Monday, April 22, 2024

Compass to Settle Class Action Lawsuits for $57.5 Million

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Real estate brokerage Compass agreed to pay $57.5 million in class-action lawsuit settlements from U.S. home sellers on Friday. The antitrust lawsuits allege that the company conspired with other brokerages and trade groups to overcharge home sellers by billions of dollars.

According to the Associated Press, the plaintiffs claim that real estate brokers have been forcing home sellers to pay “artificially inflated” commissions to agents.

Homeowners had to include a compensation offer for buyer’s agents when listing properties for sale on real estate industry databases, as per The Guardian. Not including the offer could allegedly lead to buyer’s agents steering their clients away from the listing.

Related: Barbara Corcoran Sounds Off on NAR Settlement: ‘It’s a Scary Time for Real Estate Agents’

Compass did not admit to any wrongdoing and stated that the settlement would not affect its operation, per The Real Deal.

“The reason we have chosen to settle is so we can minimize distractions and focus on serving you and your clients,” said CEO Robert Reffkin in an emailed statement obtained by the outlet.

Compass joins Anywhere Real Estate, Keller Williams, and RE/MAX in proposing a settlement. The other three major brokerages agreed to pay a combined $209 million, according to reporting from The Real Deal.

Related: ‘Everybody’s Scared’: Barbara Corcoran Says Now Is the ‘Very Best Time to Buy a House’ — Here’s Why

As per the same outlet, Compass’s proposed settlement includes practice changes like creating training materials and refining communication with agents about commissions, which are similar to the other companies’ agreements.

Last week, the National Association of Realtors finalized a $418 million class action settlement that removed sales commission rules for brokers and agents.



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