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A guide to the real estate commissions cases 

Trying to keep up with all of the recent lawsuits challenging the way agents get paid? Here’s a cheat sheet.

Updated February 20, 2024
20 minutes

Several commissions lawsuits have been working their way through the courts for years. But in the aftermath of the Sitzer/Burnett verdict, the floodgates opened, with attorneys, home sellers and homebuyers piling on new and "copycat" lawsuits attacking the current compensation structure.

To help keep track of it all, here's a snapshot of each of the noteworthy cases and where it stands. You may want to bookmark this story, as it will be regularly updated.

Sitzer/Burnett

Case overview: A class action antitrust lawsuit filed by Missouri home sellers alleging a conspiracy to keep commissions inflated.

Status: A jury verdict for the plaintiffs, awarding damages of nearly $1.8 billion. Since it was an antitrust case, the judge could award triple damages totaling well over $5 billion.

Plaintiffs: Rhonda Burnett, Jerod Breit, Jeremy Keel, Hollee Ellis and Frances Harvey, representing a class of home sellers in the state of Missouri.

Defendants: NAR and HomeServices of America.

RE/MAX and Anywhere Real Estate reached settlement agreements before the trial, which are awaiting final approval from U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Bough.

On Feb. 1, 2024, Keller Williams also reached a preliminary settlement deal, leaving HomeServices as the only remaining brokerage defendant, alongside NAR.

Venue: U.S. Western District Court in Missouri.

What's next: Several post-trial motions were filed in January 2024 by the defendants, including a request for a new trial. Judge Stephen Bough is expected to make a final decision on civil damages, settlements and changes to the buyer compensation system this spring. Once filed, the judgment is expected to be appealed by the defendants.

Judge Bough is also reviewing the RE/MAX and Anywhere settlement proposals and will likely finalize the agreements by May 2024.

Gibson

Case overview: An antitrust case nearly identical to Sitzer/Burnett, but with a broader reach and new defendants.

Status: Filed by the lead attorney for the Sitzer/Burnett plaintiffs on Oct. 31 in Missouri immediately following the Sitzer/Burnett verdict.

Plaintiffs: Don Gibson, Lauren Criss and John Meiners. Plaintiffs have asked for class action status.

Defendants: NAR, Compass, eXp, Redfin, Weichert Realtors, United Real Estate, Howard Hanna Real Estate and Douglas Elliman.

Venue: U.S. Western District Court in Missouri.

What's next: Defendants have until early 2024 to respond to the complaint. This case has the potential to have nationwide implications, involving every home seller that used the services of the defendants in the past four years. It's just getting started, however, so it may be some time before there's a ruling on whether it should go to trial.

On Dec. 27, NAR attorneys filed a motion requesting a delay in this case until post-trial motions or its appeal of the Sitzer/Burnett case are resolved. That motion was denied by Judge Stephen Bough on Jan. 17.

Also on Jan. 17, the plaintiffs filed a document voluntarily dismissing Howard Hanna Real Estate Services from the case without prejudice. The filing did not offer an explanation for the dismissal.

Moehrl

Case overview: Another class action antitrust case naming the same defendants as those in Sitzer/Burnett. MLS regions from across the country are involved, and the plaintiffs are seeking more than $13 billion in damages.

Status: The case was certified as a class action in March 2023. A trial date is expected to be scheduled for sometime next year; the next status report is scheduled for Jan. 22.

Plaintiffs: Christopher Moehrl, representing home sellers across several MLS regions across the country.

Defendants: NAR and HomeServices of America. Former defendants RE/MAX, Anywhere Real Estate and — as of Feb. 1, 2024, Keller Williams — have already reached a settlement. 20 MLSs are also named as co-conspirators.

Venue: U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois.

What's next: First filed in March 2019, a month before Sitzer/Burnett, this case was expected to set the tone for the compensation lawsuits. Sitzer/Burnett went to trial first, however, and the verdict in that case will likely influence the direction of Moehrl.

On Dec. 19, the three remaining defendants asked the court for a summary judgment, stating that the plaintiffs haven't proven their case after years of litigation. U.S. Judge Andrea Wood is reviewing the motions.

Leeder/Batton 1

Case overview: A different take on the buyer-broker compensation cases: Homebuyers, not sellers, are the plaintiffs who are alleging a conspiracy to keep commissions inflated.

Status: The case was filed in 2021 and dismissed in May 2022, but an amended complaint was subsequently filed. In dismissing the original case, the court ruled that homebuyers were "indirect purchasers" of commission fees, so antitrust law wouldn't apply. On Feb. 20, 2024, Judge Andrea Wood dismissed HomeServices of America as a defendant and cut the number of claims.

