Update in the Case of Burnett v. NAR et al.

Gwen Walters

An update from NAR President Tracy Kasper.

After an 11-day trial in the case of Burnett v. NAR et al, the eight-person jury in a Kansas City, Mo., federal courtroom, came back Tuesday and found the National Association of REALTORS® and other corporate defendants liable in the case.  

This matter is not close to being final. We will appeal the liability finding because we stand by the fact that NAR rules serve the best interests of consumers, support market-driven pricing and advance business competition. We remain optimistic we will ultimately prevail.  In the interim, we will ask the court to reduce the damages awarded by the jury. 

In court, NAR presented evidence that consumers are better off and business competition is able to thrive because of our rules and how well local MLS broker marketplaces function. In fact, the NAR cooperative compensation rule for local MLS broker marketplaces ensures efficient, transparent and equitable marketplaces where sellers can sell their home for more and have their home seen by more buyers while buyers have more choices of homes and can afford representation. NAR also presented that REALTORS® are everyday working Americans who are experts at helping consumers navigate the complexities of home purchases and advocates for fair housing and wealth building for all. 

NAR was formed 100 years ago because there was a need for a higher level of ethical practice. We should all be proud that REALTORS® continue to serve in that role. I know our mission to advocate for homeownership and always put our clients’ interests first is unwavering. We recognize our legal team and outside counsel have worked tirelessly on this case. It will likely be several years before we reach a conclusion.  

I am grateful to our NAR staff and our 1.5 million members who work to serve their clients every day. We have an important shared purpose for consumers, and we could not achieve that without all that each of us does.  

Click here for some key questions people may have. We will continue to keep you informed of any notable litigation milestones, and in the meantime, I encourage you to continue to refer to the Competition.Realtor website, which provides a comprehensive overview of—and many resources for explaining— how REALTORS® and local MLS broker marketplaces benefit consumers. The need for each of us and every member to continue to express our value every day in as many ways as we can remains an imperative. 

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