This post will be continually updated as new developments are announced for the real estate industry’s largest lawsuits.

Table of Contents:

Real Estate Commission Lawsuits

Sitzer/Burnett

Status: NAR Agrees to Settlement; Final Judgment in Spring 2024

Claim: Home seller plaintiffs argue that the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Keller Williams, Anywhere, RE/MAX, and HomeServices of America violated a federal antitrust law by enforcing a cooperative compensation rule, known as the Participation Rule, to inflate commissions. 

Latest Update: On March 15, The National Association of Realtors (NAR) agreed to settle a series of antitrust commission lawsuits, paying $418 million in damages and revising commission rules. One key term of the settlement is the complete removal of any offer of buyer broker compensation from the MLS. 

Previous Updates: On February 1st, 2024, Keller Williams became he third real estate brokerage to settle with the Sitzer/Burnett plaintiffs, reaching an agreement that releases all KW-associated agents and franchisees from copycat lawsuits filed since October 31, 2023. 

On January 8, 2024, attorneys for Keller Williams and HomeServices of America renewed a motion for judgment and requested a new trial, alleging that mistakes made by the court “marred the jury’s verdict.” Both defendants, along with the National Association of Realtors, also asked Judge Stephen R. Bough to decertify the class action lawsuit, arguing the evidence used in the trial did not meet the standards for antitrust damages.

On October 31, 2023, the federal jury of the Sitzer/Burnett trial issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, awarding them $1.75 billion in damages. This amount will be trebled to $5.356 billion. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has stated it will appeal the decision. 

An injunction in the Sitzer/Burnett commission lawsuit is not expected until spring 2024, allowing time for post-trial motions and a final judgment. Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Keller Williams are bulking up their lawyer bench in preparation for their appeal.

Read the latest on the Sitzer/Burnett Class Action Lawsuit:

Moehrl

Status: Class Action, Trial to Begin 2024

Claim: Home seller plaintiffs who listed their homes on one of twenty MLSs allege the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the four largest national real estate broker franchisors (Anywhere, HomeServices of America, RE/MAX, and Keller Williams) violate the Sherman Antitrust Act—specifically commission sharing between the listing side and buyer side of real estate transactions—by increasing seller costs. 

Latest Update: In March 2023, a federal judge granted class-action status to plaintiffs of the Moehrl lawsuit. This decision certified two classes for the case: a Damage Class and an Injunctive Relief Class. The trial is expected to begin in the first half of 2024. 

Read the latest:

Gibson

Status: Filed

Claim: Home seller plaintiffs in Missouri allege seven defendants (Compass, eXp World Holdings, Redfin, Weichert Realtors, United Real Estate, Howard Hanna Real Estate, Douglas Elliman, and the National Association of Realtors) conspire to inflate real estate agent commissions in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Latest Update: Shortly after the jury reached a verdict in the Sitzer/Burnett lawsuit, Michael Ketchmark, the plaintiffs’ head attorney, filed a new lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri on behalf of three home sellers while seeking class-action status. Ketchmark stated damages could exceed $200 billion before trebling.  

In December 2023, lawyers for Gibson and Umpa filed a request to consolidate the two cases, along with seven other copycat lawsuits filed in the wake of the Sitzer/Burnett verdict.

Read the latest:

Batton 1

Status: Motions to Dismiss are Pending

Claim: Unlike the majority of industry lawsuits, plaintiffs in the Batton 1 and 2 lawsuits are home buyers rather than sellers. Plaintiffs in Batton 1 allege National Association of Realtors (NAR), Anywhere, Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and HomeServices of America and three of its subsidiaries have inflated costs for home buyers by participating in the cooperative compensation rule. 

Latest Update: On February 20, 2024, U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood filed court documents dismissing claims against HomeServices of America and three of its subsidiaries—BHH Affiliates, HSF Affiliates and the Long & Foster Companies—saying the plaintiffs “failed to satisfy their burden of demonstrating this court’s personal jurisdiction” over HomeServices in connection with their allegations in Illinois. 

