Many think this won’t change much about commissions. They might have to go higher to pay for the damages!

A jury in Kansas City, Missouri, sided with a group of homeseller-plaintiffs Tuesday, ruling that real estate’s biggest names participated in a conspiracy that helped keep agent commissions inflated.

The jury found that all of the defendants, which include the National Association of Realtors as well as franchisors such as Keller Williams and Berkshire Hathaway participated in the conspiracy.

The jury awarded $1,785,310,872 in damages, which will be automatically trebled to $5.356 billion.

Just minutes after jurors sided with the homeseller-plaintiffs in the Sitzer | Burnett trial Tuesday, their attorney Michael Ketchmark filed a new class action lawsuit against another group of big-name real estate industry entites.

Ketchmark filed the suit on behalf of three new homesellers, who like those in Sitzer | Burnett claim to have suffered from a real estate industry conspiracy that inflated agent commissions. In this case, however, the suit names as defendants Compass, eXp World Holdings, Redfin, Weichert Realtors, United Real Estate, Howard Hanna, and Douglas Elliman. The suit also names the National Association of Realtors as a defendant.

Ketchmark said, “Our hope and goal is to free the grip they have on homesellers across the United States. It’s time that the free market and the internet is allowed to do its work and to bring the savings to homeowners that they’re so entitled to when they sell their homes.” 

“This is an earthquake,” said Jason Haber, a real estate agent with Compass who has been one of the most outspoken critics of N.A.R. in recent months. “I’m disappointed in today’s verdict and I’m even more disappointed in N.A.R. This was their Super Bowl and World Series rolled up into one and not even Taylor Swift could have saved them.”

Mr. Haber, who created a grass-roots organization demanding the resignation of N.A.R.’s top leadership after the sexual harassment allegations came to light this summer, said he believed that there was no conspiracy when it comes to agent commissions, and that N.A.R. had let down its members by failing to present a stronger defense in court.

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