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The National Association of REALTORS® and two codefendants were found liable in October in the federal Sitzer/Burnett trial, which challenged MLS rules and the real estate compensation model. The eight-person jury also found liable HomeServices of America and Keller Williams Realty, which were named in the lawsuit.

During the 11-day trial, NAR presented the facts and law about pro-consumer, pro-competition MLS rules, which class-action attorneys called into question. The case covers the Missouri markets of Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Columbia.

“NAR rules prioritize consumers, support market-driven pricing and promote business competition,” the association said in a statement. “This matter is not close to being final, as we will appeal the jury’s verdict.”

In presenting their case, plaintiffs argued buyer representation is obsolete and should only be afforded to wealthy buyers who can pay for the services out of pocket. They also alleged commission rates are too high, buyer brokers are being paid too much and NAR rules, along with the corporate defendants’ practices, lead to fixed pricing.

NAR countered that consumers are better off and business competition is able to thrive because of MLS rules and how well local broker marketplaces function. NAR’s cooperative compensation rule ensures efficient, transparent and equitable local broker marketplaces. Sellers can sell their home for more and have their home seen by more buyers, while buyers have more choices of homes and can afford representation. NAR also argued that REALTORS® are everyday working Americans who are experts at helping consumers navigate the complexities of home purchases, as well as advocating for fair housing and wealth-building for all.

NAR plans to appeal the jury’s verdict, but that process could take years to resolve. NAR says it remains committed to pro-consumer, pro-competition practices and is confident the association will ultimately prevail.