Batton 1 was originally filed in January 2021 by Judah Leeder and amended in July 2022 with Batton as the lead plaintiff. Motions to dismiss Batton 1 are currently pending.

Read the latest:

Batton 2

Status: Filed

Claim: Plaintiffs allege that seven defendants (Compass, eXp, Redfin, Weichert Realtors, United Real EstateGroup, Howard Hanna Real Estate Service and Douglas Elliman) participate in anticompetitive conduct, causing home buyers to “pay inflated commissions for broker services they misrepresent as free, to pay inflated prices for the homes they purchase, and to receive reduced quality broker services.”

Latest Update: Batton 2 was filed in Chicago federal court on November 2, 2023. Based on details in the complaint, the scope of Batton 2 is larger than the Sitzer/Burnett, Moehrl, and Gibson lawsuits. It seeks class certification for a “Nationwide Class” and “Damage Class,” each of which represents all persons who purchased residential real estate in the U.S. on a NAR MLS anytime between December 1, 1996, through the present day. 

Read the latest:

March

Status: Filed

Claim: Filed on November 7, 2023, the home seller plaintiffs allege that the Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) rules governing commission fees violate state and federal antitrust laws.

Latest Update: March’s federal antitrust lawsuit targets REBNY and 26 real estate companies in Manhattan. March seeks class certification and aims to represent home sellers from November 8, 2019, to the present day.

Read the latest:

Burton

Status: Filed

Claim: Filed in the U.S. District Court in South Carolina on November 6, 2023, home seller plaintiffs accuse NAR and Keller Williams of conspiring to impose anti-competitive restraints on home sellers, violating federal antitrust law. 

Latest Update: The Burton complaint seeks class-action status and aims to represent home sellers across South Carolina who allegedly suffer from an inflated compensation system.

Read the latest:

Nosalek (MLS PIN)

Status: DOJ Filed Statement of Interest

Claim: Plaintiffs in this case allege that MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN), a broker-owned MLS, adopted a policy similar to that of NAR, requiring listing brokers to offer compensation to buyer agents before listing a property on the MLS.

Latest Update: In September 2023, a settlement reached between the plaintiffs and MLS PIN was granted preliminary approval by Judge Patti Saris. Terms of that settlement included a $3 million payment and required MLS PIN to cooperate in continued litigation against other defendants named in the case—including Anywhere, RE/MAX, Keller Williams and HomeServices of America. 

By early October, however, at the request of attorneys from the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, Judge Saris had approved a two-month deadline extension to review the proposed settlement, given the DOJ’s “significant concerns with the planned rule changes.”

In November, almost four months after HomeServices of America filed a motion for summary judgment in the Nosalek commission lawsuit, the plaintiffs have finally responded. The response is to oppose the motion, citing a video shown by plaintiffs’ counsel in the Sitzer/Burnett trial—the notorious “ambush video” of Allan Dalton—as evidence of the conspiracy among the defendants to inflate commissions. 

In February, the DOJ filed a statement of interest, requesting that the court deny the proposed settlement. The DOJ offered new proposals to include in the settlement, including an injunction “that would prohibit sellers from making commission offers to buyer brokers at all.”

Read the latest:

DOJ v. NAR

Status: Reopen

Claim: The Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation into the policies of the National Association of Realtors—including its “Participation Rule” and “Clear Cooperation Policy.”

Latest Update: A new ruling by the U.S. Appeals Court on Friday, April 5, 2024, allows the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to reopen its investigations into the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) commission rules. 

Background: After a settlement was reached the investigation was closed in 2020, the Antitrust Division reopened the investigation in 2021. In January 2023, United States District Judge Timothy Kelly ruled that the settlement terms agreed to in 2020 are valid, including the closure of the Antitrust Division’s investigation into NAR’s Participation Rule and Clear Cooperation Policy. The DOJ appealed the ruling in March 2023, and the case continues to linger. 

On December 1, 2023, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) can reopen the case against NAR. When attorneys for the latter asserted the case could not be reopened, Judge Flroence Pan asked why—and where that was spelled out in the settlement.