Plaintiffs: Originally filed by Judah Leeder, the current class representative leader is Mya Batton.

Defendants: NAR, Keller Williams, RE/MAX and Anywhere Real Estate.

Venue: U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois.

What's next: The case will move forward without HSA and focus on homebuyer damages being pursued under the antitrust or consumer protection laws of multiple states. 

Batton 2

Case overview: This case is similar to Batton 1 but names a different set of defendants.

Status: The case was filed on Nov. 2. On Jan. 10, an unopposed motion was made by the plaintiffs to transfer this case to Judge Andrea Wood, who is also handling Batton 1.

Plaintiffs: Mya Batton, Aaron Bolton, Michael Brace, Do Yeon Irene Kim, Anna James, James Mullis and Theodore Bisbicos.

Defendants: Compass, eXp, Redfin, Weichert Realtors, United Real Estate, Howard Hanna Real Estate and Douglas Elliman Inc.

Venue: U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois.

Nosalek

Case overview: A buyer-broker commission case brought by home sellers in Massachusetts. Unlike Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl, this case does not name the National Association of Realtors, but claims that the policies of Massachusetts-based MLS PIN mirror those of NAR.

Case status: No trial or mediation date has been set, but several defendants have agreed to settle. The remaining defendants have requested a summary judgment.

Plaintiffs: Jennifer Nosalek is the leading class representative for home sellers in the MLS PIN region.

Defendants: Keller Williams and HomeServices of America are the remaining defendants after MLS PIN agreed to settle over the summer (approval is pending), and Anywhere and RE/MAX reached an agreement through the Sitzer/Burnett amd Moehrl settlement.

Venue: U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.

What's next: The MLS PIN settlement, which has attracted the interest of the Department of Justice, is expected to have a final approval hearing next spring.

Even with an updated settlement plan, the DOJ continues to express concerns about the settlement. On Dec. 18, they asked the court if they could have until Feb. 15 to submit additional statement of interest documents, and the judge approved the request. That could further delay the final approval hearing.

The RE/MAX and Anywhere settlements are also pending final approval, with a hearing scheduled in the spring.

During a Dec. 6 hearing for a summary judgment motion, Judge Patti Saris took the arguments under advisement but didn't immediately make a ruling.

Burton

Case overview: A lawsuit similar to Sitzer/Burnett, but with a smaller pool of defendants, brought by a home seller in South Carolina.

Case status: Filed Nov. 8, this case is seeking class action status to include home sellers throughout South Carolina.

Plaintiffs: Shauntell Burton, and future class members if class status is granted.

Defendants: NAR and Keller Williams.

Venue: U.S. District Court in South Carolina's Spartanburg division.

March

Case overview: An antitrust case brought by a New York home seller centered on real estate transactions in Manhattan, which is served by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

Status: Filed Nov. 8 with a request for class action status and a jury trial.

Plaintiffs: Monty March "and all others similarly situated," according to the court filing. If granted class status, it would include Manhattan home sellers who sold a home in the coverage area in the last four years.

Defendants: More than two dozen, including REBNY, Christie's International Real Estate, Coldwell Banker, Sotheby's International Realty, Douglas Elliman, RE/MAX, Keller Williams NYC, Compass, SERHANT and others.

Venue: U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. 

QJ Team

Case overview: Centered in Texas, this suit was brought by a Texas home builder and a holding company. It focuses on local associations and brokerages, alleging not only antitrust violations but in some cases, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Protections Act.

Status: Filed Nov. 13, the plaintiffs are seeking class action status for Texas home sellers who sold a home in the past four years.

Plaintiffs: QJ Team LLC and Five Points Holding.

Defendants: Named defendants include the Texas Association of Realtors, MetroTex Association of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Austin Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, more than 20 Texas teams or brokerages, and individual broker Mark Anthony Dimas. NAR is not named as a defendant although it is referred to as the "creator of the conspiracy."

Venue: U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division.

Phillips

Case overview: The case is very similar to the other buyer agent commission lawsuits alleging a conspiracy to keep commission fees inflated and would apply to home sellers in Georgia.

Status: Filed Nov. 22, the plaintiffs have requested class action status to include home sellers who listed and sold properties on a Georgia MLS in the past four years. An amended complaint, filed Dec. 6, added a number of new defendants and three additional plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs: Janet Phillips, Joseph Hunt, Edith Hunt, Penny Scheetz, Benjamin Aune and Parkwood Living LLC. 1925 Hooper LLC, Robert Arko and Andrew Moore were added on Dec. 6.

