it makes it harder for low-income families to use one of the rare tools available to them for increasing wealth. Our action seeks, among other things, to open the door to homeownership to more families, and to ensure that low and middle class families can keep the wealth they build through homeownership.