BAM Key Details:

  • Nevada home seller Nathaniel Whaley filed a complaint on January 15, alleging a conspiracy within the real estate industry that requires home sellers to pay inflated commissions
  • Defendants named include Realtor associations and MLSs, but no brokerages.

Nevada has joined the expanding list of states faced with commission lawsuits, with a new complaint naming Realtor associations and Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) as defendants. 

The lawsuit, filed on January 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, mirrors the pattern seen in 14 other cases following the Sitzer/Burnett verdict, alleging that NAR’s Participation Rule violates antitrust laws. 

Read on for the details.

Details of the Whaley Lawsuit in Nevada

Home seller Nathaniel Whaley filed a complaint alleging a conspiracy within the real estate industry that requires home sellers to pay buyer brokers an inflated commission. Whaley sold his Las Vegas area home for $805,000 in 2022 and paid 5% in commission fees, amounting to $40,250. Of those commission fees, 3% went to the buyer broker. 

The complaint states defendants are in violation of federal antitrust law and the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act. It seeks class-action status on behalf of anyone who paid a buyer broker commission in connection with the sale of a 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

Defendants Include Realtor Associations and MLSs

Of the 14 copycat lawsuits filed, this is the first that does not list any brokerages as defendants. Instead, it lists Realtor associations and MLSs as defendants.

Defendants include: 

  • National Association of Realtors
  • Las Vegas Realtors
  • Nevada Realtors
  • Sierra Nevada Realty
  • Incline Village Realtors
  • Elko County Realtors
  • Mesquite Real Estate Association
  • Northern Nevada Regional MLS

The complaint also notes that “multiple individuals and entities not yet named as Defendants participated as co-conspirators.” 

Stay up to date on real estate commission legal battles with BAM’s Industry Lawsuit Watch.