AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — With the ringing in of 2022, real estate brokerages continue to inch closer to entering the 21st century. The first week of the year brought a welcome development: a real estate giant broke ranks and voiced support for putting home sellers and homebuyers—not legacy brokers and industry cronies—in control of the American Dream of homeownership.
REX President and Co-Founder Lynley Sides applauds Realogy for Joining REX in Standing for Consumer Choice.
Last week, Realogy joined leading digital real estate innovator REX as the two major real estate voices publicly calling for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to end a requirement forcing homeowners to pay out mandatory commissions—often reaching tens of thousands of dollars—when selling a home. REX President and Co-Founder Lynley Sides today applauded Realogy: “It’s a great day for consumer choice when the leadership of a major brokerage declares independence from mandatory commissions. At REX, we have always said that mandatory commissions deprive real estate consumers of the same choices that they have in other services like buying stocks or a vacation. Realogy’s move is a sign that the real estate industry now knows it is facing a reckoning for excessive fixed commissions,” said Sides.
In an unsealed legal filing and then in an interview with Inman, Realogy President and CEO Ryan Gorman said the company believed the NAR’s mandatory compensation rule should be changed to make offers of compensation on multiple listing service (MLS) listings optional. “There’s no reason why an offer of compensation needs to be a mandatory requirement,” Gorman explained.
Realogy’s move on commissions comes after REX’s CEO Jack Ryan urged NAR to rescind the mandatory offer of compensation rule. In a September 30, 2021, letter to NAR President Charlie Oppler, Ryan wrote: “We are very much opposed to any NAR rule that prohibits homebuyers from negotiating commissions paid to real estate brokers. One of those rules is the mandatory offer of compensation to buyer brokers, which deprives consumers of choice and drives up the cost of homeownership.”
NAR continues to face unprecedented pushback against their anti-competitive gouging of consumers. Three major lawsuits in federal court are challenging NAR’s opposition to consumer choice: two consumer class actions—Sitzer and Moehrl—plus REX’s lawsuit against Zillow and the NAR for colluding to hide competitively-priced homes from consumers.
Defendants have failed in their efforts to have these lawsuits dismissed by federal judges. In addition to these cases, NAR’s anticompetitive policies are currently under the microscope of a comprehensive civil investigative demand from the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission taking up a directive from a Biden Executive Order to address real estate competition.
On October 13, 2021, the United States Justice Department pointed out in a legal filing related to its investigation into NAR: “Recent technological advances have spurred innovation and price competition across other sectors of the economy. Yet real estate commissions have barely budged as a percentage of home prices and have actually increased as home prices have outpaced inflation. Even a modest injection of competition into real estate brokerage could save consumers billions of dollars per year.”
In December 2021, a federal judge in Oregon noted that REX made “compelling arguments that excessive fixed broker commissions harm consumers and the housing market itself.” And later that month, REX won its third major victory in its case against the NAR segregation rule when it defeated another dismissal motion and moved one big step closer giving consumers choice in their own real estate transactions, including the amount of commissions they pay their real estate agent.
The next 50 weeks of 2022 could make the year one that consumers remember for real change and transformation in the real estate industry. REX remains committed to the fight for consumer choice.
For media inquiries: contact Colin Maynard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
REX, headquartered in Austin, Texas, is a real estate tech company resetting the traditional real estate market nationwide. When buying a REX home – or any home on the market in the U.S. purchased through REX – consumers have the peace of mind knowing they are finding residential real estate for less and saving time thanks to our groundbreaking technology. REX has emerged as the national leader in real estate reform since founding the company in 2016 with the goal of eliminating fees, growing the U.S. real estate market, and saving Americans billions of dollars each year. REX also works as a partner in the global fight against housing insecurity. Learn more about REX’s online platform, integrated services, and business model at rexhomes.com. Also visit newsroom.rexhomes.com for the latest press releases, podcasts, market analysis, digital real estate data, and information about the company and leadership team.
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