NAR Objects to DOJ Filing, Claiming It Will ‘Harm Consumers and Reduce Access to Fair Housing’

In a forceful commentary regarding the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Feb. 15 Statement of Interest calling for “decoupled commissions” in rebuke of a lawsuit settlement of a case known as Nosalek v. MLS PIN, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) said the decision would hurt consumers as opposed to helping them. 

In a statement emailed to RISMedia on Feb. 23, NAR was adamant in its opposition to the DOJ making decisions to dramatically alter how residential real estate business in the United States has been conducted over a long period of time.

“The Statement of Interest confirms that the DOJ wants to regulate what sellers and their listing agents are allowed to do with their own money and homes,” wrote a NAR spokesperson. “Prohibiting all offers of compensation will harm consumers, including by making it more costly for homebuyers to access capable representation and by reducing access to fair housing.”

Following the Burnett trial outcome in late October, when NAR and real estate power players were found to have conspired to inflate commissions in violation of federal law, there has been a steady stream of copycat lawsuits nationwide, with accompanying legal positions, rulings and the like. NAR has been front and center, having been named as a defendant in many of the suits.

The association has commented in broad terms since Burnett that it plans to appeal and is hopeful for a positive result from all the legal maneuverings.

“There is a great deal at stake for buyers and sellers all across the country,” NAR concluded in the statement, “and we will continue to work, in and out of court, toward the best possible outcome for property owners in America and the professionals who represent them.”

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