Read the latest:

QJ Team

Status: Filed

Claim: Texas Realtor associations, brokerages, and teams conspired to inflate commissions by imposing the cooperative compensation rule. While the plaintiffs call the National Association of Realtors the “creator of the conspiracy,” the latter is not listed as a defendant. 

Latest Update: The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, naming Texas Realtor associations and 20+ brokerages and real estate teams. The plaintiffs, QJ Team, LLC., a Texas-based homebuilder, and Five Points Holdings, LLC., a holding company headed by DS News founder Mark Hulme, are seeking class action certification to sue on behalf of all home sellers in Texas who sold a home between November 13, 2019 and the present. 

Read the latest:

Deits vs Rocket Mortgage

Status: Filed

Claim: Arizona resident Kellie Deits filed a suit against Rocket Mortgage for unsolicited telemarketing calls. A Rocket Mortgage representative called her offering products and services she had not inquired about. After requesting not to be contacted, she received 27 more phone calls within 10 days from the same number. She’s seeking class action certification to represent all residential telephone subscribers who, within five years of requesting not to be contacted, received more than one call within a 12-month period from Rocket Mortgage. The plaintiff argues these unsolicited calls violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and is asking the court for injunctive relief and up to $500 per TCPA violation for both the Nationaal Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry class and Kellie Diets

Latest Update: The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. 

Read/Watch the latest:

Phillips

Status: Filed

Claim: A class-action antitrust lawsuit, known as the Phillips suit, has been filed by home sellers in Georgia, targeting both local and national real estate companies, including the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Similar to other copycat industry lawsuits, the plaintiffs allege a conspiracy within the real estate industry to inflate agent commissions. The claim highlights a nationwide conspiracy involving NAR and residential real estate brokerages to increase broker compensation at the expense of home sellers.

Latest Updates: An amended complaint was filed Wednesday, December 6, naming several new defendants as well as three new plaintiffs.

The initial complaint was filed on November 22, 2023, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division by plaintiffs Janet Phillips, Joseph Hunt, Edith Anne Hunt, Penny Scheetz, Benjamin Aune and Parkwood Linving, LLC.  In addition to damages and a jury trial, plaintiffs are looking for a permanent injunction that would prevent any of the defendants from “requiring that sellers pay buyer brokers.”

If granted class-action status, the suit would include anyone who listed a property for sale on an MLS in Georgia and paid a buyer broker commission between November 22, 2019, and present.

Read the latest:

Spring Way

Status: Filed

Claim: A class-action antitrust lawsuit, has been filed by home sellers in Pennsylvania, targeting West Penn MLS and several local brokerages, along with the Pennysylvania Association of Realtors. Similar to other copycat industry lawsuits, the plaintiffs allege a conspiracy within the real estate industry to inflate agent commissions. The claim highlights a conspiracy involving West Penn MLS and residential real estate brokerages to increase broker compensation at the expense of home sellers.

Latest Updates: The complaint was filed on December 4, 2023, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania by plaintiffs Spring Way Center, John and Nancy Moratis, and Nancy Wehrheim. 

If granted class-action status, the suit would include anyone who listed a property for sale on West Penn MLS, was aided by one of the brokerages named as defendants, and paid a buyer broker commission over the past four years.

Read the latest:

Parker

Status: Filed

Claim: Another antitrust lawsuit has been filed by Parker Holding Group in Florida, targeting the Florida Association of Realtors—the largest state Realtor association in the country with 280,000 members—and 16 large brokerages

The claim highlights a conspiracy involving the Florida Association of Realtors and residential real estate brokerages to increase broker compensation at the expense of home sellers.

Latest Updates: The complaint was filed on December 4, 2023, in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida by plaintiff Parker Holding Group—a Panama City-based holding company that sold homes in March and August 2021.

Read the latest:

Grace

Status: Filed

Claim: Home seller Christina Grace is the class representative in a case filed on December 8, 2023 in the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of California’s San Francisco Division. The complaint alleges a conspiracy among the defendants to require home sellers to pay buyer agent commissions. 

