Nevada’s unusual commission lawsuit is no longer so unusual. When the copycat commission suit was initially filed in early January by Nevada home seller Nathaniel Whaley, the complaint named just Realtor associations and MLSs as defendants, making it stand out from the spate of other commission suits.
But all of that changed on Thursday, when Whaley’s counsel filed an amended complaint naming 15 brokerages as defendants.
Jason Mitchell Group, Opendoor, eXp Realty, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, Simply Vegas, Urban Nest Realty, Luxury Homes of Las Vegas, Huntington and Willis, Keller Williams Southern Nevada, Keller Williams VIP, Keller Williams Realty Las Vegas, Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace, Engel & Völkers Lake Tahoe, Douglas Elliman of Nevada, and Redfin, join National Association of Realtors, Las Vegas Realtors, Nevada Realtors, Sierra Nevada Realty, Incline Village Realtors, Elko County Realtors, Mesquite Real Estate Association and Northern Nevada Regional MLS as defendants.
What remains unchanged is the central focus of the lawsuit — NAR’s Participation Rule which requires listing brokers to make a blanket offer of compensation to buyer’s brokers in order to list a property on an MLS.
Of the newly named brokerage defendants, the complaint states that they further this allegedly anti-competitive policy “by requiring and/or encourage their broker, franchisees, and agents to join one of the local NAR associations, participate in the MLS, and comply with the associated MLS rules.”
“The Brokerage Defendants also serve an essential role in the conspiracy by executing the conspiracy’s objectives on the ground,” the complaint states. “In the day-to-day transactions involving the sale of Nevada homes and the payment of commissions to seller and buyer brokers, the Brokerage Defendants implemented and enforced anti-competition rules. These actions enrich Brokerage Defendants and their co-conspirators at the expense of Nevada homeowners.”
A spokesperson for Douglas Elliman did not wish to comment on the amended complaint, and the other newly named defendants did not return a request for comment.