This was a pretty big case and tons of buzz went around the real estate community regarding it.
Burnett v. National Association of Realtors et al
This week Cassie, Ali and Danielle are researching and discussing the famous real estate case, Burnett et al v. National Association of Realtors et al. If you are in the real estate industry, you have most likely heard of this case and its shocking outcome.
Tune in to learn how this case went down and what it means for agents!
Read more about the case HERE.
Danielle: Hey, everyone, we’re back.
Ali: Two weeks in a row, a record. It’s a miracle. So good to see your faces.
Cassie: I’m super excited about this case. If you’re in real estate, you’ve probably heard about it. It’s the Sitzer et al case, ruling in favor of the plaintiffs for 1.78 billion in damages to sellers of over 260,000 homes in Missouri.
C: Massive case. Exciting because despite all the talk, there’s still much to learn about it.
D: Researching is one of my favorite things. Let me walk you through the background, arguments, and what it means for realtors. The plaintiffs allege that NAR created anti-competitive rules, requiring sellers to pay commissions to the buyer’s broker. They claim this limits consumer negotiation.
A: Interesting. Tell me more.
D: The plaintiffs argue that rules in the NAR handbook and code of ethics force sellers to make a blanket offer of compensation to the buyer’s broker to list their home on the MLS.
A: Mm-hmm. Keep going.
D: The verbiage from the MLS code of ethics is crucial in their argument. Plaintiffs hired a doctor, Dr. Schulman, who studied other countries and found that sellers wouldn’t pay for the buyer’s agent in those markets.
A: Like in Portugal, where they have attorneys representing buyers.
D: Exactly. The defendants hired Dr. Ciro, arguing that Germany’s market is more similar to the U.S., where sellers still pay some of the buyer’s broker compensation.
C: So, it’s a battle of experts.
D: Indeed. Plaintiffs claim the defendants conspired to enforce these rules, even providing sales scripts to prevent sellers from deviating on commissions.
C: Interesting. But how did the jury rule?
D: The defense argued that trade organizations can make rules, and there’s no evidence of NAR enforcing these rules in Missouri. They questioned the consistency in the plaintiff’s numbers.
C: It seems like a complex case. What are your thoughts?
D: Transparency is key. The industry needs higher standards. I don’t think it’ll change much operationally for us, but it’s essential to stay transparent and educate clients.
C: Agreed. It’s crucial to have those financial conversations with clients. And I can’t believe they won.
D: The jury’s decision is puzzling. We’ll see how the appeal goes.
C: Definitely. Thanks for breaking it down.
D: Anytime. See you next time.
Do you have a particular topic you want us to discuss? Reach out on Instagram @agentsunfiltered
If you enjoyed today’s episode:
•Leave a positive review or rating
•Post a screenshot to your IG Story and tag us @agentsunfiltered