Real EstateBrokerage

Realogy takes aim at NAR Cooperative Compensation Rule

Unsealed court filings reveal Realogy’s position on requirement to offer commissions to buyer brokers in order to list on Realtor-affiliated MLSs

Realogy has publicly called for the National Association of Realtors to put an end to its Cooperative Compensation Rule, according to a legal filing that was unsealed last Thursday.

NAR’s Cooperative Compensation Rule, also known as the Buyer Broker Commission Rule, requires that listing brokers offer commissions to buy-side brokers in order to submit a listing to Realtor-affiliated multiple listing services.

Realogy, the NAR, RE/MAX, Keller Williams and HomeServices of America are currently the defendants in multiple antitrust lawsuits from homebuyers and sellers that aim to have homebuyers pay their broker directly instead of the listing broker pay the buyer broker from the listing broker’s commission.

The filing revealing Realogy’s position on the Cooperative Compensation Rule was submitted in the Sitzer case, named after its lead plaintiff.

In the filing, Realogy Brokerage Group CEO and president of Coldwell Banker Realty Ryan Gorman said, “[I]t is the position of Realogy that the mandatory nature of the NAR Cooperative Compensation Rule should be rescinded.”

Gorman also told the court that the only set of NAR rules or guidelines the brokerage requires its company-owned brokerages and franchisees to follow is the NAR Code of Ethics and that it does not require “independent contractor sales associated who are affiliated with any Realogy-owned brokerage or with any franchisee that license one of its brands become members of any local MLS.”

He went on to say that “It is also the position of Realogy that offers of compensation that are made to buyer brokers should be transparently available to consumers, not just brokers.”

Realogy is not a member of the four MLSs (Heartland MLS, the Columbia Board of Realtors MLS, the Mid America Regional Information System, and the Southern Missouri Regional MLS) that are at issue in the case.

It remains to be seen if the other brokerages involved in this case, Keller Williams, RE/MAX and HomeServices of America, share Gorman and Realogy’s stance on this issue or if this is truly a deviant position.

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