BAM Key Details:

  • The Martin lawsuit was filed on December 14, 2023,  in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern District of Texas.
  • In the complaint, three home sellers allege that a conspiracy in Texas real estate violates antitrust laws by requiring home sellers to pay commissions for buyer agents. 
  • This is the second antitrust lawsuit filed in Texas since the Sitzer/Burnett verdict was announced on October 31, and the ninth overall. 

    The latest commission lawsuit for the real estate industry is known as the Martin case and was filed on December 14, 2023,  in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern District of Texas. 

    The lawsuit accuses over 40 brokerages and real estate associations of engaging in a conspiracy to maintain inflated commission fees. Not surprisingly, it mirrors the accusations in the Sitzer/Burnett case, which set off a cascade of similar legal actions after a favorable verdict for the plaintiffs was announced.

    This is the second antitrust commission lawsuit to be filed in Texas after the Sitzer/Burnett verdict was announced on October 31, and the ninth in the United States.

    Allegations and Plaintiffs of the Martin Lawsuit

    The Martin class-action complaint involves three home sellers – Julie Martin, Mark Adams, and Adelaida Matta. The complaint alleges a “concealed conspiracy that has adversely impacted countless home buyers and sellers” in Texas real estate. Like other antitrust lawsuits filed this year, it claims that sellers are required to offer compensation to buyers’ agents, inflating costs for those sellers.

    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.

    Over 40 Defendants Named

    The Martin case names many of the same defendants as the QJ Team case, the first lawsuit filed in Texas on November 13, with several more added to the list. 

    Overall, the Martin complaint names over 40 defendants, including:

    • Texas Association of Realtors 
    • Austin Board of Realtors
    • San Antonio Board of Realtors 
    • Keller Williams
    • HomeServices of America
    • Austin/Central Texas Realty Information
    • Houston Realtors Information Service
    • North Texas Real Estate Information Systems
    • Keller Williams
    • Heyl Group Holdings
    • Dave Perry-Miller Company
    • The Loken Group
    • The Hexagon Group
    • PenFed Realty, LLC
    • Ebby Halliday Real Estate, LLC
    • DMTX, LLC
    • Fathom Realty, LLC
    • Grace Realty Group LLC

    The lawsuit also accuses specific entities, including Moreland Properties, MJHM LLC, and ATC Metro Properties, Inc., of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA).

    Stay tuned for more details, and head to BAM’s Industry Lawsuit Watch to track real estate’s biggest legal battles.