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  • Writer's pictureJeff Sorg

Attempts at Dismantling NAR Continue: Latest Lawsuit Focuses on the Link Between NAR Membership and MLS Access

scale of justice in front of law books

Another lawsuit filed against the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Wang v. National Association of Realtors et al, filed March 28, 2024, is bringing fresh scrutiny to a longstanding issue in the real estate industry: the requirement for agents to be NAR members to access Multiple Listing Services (MLS). The plaintiff argues that this policy unfairly restricts competition and inflates commission costs for home sellers.

This lawsuit differs from previous challenges by focusing on the link between NAR membership and MLS access. The argument is that tying these two elements together gives NAR undue control over the real estate market and allows it to influence commission structures. Proponents of the lawsuit believe this ultimately leads to higher costs for consumers.

The NAR has long maintained that its MLS rules promote consumer protection and ensure a level playing field for agents. They recently reached a settlement agreement in a separate lawsuit concerning commission practices, but the issue of MLS access remains unresolved.

This new lawsuit reignites the debate about NAR's role and the structure of the MLS system. It raises questions about whether the current system stifles competition and innovation, potentially leading to higher costs for home buyers and sellers.

The outcome of this lawsuit could have significant implications for the real estate industry. If the court sides with the plaintiff, it could force NAR to loosen its grip on MLS access, potentially leading to a more open and competitive market. However, the current system will likely remain in place if the NAR prevails.

This is a developing story, and how the courts will rule remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain: the debate over real estate commissions and MLS access is far from over.


(C) 2024 Jeff Sorg



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