Real Estate Dori Wittrig April 17, 2024

The National Association of Realtors and virtually every other major brokerage and Realtor agent in our country, including REMAX International and its franchisees, have been involved in a class action lawsuit brought by plaintiffs in Missouri.  The case is known as the Sitzer-Burnett Case and will most certainly change the way commissions are paid in the United States.   

The case regards how our industry has encouraged Sellers to pay Buyer Broker commissions in the sale of homes, as has been the norm in this country for many decades.  The case was brought in 2019.  The trial was certified as a national class action in June 2023 and proceeded in the fall of 2023.  On October 6, 2023, REMAX International and Anywhere (the owner of Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s and others) settled with the plaintiffs, with no admission of guilt, creating a roadmap for the court and all other Realtors in the US to resolve the lawsuit.  Weeks later, Keller Williams also settled.  On October 31, 2023, the case was found in favor of the claimants…and against nearly every agent in the country, except for those with REMAX, ANYWHERE and Keller Willams because of the earlier settlement.  

On March 15, 2024, the National Association of Realtors settled with the claimants with a large financial settlement but also a promise to revise the practice of offering Buyer Broker commissions in an MLS listing.  

In the Spring of 2024, we do not yet know the extent to which the real estate industry will be affected.  What we currently understand is that Sellers will still be able to use the enticement of Buyer Broker commissions in order to sell their home.  However, how that opportunity is marketed remains unclear.  We believe it is likely that this information will no longer be represented in Multiple Listing Services affiliated with the National Association of Realtors. 

The real estate industry is currently in early days of creating the terms, mechanisms and paperwork to address these changes.  Currently, there is no new law or practice in place but we expect that to change, perhaps in mid-July, 2024.  Currently, it is still the norm in our industry for the Seller to offer Buyer Broker compensation as a means of enticing Buyers and their agents to sell our client’s listings.  

Just for clarity, this lawsuit was not about the monetary amount of a commission for services.  It is only about how the co-broke commission side of the transaction is offered to Buyer Brokers. We have always maintained that commissions were always negotiable and are based upon the level and quality of services offered to the client.  

At REMAX Sun Properties, it is our obligation and duty to keep you informed of the current market status
and the factors that affect your buying or selling proposition. If you are a Seller, those factors include
pricing, property condition, staging, and marketing techniques. For the foreseeable future, we will likely
recommend that you consider the offer of a Buyer Broker Commission that we can use to entice other real
estate agents to bring their buyers to your home. If you are a Buyer, we will discuss the terms under
which you can hire me to represent you in your purchase, my service levels and how we may or may not be
able to receive my fee from the Seller or in the purchase transaction. 

Work With Us

You want a personal real estate advisor with a commitment to excellence and innovative strategies.