BAM Key Details:

  • Two more copycat lawsuits were filed this week, a week after the Sitzer/Burnett jury reached a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs.
  • The Burton complaint was filed in South Carolina, and the March complaint is targeting REBNY and real estate companies in Manhattan. 
  • Also filed this week was Batton, a complaint from home buyers about the cooperative compensation rule. 

The industry has been bracing for this. 

In the aftermath of the Sitzer/Burnett verdict, the real estate landscape is witnessing a surge in lawsuits targeting the agent compensation system. First came Gibson, the lawsuit filed by Michael Ketchmark, who was the plaintiffs’ lead counsel in the Sitzer/Burnett trial. It came hours after the verdict was announced. 

Next was Batton, in which home buyers filed the complaint that “Defendants’ unlawful, anticompetitive conduct causes America’s 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.”

Now, two more copycat lawsuits have been filed. One is in South Carolina, and one is in New York. These lawsuits bring to light the complex web of allegations against major industry players, including the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Keller Williams, and other top real estate companies.

South Carolina: Burton Complaint Goes After NAR and Keller Williams

Shauntell Burton’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in South Carolina on Monday, accuses NAR and Keller Williams of conspiring to impose anticompetitive restraints on home sellers, violating federal antitrust law. 

Seeking class-action status, Burton aims to represent home sellers across South Carolina who allegedly suffer from an inflated compensation system.

New York City: March Complaint Targets REBNY and Major Real Estate Companies 

Monty March’s federal antitrust lawsuit targets REBNY and 26 real estate companies in Manhattan, alleging that the REBNY rules governing commission fees violate state and federal antitrust laws. March aims to represent home sellers from November 8, 2019, to the present day. 

The full list of defendants are:

  • Real Estate Board of New York
  • Real Estate Board of New York Listing Service
  • Brown Harris Stevens
  • Christie’s International Real Estate
  • Coldwell Banker
  • Compass
  • Core Marketing Services
  • The Corcoran Group
  • Douglas Elliman
  • Elegran
  • Engel & Volkers
  • Fox Residential Group
  • Halstead Real Estate
  • Homesnap
  • Keller Williams NYC
  • Leslie J. Garfield & Co
  • Level Group
  • M.N.S. Real Estate
  • Modern Spaces
  • The Agency
  • The Modlin Group
  • Nest Seekers International
  • Oxford Property Group
  • R New York
  • RE/MAX
  • SERHANT.
  • Sloane Square
  • Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates

 

Stay tuned for more updates.