“We think this is a significant blow to real estate brokers, but we don’t think this is over yet. There are more battles to fight,” she wrote. “This is the first domino to fall, but the National Association of Realtors is still struggling.”
Brokerage firms that opted to settle before trial said they were satisfied with their decision.
“The agreement releases our company, affiliated agents and franchisees from liability related to these claims. The jury’s verdict, while disappointing, does not alter our agreement,” Trey Sarten, spokesperson for Anywhere Real Estate, said in an emailed statement.
Those who had lost previous court battles with the NAR were celebrating.
Jack Ryan, CEO of REX Real Estate, which lost an antitrust lawsuit against NAR, Zillow and Trulia in August, has been outspoken about setting lower commissions. In a text message Tuesday, he praised the verdict as “extremely good news for Americans.”
If commissions can be reduced, “the price of each home will go down, jobs and wages will increase, tax revenues will increase, and people will easily be able to access better and more fulfilling jobs,” he wrote.
Other lawsuits are now imminent. Within minutes of receiving the verdict Tuesday, plaintiffs’ attorneys filed another class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Missouri. That case, filed on behalf of three new home sellers, also claims that the practice of home sellers paying sales commissions to buyers’ agents is a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. It names NAR as a defendant, as well as several major brokerages, including Compass, eXp World Holdings, Redfin and Douglas Elliman.