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RE/MAX settles in house-sale fees class suit

Scott Lauck//September 18, 2023

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RE/MAX settles in house-sale fees class suit

Scott Lauck//September 18, 2023

A second defendant in a pending antitrust class-action lawsuit against the real estate industry has settled for $55 million.

Mike Ketchmark of Ketchmark & McCreight said in an emailed statement that the settlement with RE/MAX included not only money but also an agreement it would no longer require home sellers to pay buyer’s agents.

“The biggest part of the settlement is the massive changes to RE/MAX’s business practices,” Ketchmark said.

Ketchmark, along with attorneys from Boulware Law and Williams Dirks Dameron, represent a class of home sellers who allege that rules set by the National Association of Realtors restrain competition by requiring home sellers to pay a 6 percent commission that is split between their own agent and that of the buyer.

The suit, pending in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, is set for a jury trial starting Oct. 16. The remaining defendants are the Realtors association, as well as HomeServices of America Inc. and Keller Williams Realty.

“Unless Home Services, NAR, and Keller Williams finally admit they are wrong and change their ways we will ask the jury to return the money to the 250,000 homeowners in Missouri who were victims of this alleged conspiracy,” Ketchmark said in the statement. The companies have denied the claims.

In a Sept. 18 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, RE/MAX said the settlement covers the claims in the Missouri case and a similar suit in the Northern District of Illinois.

“RE/MAX continues to deny the material allegations of the complaints in the Lawsuits,” the company said. “RE/MAX entered into the Settlement after considering the risks and costs of continuing the litigation.”

Another defendant in the case, Anywhere Real Estate Inc., settled for $83.5 million earlier this month. The court has not yet approved either settlement.

The case is Burnett v. National Association of Realtors et al., 4:19-cv-00332.

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