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Test Your Antitrust IQ

For more than 100 years, federal antitrust laws have existed as a way to promote competition and prevent monopolies in business operations. Because real estate brokers and salespeople frequently cooperate with one another in the sale of properties, they have numerous opportunities to engage in conduct that might be construed as violations of the antitrust laws. Do you know the ins and outs of antitrust? (Portions of this quiz were reprinted with permission from Antitrust Compliance Guide for REALTORS® and REALTOR®-Associates, Fourth Edition, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® , September 1999.)

1. Two competitors in my market asked me to cooperate with them in setting a “standard” commission for the area. I refused, but subsequently started charging the same rate that they suggested. Because I didn't overtly agree to participate in price fixing, I did not violate the antitrust law.

2. Even though my salespeople are independent contractors, I may establish the commission rate for my company and require them to charge that rate.

3. I offer an annual training session to all my sales associates and sales managers on what constitutes antitrust violations, and I keep attendance records of who participated. These records will protect me from any lawsuits even if one of my salespeople violates antitrust laws.

4. The best way to persuade sellers that they should not insist on an open listing is to tell them that the MLS will not accept open listing.

5. If one of my salespeople participates in a price-fixing discussion, my company can be held liable even if I have no personal knowledge of the salesperson’s conduct.

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11/14/2018 11:59 AM