Latest Updates: On Friday, December 8, a new class-action antitrust lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of California’s San Francisco Division, with Bay Area home seller Christina Grace as the class representative. Defendants include The National Association of Realtors (NAR), Anywhere Real Estate, RE/MAX, Keller Williams, Compass, eXp, The Bay Area Real Estate Information Services (BAREIS), Marin Association of Realtors, North Bay Association of Realtors, Northern Solano County Association of Realtors and Solano Association of Realtors. 

Read the latest:

Martin

Status: Filed

Claim: Three home sellers—Julie Martin, Mark Adams, and Adelaida Matta— allege that a conspiracy in Texas real estate violates antitrust laws by requiring home sellers to pay commissions for buyer agents. 

Latest Updates: The Martin lawsuit was filed on December 14, 2023,  in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern District of Texas. The complaint names over 40  brokerages and real estate associations as engaging in a conspiracy to maintain inflated commission fees. Many of the defendants were also named in the QJ Team case on November 13, 2023. 

If granted class-action status, the case will represent everyone who listed a house for sale in the state of Texas on a multiple listing service (MLS) between November 13, 2019, and the present. 

Read the latest:

Umpa

Status: Filed

Claim: The plaintiff class, represented by Daniel Umpa, includes anyone in the U.S. (with some exceptions) who used a real estate agent affiliated with one of the corporate defendants to sell a home listed on a multiple listing service (MLS) in the past four years. The plaintiff claims the defendants conspired to enforce anti-competitive policies that caused home sellers to pay inflated commissions. 

Latest Updates: Lawyers in Missouri filed a new class action commissions lawsuit on behalf of U.S. home sellers, on December 27, 2023. Defendants named in the Umpa lawsuits include the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and more than a dozen brokerages. The suit also names several local realtor associations and MLSs as co-conspirators. 

In addition to the complaint, lawyers for both Umpa and Gibson filed a request to consolidate the two cases, along with seven other copycat lawsuits filed in the wake of the Sitzer/Burnett verdict.

Read the latest:

Tuccori

Status: Filed

Claim:  The Tuccori plaintiff alleges collusion within the real estate industry artificially inflates real estate agent commissions. The complaint states, “Defendant and its coconspirators have effectively maintained and significantly raised the financial costs of buyerbroker commissions, despite the diminishing role of such buyer-brokers due to the emergence of third-party listing websites.”  The defendant in this case is At World Properties, the parent company of @properties Chirstie’s International real Estate. 

Latest Updates: Illinois homebuyer James Toccori first filed a case in December and on January 5, 2024, moved the filing to the U.S. District Court. Unlike the majority of copycat lawsuits with home seller plaintiffs, this one joins Batton 1 and Batton 2 in seeking damages for homebuyers

The Tuccori suit is seeking national and Illinois class-action status for anyone who purchased a home listed on a NAR-affiliated MLS since March 2000, and used At World buyer or seller agent. This is the fourth commission lawsuit filed in Illinois, making it the state with the highest number of industry suits (Moehrl, Batton 1, Batton 2, Tuccori). 

Read the latest:

Friedman

Status: Filed

Claim: The Friedman complaint alleges that there is an “antitrust conspiracy among major residential real estate firms” that artificially inflated prices for real estate agent commissions for listings in REBNY RLS. The complaint states that while residential properties listed with REBNY require the Seller Broker to offer compensation to the Buyer Broker, listings on the Brooklyn MLS do not.

Latest Updates: New York home seller Robert Friedman filed a complaint on Friday, December 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Defendants include Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), along with 15 brokerages. 

Read the latest:

Masiello

Status: Filed

Claim: The Masiello complaint alleges that “rules created by the National Association of REALTORS® (“NAR”)—and implemented and enforced by Defendants in Arizona—compel home sellers to pay inflated commissions to the home buyer’s broker, even though the buyer’s broker does not represent the seller.” 

Latest Updates: The Masiello complaint was filed by home seller Joseph Masiello on January 5 in U.S. District Court against the Arizona Association of Realtors, along with several other associations and brokerages in Arizona. The Masiello case seeks class-action status on behalf of home sellers who used any of the defendants to list a home on an Arizona multiple listing service and paid a commission to the buyer’s broker from January 5, 2020, to present. 

