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Another lawsuit aimed at how real estate professionals earn their commissions was filed this week in Los Angeles.

The new case was filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by Gael Fierro and Patrick Thurber, two home sellers who named the National Association of Realtors (NAR), two multiple listing services – California Regional MLS and Combined L.A./Westside MLS – plus six brokerages – The Agency, Compass, eXp Realty, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Rodeo Realty and Pinnacle Estate Properties – and state and local market realtor associations as part of a conspiracy designed to shake down home sellers.

“The conspiracy has led to various illogical, harmful, and anticompetitive effects, including: (a) requiring sellers to pay overcharges for services provided by buyer brokers to the buyer; (b) maintaining, fixing, and stabilizing buyer broker compensation at levels that would not exist in a competitive market; and (c) promoting steering and actions that hinder innovation and entry by new, lower-cost real estate brokerage service providers,” the complaint declared.

In their lawsuit, Fierro and Thurber are seeking to prohibit NAR from requiring payments to buyer brokers by sellers, claiming that “a competitive market should have forced lower buyer broker commissions as a reflection of the decreasing need for their services.” They are also seeking class certification for their lawsuit.

NAR did not publicly comment on the lawsuit. The California Association of Realtors, which is among the entities cited in the lawsuit, issued a statement that defined the new litigation as being among the new wave of “‘copycat’ lawsuits that have been filed nationwide in recent months” and stated the “allegations are without merit for many reasons.”

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