Defendants: A whopping 40 named defendants in total. The initial filing listed 24 defendants, including NAR, several local firms, and national brokerage companies HomeServices of America, Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Compass, Anywhere, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Engel & Vӧlkers, Christie's International Real Estate and Sotheby's International Realty. Defendants added to the case on Dec. 6 include Redfin, eXp, ERA and multiple local brokerages.

Venue: U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia Atlanta division.

Spring Way/Kay

Case overview: Similar to other buyer agent commission lawsuits, home sellers allege a conspiracy to keep commission fees inflated through buyer agent commission rules. This case involves the West Penn MLS and several brokerages that use the MLS.

This is not the first time West Penn MLS was named a defendant in antitrust litigation. In 2009, it settled a case involving rules that the Federal Trade Commission said effectively barred brokers who offered flat-rate fees, and in 2011, settled an antitrust case brought by home sellers, paying $2.38 million in damages.

Status: Filed Dec. 4, the plaintiffs have requested class action status to include home sellers who listed properties on a West Penn MLS in the past four years.

On Jan. 26, both the plaintiffs and the defendants in the case were changed to reflect an earlier settlement made by Anywhere.

Plaintiffs: The original plaintiffs in the case were Spring Way Center LLC, John and Nancy Moratis, and Nancy Wehrheim. 

As of the Jan. 26 filing, Spring Way and Wehreim were removed, as both sold homes using Anywhere-affiliated brokerages. Danielle and Jessie Kay, who sold a home in 2021 using a Realty ONE affiliate, are the new lead plaintiffs. 

Defendants: Following the Jan. 26 filing, the defendants are: West Penn MLS, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, NextHome PPM Realty, Realty ONE Group Gold Standard, Realty ONE Group Platinum, Realty ONE Group Horizon and six new additions: Howard Hanna, River Point Realty, Bovard-Anderson Co, Priority Realty, Rubinoff Realty and Found It PA.

Coldwell Banker Realty and Piatt Sotheby's International Realty — both of which are part of Anywhere — were named in the original filing but are no longer defendants.

Venue: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Parker

Case overview: A buyer agent commission lawsuit based in Florida. Unlike most of the other cases, which were filed in U.S. District Court, this complaint was filed in a state Circuit Court.

Status: Filed Dec. 4, the plaintiffs have requested class action status to include home sellers who listed properties on a Florida MLS in the past four years.

Plaintiffs: Parker Holding Group is the class representative. Based in Panama City, it sold homes in 2021.

Defendants: The Florida Association of Realtors, which is the largest statewide real estate association in the U.S. with more than 223,000 members, and 16 of the largest real estate brokerages in the state have been named. Those brokerage defendants include United Realty Group, Florida Realty of Miami and The Keyes Company.

Venue: 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County.

Grace

Case overview: Brokerages, associations and an MLS serving the San Francisco Bay Area are the target of this class action buyer commissions lawsuit.

The court documents highlight rules set forth by BAREIS MLS, a defendant in the case, noting that MLS members "were obligated to and did adopt, implement, and enforce anticompetitive restraints," specifically rules requiring home sellers "to make a blanket, unilateral and non-negotiable offer of buyer broker compensation."

Status: Filed Dec. 8, the plaintiffs have requested class action status to include home sellers who listed properties on the BAREIS MLS in the past four years.

Plaintiff: Christina Grace, a home seller who sold a house in April 2020. Grace paid a 3.5% commission fee to the listing agent and 2.5% to the buyer agent, totalling more than $50,000

Defendants: National Association of Realtors, Anywhere Real Estate, RE/MAX, Keller Williams, Compass, eXp, the Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Marin Association of Realtors, North Bay Association of Realtors, Northern Solano County Association of Realtors and Solano Association of Realtors. 

On Jan. 12, an amended complaint named five additional defendants: Windermere Real Estate, Vanguard Properties Inc., Rapisarda & Fox Inc., Twin Oaks Real Estate Inc. and Realty One Group.

Venue: U.S. District Court, Northern District of California's San Francisco Division.

Martin

Case overview: This is the second major buyer agent commissions case in Texas and was filed on Dec. 14. Much like the earlier QJ Team case, this involves local associations and brokerages, with the home sellers alleging not only antitrust violations but in some cases, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Protections Act.