Read the latest:

Whaley

Status: Filed

Claim: The Whaley complaint alleges that NAR’s Participation Rule violates federal antitrust law and the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act. It states that a conspiracy within the real estate industry requires home sellers to pay buyer brokers an inflated commission.

Latest Updates: The Whaley complaint was filed by home seller Nathaniel Whaley on January 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. It seeks class-action status on behalf of anyone who paid a broker commission in connection with the sale of residential property between January 15, 2018, listed on one of the following MLSs: The Northern Nevada Regional MLS, Elko County MLS, Incline Village MLS, Mesquite MREA MLS.

This lawsuit names Realtor associations and MLSs as defendants but no brokerages. 

Read the latest:

Fierro

Status: Filed

Claim: Filed by two home sellers in California, the Fierro complaint alleges a conspiracy in the real estate industry that “centers around the enforcement of an anticompetitive restraint that compels home sellers to provide an inflated fee to the broker representing the buyer of their properties, thus violating federal and state antitrust regulations.”

Latest Updates: On January 17, 2024, home sellers Gael Fierro and Patrick Thurber filed a complaint in U.S. District Court Central District of California, accusing defendants of collaborating in anti-competitive practices. The lawsuit names three dozen defendants but puts the majority of the blame on NAR: “NAR, an organization with considerable influence in shaping the real estate landscape, is at the core of the conspiracy.”

The suit seeks class-action status for anyone who listed properties on an MLS in the Madera, Fresno, or Los Angeles Counties using a listing agent or broker affiliated with one of the defendants named from January 17, 2020, through the present. 

 Read the latest:

Jensen

Status: Filed

Claim: Filed by a Utah home seller, the Jensen case alleges a conspiracy in the real estate industry to inflate agent commissions. The complaint states, “The cornerstone of defendants’ conspiracy is NAR’s adoption and implementation of a rule that requires all seller’s brokers to make a blanket, unilateral and effectively non-negotiable offer of buyer broker compensation when listing a property on a Multiple Listing Service.”

Latest Updates: A Utah home seller, Dalton Jensen, filed a complaint on February 9, 2024, in the U.S. District Court of Utah against the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and several real estate brokerages. 

Jensen vs NAR is a class action lawsuit, with the class including anyone who paid a buyer agent commission and used an agent affiliated with one of the defendants to sell a home over the past four years through Wasatch Front MLS (UtahRealEstate.com), Washington County MLS, Iron County MLS or Summit County MLS.

 Read the latest:

Boykin

Status: Filed

Claim: The Boykin complaint alleges that NAR’s Participation Rule violates federal antitrust law and the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act. It states that a conspiracy within the real estate industry requires home sellers to pay buyer brokers an inflated commission. 

Latest Updates: Filed by home seller Andrea Boykin on February 16 in U.S. District Court, this is the second commissions lawsuit in Nevada. It seeks class-action status on behalf of anyone who listed a home for sale on a Nevada MLS in the past four years and who paid a buyer broker commission with one of the defendants named in the complaint. 

The Boykin lawsuit names 22 defendants, including NAR, local and national brokerages, associations and MLSs.

 Read the latest:

Freedlund

Status: Filed

Claim: The Freedlund complaint alleges that Redfin, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the California Association of Realtors (CAR) are involved in a conspiracy to inflate real estate agent commissions.

Latest Updates: Andrea Freedlund filed a complaint on February 26 in the Central District of California. In September 2021, Freedlund sold her Laguna Niguel, CA, home. Both the buyer and seller were represented by Redfin agents in the transaction. At the time, Redfin and its agents were members of NAR and CAR and had to abide by the organization’s Participation Rule, or Cooperative Compensation Rule, which requires listing brokers to offer buyer brokers compensation. 

The Freedlund lawsuit is seeking class-action status on behalf of any home seller in the state of California who paid a buyer-broker commission to Redfin or a Redfin buyer agent between October 2019 and October 2023, which is before Redfin announced its departure from NAR.

 Read the latest:

Stay tuned for more updates.