Federal buyer agent commission suit certified as class-action

A federal lawsuit that challenges the Buyer Broker Commission Rule – in which NAR MLS rules require listing brokers to offer compensation to buyer brokers – has been certified as class-action by a judge. Defendants include NAR, Realogy, Keller Williams Realty and HomeServices and America. Brought in 2019, the suit affects Missouri homes sold through four MLSs from April 29, 2014 through the present. The four rules at issue include: • NAR’s so-called Buyer Broker Commission Rule, noted above. • NAR’s Code of Ethics that requires Realtors to offer compensation to cooperating Realtors • NAR’s statue that prohibits buyer agents negotiating commissions when making an offer • NAR’s statute that prohibits buyer agents negotiating commissions after an offer is made. Another, larger federal lawsuit in Illinois, challenging some of the same key items above is still active as well, and could become class-action, too. This outstanding suit, the certification, along with continued U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Federal Trade Commission scrutiny, suggest the commission protocol the industry has followed for decades, in which sellers pay both sides of the commission, may change in the near future.