Status: The plaintiffs have requested class action status to include all home sellers who used any defendant as the listing broker for the sale of a home on a multiple listing service and paid a commission to the buyer's broker over the past four years. Keller Williams is an exception — because they are part of the Moehrl case, which covers home sales in 2019-2020, the new filing would apply to sales brokered by KW in Texas that occurred the last two years.

Plaintiffs: Julie Martin, Mark Adams and Adelaida Matta. Martin sold one property paying a 3% commission to a buyer agent, while Adams and Matta sold several properties and also paid a 3% buyer agent commission.

Defendants: More than 40, including the Texas Association of Realtors, Austin Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, Keller Williams and HomeServices of America. The National Association of Realtors, Anywhere Real Estate and RE/MAX are named as co-conspirators.

Venue: U.S. District Court's Eastern District of Texas

Umpa

Case overview: This is the second nationwide class action lawsuit filed in the Western District of Missouri since the Sitzer/Burnett verdict, following the Gibson filing on Oct. 31.

Along with the new complaint, lawyers in the Umpa and Gibson cases filed a separate brief with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation requesting that the two cases be consolidated with seven other copycat lawsuits filed in different districts and be tried in the U.S. Western District of Missouri before Judge Stephen Bough, who oversaw the Sitzer/Burnett trial.

The Umpa case, filed Dec. 27, is similar to many of the other antitrust filings from home sellers.

Status: The plaintiffs have requested class action status to include all home sellers who used any defendant as the listing broker for the sale of a home on a multiple listing service.

Plaintiffs: Daniel Umpa, who sold homes in Ohio and Maryland in the past three years.

Defendants: The National Association of Realtors and more than a dozen major brokerages are named as defendants. The brokerages are: HomeServices of America, Keller Williams, Compass, eXp, Redfin, Weichert Reators, United Real Estate, Howard Hanna, Douglas Elliman, At World, The Real Brokerage, Realty One Group and HomeSmart.

Several local realtor associations and MLSs are listed as co-conspirators.

Venue: U.S. Western District of Missouri.

Friedman

Case overview: Filed on Dec. 29, this case focuses on "a horizontal antitrust conspiracy among major residential real estate firms not to compete over broker commissions in Brooklyn's most expensive neighborhoods," the court documents stated. 

Status: On Jan. 18, home seller Robert Friedman filed a document voluntarily dismissing the case, which was approved by Judge Frederic Block on Jan. 19. Each party will bear its own attorneys' fees and costs.

This was the second New York City-based commissions case naming REBNY. The March suit, filed in November, focuses on home sales in Manhattan.

Plaintiff: Robert Friedman, home seller.

Defendants: Real Estate Board of New York, Douglas Elliman, Christie's International Real Estate, The Corcoran Group, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates, Brown Harris Stevens, Serhant, Compass, Nest Seekers, The Agency, Elegran, Engel & Volkers New York Real Estate, R New York, Anywhere Real Estate, Terra Holdings, and Leslie J. Garfield & Co. 

Venue: U.S. District Court's Eastern District of New York. 

Tuccori

Case overview: The case was brought by a homebuyer alleging a conspiracy to inflate commissions fees.

Status: Originally filed in the Cook County Illinois Circuit Court in December 2023, the case was moved over to U.S. District Court on Jan. 5.

The plaintiff's attorneys are requesting class action status to include anyone who, since March 2000, purchased a home listed on a NAR-affiliated MLS and used an At World buyer or seller agent.

Plaintiff: James Tuccori, who purchased a home in 2018.

Defendant: At World Properties

Venue: U.S. District Court's Northern District of Illinois.

Masiello

Case overview: A home seller in Arizona is suing a laundry list of nearly 20 local associations and brokerage companies. 

Status: The case was filed on Jan. 5, and the plaintiff has requested class action status to include anyone who used one of the defendants to list and sell a home on an Arizona MLS over the past four years.

Plaintiff: Joseph Masiello.

Defendants: Arizona Association of Realtors, Phoenix Association of Realtors, Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors, West and Southeast Realtors of the Valley, Tucson Association of Realtors, My Home Group, HomeSmart, Realty One Group Arizona, Realty Executives, Christie's International Real Estate, West USA Realty, Hague Partners Holdings, Arizona Best Real Estate, North & Co., Silverleaf Realty, The Brokery, Long Realty, Tierra Antigua Realty.

Walt Danley Local Luxury was originally named as a defendant but dropped from the case on Feb. 5.

Venue: U.S. District Court's District of Arizona.

Whaley

Case overview: A home seller in the Las Vegas area is suing eight real estate associations and MLSs, including NAR, along with 15 brokerage firms.

