Jury Decides Realtors Rigged the Game, Awards $1.8 Billion In Groundbreaking Verdict

In a stunning turn of events that has left the real estate world reeling, a Kansas City jury has delivered a verdict that could potentially reshape the entire home-sale industry. The National Association of Realtors (NAR), along with major brokerages HomeServices of America and Keller Williams, have been found guilty of conspiring to keep commission rates artificially high.

The damages? A jaw-dropping $1.78 billion, and that’s not even the final word on the matter.

This verdict is not just a loss for the brokerages and the industry trade association; it’s a seismic shift that could bring about industry-wide upheaval and change the rules of the game that have been in place for decades.

The Verdict and Its Implications

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After just a few hours of deliberation, the jury reached a verdict that has sent shockwaves through the real estate world.

The case, brought forward by home sellers from several Midwestern states, argued that unlawful industry practices have left consumers with no room to lower their costs, despite the advent of internet-era innovations that have made home finding more accessible.

The verdict could lead to changes in decades-old rules, potentially ending the era of locked-in commission rates that have only grown as home prices have skyrocketed.

The Potential for Industry Upheaval

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The real estate industry has long been dominated by traditional practices, but this verdict challenges the status quo in a big way. For years, the NAR has been defending itself against accusations of keeping home-sale costs high, but this time, they’ve faced a significant setback.

The plaintiffs have not only won nearly $1.8 billion in damages but have also asked the judge to order changes in how the industry operates. This could mean a complete overhaul of the commission structure, making the real estate market more competitive and fair for consumers.

What’s Next?

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The verdict is not the end of the road. The NAR has already expressed its intention to appeal, and the presiding judge has the power to triple the damages verdict, potentially bringing the total to more than $5 billion.

Two of the brokerages involved, HomeServices of America (a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway) and Keller Williams Realty, have also been implicated, with HomeServices vowing to appeal.

The current system, where sellers pay a commission of 5% to 6% of the home’s selling price, could see a major transformation, making it easier for buyers and sellers to negotiate for lower rates.

A Verdict for the People?

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This verdict represents a significant victory for consumers and could be a step towards more transparency and fairness in the real estate industry. For too long, the commission structure has been rigid, but this could be the catalyst for change that many have been waiting for.

The real estate industry is on the brink of a major transformation, and all eyes are on what happens next.

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Sources

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  1. housingwire.com/articles/missouri-jury-finds-nar-brokerages-guilty-of-conspiring-to-inflate-commissions/
Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.