The National Association of REALTORS® today filed a petition in federal district court in Washington, D.C., to quash a U.S. Department of Justice request that reneges on the terms of a settlement agreement. The agreement, focused on various multiple listing service policies, was approved by the Justice Department in November 2020. In a news release issued today, NAR called the department’s attempt to withdraw from the agreement—after NAR had already begun to implement its terms—“a breach of the agreement and the law.”
NAR’s guidance for MLSs has long been recognized by courts as fostering fair and competitive real estate markets for home buyers and sellers. Having buyer brokers’ compensation come from the listing broker’s commission “increases competition by allowing small brokerages to compete on a level playing field with large brokerages and promotes equitable homeownership opportunities for all consumers,” the association said in today’s release.
NAR President Charlie Oppler, a CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, Franklin Lakes, N.J., said, “The DOJ action should be considered null and invalid based on legal precedent alone. The DOJ must be governed by principle, and NAR simply expects the department to live up to its commitments.”
Oppler said NAR remained committed to “advancing and defending independent and local real estate organizations that provide for greater economic opportunity and equity for small businesses and consumers of all backgrounds and financial means.”