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The chain of copycat lawsuits over real estate broker commissions has expanded to Utah, which has become the 13th state where the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and leading brokerages are being sued over how brokers are paid.

On Feb. 9, Dalton K. Jensen filed a complaint in U.S. District Court regarding an October 2022 transaction involving the sale of his Salt Lake City area home. Jensen, who is identified in his LinkedIn profile as the head of sales for the software company Skipio, complained about the transaction’s 6% commission that was divided between the buyer agent and his listing agent. Jensen alleged the commission structure is the result of a conspiracy involving the wider real estate brokerage industry and he named NAR and about a dozen major brokerages as defendants – including three companies (Anywhere Real Estate, Keller Williams and RE/MAX) which have already reached settlements in the Missouri-based Sitzer/Burnett case that sparked a new litigation wave that is now up to nearly two dozen separate cases.

“If NAR’s Adversary Commission Rule were not in place, then the cost of buyer broker commissions would be paid by their clients (home buyers),” said Jensen’s complaint. “Buyer brokers would thus have to compete with one another by offering a lower commission rate. The Adversary Commission Rule thereby restrains price competition among buyer brokers because the person who actually retains the buyer broker — the home buyer — does not negotiate or pay the commission for his or her broker.”

Unlike some of the other lawsuits that were recently filed, no multiple listing service was named as a defendant. But as with the other lawsuit, Jensen’s is a class action case. Jensen is seeking a jury trial for his case, which demands treble damages and a permanent injunction to prohibit the brokerage defendants from mandating that home sellers pay the buyer broker.

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