On September 18, RE/MAX, LLC made an announcement regarding the resolution of two class action lawsuits, commonly referred to as “Burnett” and “Moehrl,” as well as any similar legal actions. Last night, October 5, the plaintiffs submitted the settlement agreement to the court. As promised, we are now sharing the details of the agreement, including the modifications to RE/MAX, LLC’s business practices.
It is crucial to emphasize that this nationwide settlement, subject to court approval, would absolve RE/MAX, LLC, the independent regions in the United States, and the U.S. RE/MAX brokerages and affiliates – all of you – from any claims associated with these lawsuits. Furthermore, it would resolve any comparable claims that may arise on a nationwide scale.
We maintain our denial of the allegations presented in the complaints and do not admit to any wrongdoing. Our belief in buyer agency, cooperative compensation, and the notion that consumers are best served when working with real estate professionals remains steadfast.
Simultaneously, we recognize that safeguarding the network from costly litigation and the potential for further damages necessitates pursuing this settlement as the appropriate course of action.
As part of the settlement, RE/MAX, LLC will contribute $55 million to a settlement fund. We plan to utilize available funds to fulfill the settlement amount, thereby not anticipating any impact on the services provided to you.
The court’s approval is necessary for the settlement agreement to take effect, and if applicable, it will be effective after the appeals process. We expect to receive final approval sometime in the coming year. Additionally, we have agreed to implement eight business-related conditions within six months of the court’s final approval. As the franchisor, RE/MAX, LLC will continue to emphasize the importance of transparency in your interactions with home sellers and buyers, particularly in terms of cooperation and compensation. It is not mandatory for you to offer or accept compensation from cooperating brokers. Furthermore, we will continue to stress that commissions are negotiable and not determined by law or RE/MAX, LLC corporate policy. This information should be clearly communicated in listing agreements, buyer representation agreements, and pre-closing disclosure documents. If you utilize government or MLS-mandated documents, we recommend including an additional disclosure that outlines these facts.
2. It is expected that RE/MAX buyer-side brokers and agents will maintain transparency by accurately disclosing their compensation structure. It is crucial to remain honest and upfront about the cost of your services and how you anticipate being paid.
3. Through remax.com, RE/MAX, LLC will continue to exhibit cooperative compensation offers provided by listing brokers and agents, whenever such information is available. It is strongly encouraged for you to do the same on your listing displays, platforms, and feeds.
4. RE/MAX, LLC will persist in not offering any software that filters or restricts MLS listings based on the compensation level offered. Furthermore, we urge you not to filter search results in this manner, unless specifically instructed to do so by a client.
5. It is important to be reminded by RE/MAX, LLC of your professional obligation to showcase and promote properties, regardless of the cooperative compensation being offered.
6. In all our franchise agreements, training materials, and other policies, RE/MAX, LLC will continue to refrain from expressing or implying a minimum commission requirement. This means that RE/MAX brokerages and agents will retain the freedom to independently determine and negotiate commissions as they deem appropriate.
7. We will ensure that our educational materials are in line with the aforementioned business practices, and we will also review and align our existing content accordingly.
8. RE/MAX, LLC will not mandate membership in the National Association of Realtors (NAR) or adherence to NAR’s Code of Ethics or the MLS Handbook. Each RE/MAX brokerage in the United States will have the autonomy to decide whether NAR membership is beneficial for them and their agents, and we will support their choice. Additionally, we will not impose any current requirements in these areas on our affiliates.
If necessary, we will make the necessary updates to our franchise agreements, educational materials, Brand Standards Manual, and model ICA to accurately reflect these conditions.
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