Status: The case was filed on Jan. 15, and the plaintiff has requested class action status to include anyone who used one of the defendants to list and sell a home on a Nevada MLS over the past six years.

An amended complaint filed on Jan. 25 named an additional 15 defendants, all brokerage firms doing business in Nevada.

Plaintiff: Nathaniel Whaley

Defendants: National Association of Realtors, Las Vegas Realtors, Nevada Realtors, Sierra Nevada Realtors, Incline Village Realtors, Elko County Realtors, Mesquite Real Estate Association, the Northern Nevada Regional MLS, Jason Mitchell Group, Opendoor, eXp, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, Simply Vegas, Urban Nest Realty, Luxury Homes of Las Vegas, Huntington and Ellis, Keller Williams Southern Nevada, Keller Williams VIP, Keller Williams Realty Las Vegas, Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace, Engel & Völkers Lake Tahoe, Douglas Elliman of Nevada, and Redfin.

Venue: U.S. District Court's District of Nevada.

Latham

Case overview: A Sacramento-based LLC is suing 19 real estate entities including national and local brokerages and 10 Northern California associations and MLSs. 

Status: The case was filed on Jan. 18, and the plaintiff has requested class action status to include anyone who used one of the defendants to list and sell a home on MetroList over the past four years.

Plaintiff: Willsim Latham LLC. According to court documents, the LLC sold a home in 2021 that was listed on MetroList MLS, the second-largest MLS in California. The seller paid combined commission fees of $40,500, of which $22,500 went to the buyer agent.

Defendants: MetroList Services, Sacramento Association of Realtors, Placer County Association of Realtors, El Dorado County Association of Realtors, Lodi Association of Realtors, Yolo County Association of Realtors, Central Valley Association of Realtors, Amador County Association of Realtors, Nevada County Association of Realtors, Sutter-Yuba Association of Realtors, RE/MAX, Anywhere Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty, eXp, Norcal Gold, Century 21 Select Real Estate, William L. Lyon & Associates, Paul M. Zagaris Inc. and Guide Real Estate Inc.

The National Association of Realtors is listed as a co-conspirator.

Venue: U.S. District Court's District Eastern District of California.

Fierro

Case overview: Home sellers in Southern California are suing 35 brokerages, MLSs and associations for alleged collusion to keep commission fees inflated.

Status: The case was filed on Jan. 17 and involves five Southern and Central California counties: Madera, Fresno, Merced, Mariposa and Los Angeles. The plaintiffs have requested class action status to include anyone who used one of the defendants to list and sell a home on an MLS in those counties for the past four years.

Plaintiffs: Gael Fierro and Patrick Thurber, who each paid 6% in commissions fees to buyer and seller agents when selling a home.

Defendants: Nearly three dozen defendants are named in the lawsuit. 

The brokerage defendants include national and local firms: The Agency, eXp World Holdings and four local eXp firms, Compass, Berkshire Hathaway and its affiliates, First Team Real Estate Orange County, Rodeo Realty and Pinnacle Estate Properties.

MLS and association defendants are: The National Association of Realtors, CRMLS, Combined LA/Westside MLS, California Association of Realtors, Greater Los Angeles Realtors, Citrus Valley Association of Realtors, Glendale Association of Realtors, Inglewood Board of Realtors, Montebello District Association of Realtors, Palos Verdes Peninsula Association of Realtors, Pasadena-Foothills Association of Realtors, Rancho Southeast Realtors, South Bay Association of Realtors, Southland Regional Association of Realtors, Tri-Counties Association of Realtors, West San Gabriel Valley Realtors, Malibu Association of Realtors, Southwest Los Angeles Association of Realtors, Madera Association of Realtors, Fresno Board of Realtors, Merced County Association of Realtors and Mariposa County Board of Realtors.

Venue: U.S. District Court's District Central District of California.

Consolidation

Details: The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is taking up a motion about consolidating many of these copycat lawsuits into a single mega-case and assigning it to one judge. 

The original motion, filed Dec. 27 by Sitzer/Burnett lead attorney Michael Ketchmark, asked for nine cases to be consolidated into one and held in the U.S. District Court in Missouri. In January, a tenth case, known as Latham, was added.

On Jan. 23, the National Association of Realtors countered with its own motion: Consolidate 19 cases into one, and hold the case in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois or the U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas. Several cases have already been filed in Illinois, while Texas is home to the largest number of defendants.

Status: It is unclear when the panel will rule on whether to consolidate these cases. A flurry of filings in January and February have included court appearances by attorneys for the different cases.

Venue: U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Washington, D.C.

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