What Is Antitrust Law in Real Estate

This new environment has led some to wonder if the profession of real estate agent is becoming obsolete. Why would someone pay an agent when they can browse properties online or reach buyers directly through an app? For example, a developer who is also a real estate agent agrees to sell one of the developer`s properties to a buyer only if the buyer agrees to register the buyer`s home with the broker. This activity is a violation of antitrust law. As for the „Home-Sales Commissions Under Fire“ (U.S. News, September 21): Big Tech has led us to expect transaction costs close to zero, or at least hide them from our eyes. So it`s no surprise that transparent fees or commissions associated with rarely purchased and bulky items such as real estate seem outdated. Real estate companies or professionals can also be accused of boycotting service providers for real estate companies. Such a collective boycott can be directed against a supplier or buyer and not against a competitor of the brokers who are supposed to be the conspirators. Concerted refusals to do business will be considered illegal in themselves if they involve the elimination or targeted restriction of competition, regardless of the motive or ultimate purpose of the alleged conspirators. Real estate agents, for example, may agree not to associate with a supplier of goods or services that are necessary or beneficial to the practice of real estate brokerage. For example, an agreement between several real estate companies not to use the services of a particular printing company to produce marketing material, or to refuse to purchase advertising in a particular publication, may be an illegal boycott of this type. The most effective and obvious way to avoid antitrust liability for such boycott activities is for each company to determine unilaterally and without consulting another company the service providers it uses and the terms of use of those providers.

They disguise their true intentions as misleading claims of consumerism. The reality is that the way commissions operate in the U.S. and NAR policies give ordinary Americans and small businesses crucial benefits that they wouldn`t otherwise receive. This industry participant also wants to take advantage of local broker markets without participating in or paying them. . I generally agree with Hanna that change is a good thing, as he noted. For the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), it is crucial to consider and rethink how it supports transparency, competition and consumer choice in the real estate sector. When determining their commission or fee structure, real estate companies must recognize and be aware that antitrust conspiracies have been established without direct evidence that the alleged conspirators actually consulted each other before making a competitive business decision, for example.

B the establishment of a fee structure. In one high-profile case, a court found that an illegal agreement was reached when one competitor announced its intention to increase its commission rates to others and the other competitors took the same step in a short period of time. The court interpreted the announcement as an invitation to a conspiracy and the subsequent lawsuit brought by the other competitors as an acceptance of that invitation. A conclusion about a conspiracy can also be drawn if the other competitors had already independently decided to implement the respective policy, but had not yet done so. The broker must ensure that sellers and employees understand how antitrust laws apply to the real estate sector. A broker should insist that every seller participate in an antitrust training program at least once every two years. This antitrust training program could be offered by the local association and executed by the broker, the company`s sales manager or legal counsel. In addition, all new sales representatives should be required to participate in a company orientation program that includes a presentation on antitrust compliance. Group boycotts are generally considered a „per se“ violation of antitrust laws. In some cases, collective boycotts can also be analyzed according to the „Rule of Reason“ standard. As NAR pointed out, „A group boycott is a concerted refusal to negotiate with a particular party, e.B. if two or more undertakings agree to refuse to negotiate with another competitor in order to force a change in the behaviour of a competitor or to attempt to force the competitor to cease operations. Often, the target of the alleged boycott is a broker who applies a „discount,“ „alternative,“ or other non-traditional commission/compensation agreement with clients.

The main effect of the collective boycott is to eliminate a competitor in the market. Issue: In October 2007, the Department filed a lawsuit alleging that Hilton Head Island, Inc.`s multiple listing service had violated antitrust laws by enforcing certain rules that unreasonably restrict competition. These include rules that: Another illegal antitrust behavior, which also includes some form of pricing, is the agreement of a commission allocation. NAR points out that „. Listing brokers cannot agree on the commission allocation to be paid to compensate cooperating brokers who produce a willing, willing and capable buyer for a listed property. Conspiracies between competitors to determine compensation for cooperating brokers may be considered illegal in themselves. „NAR states that „. Brokers must establish their cooperative compensation policy in the same unilateral and independent manner as they set the commissions or fees charged to clients. (See bit.ly/3qxltAA). FULL TEXT: Real Estate Practices and RealTors in the U.S. Put Consumers First – Chicago Tribune The ability to find deals on homes online is made possible by the local markets of MLS brokers®. Online home listing sites get most of their inventory from these local broker markets.

This data exists because of the commitment of real estate professionals and others to maintain comprehensive housing data, reinforced by policies that ensure accuracy and transparency so that consumers can safely rely on the information. 1 homeownershipmatters.realtor/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/201503_cfpb_your-home-loan-toolkit-web.pdf You are attacking a structure that will allow more people to realize the American dream of homeownership. .