Motion to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit

On May 19th, the National Association of REALTORS® filed to dismiss the Moehrl v. NAR, et al. lawsuit on the basis that the complaint intentionally misrepresents NAR rules and practices, which have long been recognized by the courts across the country as being pro-consumer and creating competitive, efficient markets that benefit home buyers and sellers.  A copy of NAR’s Motion to Dismiss can be found online – it’s an interesting read for anyone following the case.

NAR firmly believes the plaintiff’s claims are without merit. NAR’s brief points out that the seven class action law firms who represent one plaintiff have resorted to fundamentally mischaracterizing our MLS rules.  In summary, Plaintiff Christopher Moehrl claims that the NAR and four large brokerages have violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act, by following MLS cooperation and compensation rules that have been in place for decades. This system has been repeatedly found by courts to be pro-competitive.  Moehrl, who listed his home for sale, claims that the requirement to offer compensation in some form to cooperating brokers restrains trade by prohibiting buyer brokers from negotiating commissions with listing brokers. The fundamental problem for Moehrl is that there is no such rule, and in fact, our rules (1) expressly permit listing brokers to offer any amount of compensation to buyers brokers in connection with their listings (as low as $1), and (2) expressly permits listing brokers and buyers brokers to negotiate and agree upon a commission to the buyer’s broker that is different from that offered in the listing. Moehrl’s allegation that the challenged NAR rules somehow require that buyers brokers’ commissions be set via “non-negotiable” is false.  Read the whole motion to dismiss here