The DOJ-NAR Legal Tug-of-War and Its Implications for the Real Estate Industry

Lisa Mailhot  |  June 24, 2024


The DOJ-NAR Legal Tug-of-War and Its Implications for the Real Estate Industry


In a recent development that has the real estate industry watching closely, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has stated that a request by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for a panel rehearing is "not warranted." This announcement stems from a ruling allowing the DOJ to reopen an investigation into NAR's rules, which could significantly impact industry practices and transparency, particularly concerning broker commissions.

The Antitrust Investigation Rekindled

The controversy began in November 2020, when the DOJ and NAR reached a settlement that was supposed to increase transparency regarding broker commissions. However, the DOJ withdrew from this agreement in July 2021, citing ongoing concerns about NAR's policies and their potential anticompetitive effects. This withdrawal has led to renewed scrutiny of NAR's practices, including the controversial commission rule.

The DOJ's Stance and NAR's Response

In its recent filing, the DOJ emphasized that the original settlement and the decision to reopen the investigation were based on an ongoing evaluation of anticompetitive risks posed by NAR's rules. Despite NAR's efforts to secure assurances to the contrary, the DOJ has maintained its position, highlighting the lack of a binding promise to cease investigations. NAR, on its end, continues to advocate for its members, emphasizing the need to adhere to the terms agreed upon in 2020.

Implications for the Real Estate Market

This legal tussle highlights critical issues surrounding the transparency of broker commissions and the representation of buyer interests. As the case unfolds, real estate professionals and clients alike must stay informed about the potential changes that could reshape industry norms and practices.


As the real estate landscape continues to evolve with these legal proceedings, staying updated and understanding the implications of these changes is crucial. Whether you're planning to buy or sell, being well-informed will help you navigate this complex environment. If you're looking to make a move to Orange County, let's connect and ensure you have all the information you need for a successful real estate experience.

Reference: Dickerson, L., & Brambila, A. V. (2024, June 18). 'Not warranted': DOJ pushes back against NAR rehearing request. Inman.


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