Anywhere Real Estate CEO Ryan Schneider has plenty to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Schneider successfully guided the parent company to Corcoran Group, Coldwell Banker, Century21, and Sotheby’s International Realty in reaching settlements for two significant lawsuits regarding broker commissions. Additionally, the company achieved its second consecutive profitable quarter last month.
In recognition of his accomplishments, Anywhere’s board has awarded Schneider a $5 million cash bonus, as revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It is important to note that Schneider’s base salary for 2022 stands at $1 million, excluding stock and other forms of compensation.
The board commended Schneider for his exceptional leadership amidst the current challenging residential resale market. They also acknowledged his instrumental role in resolving substantial litigation uncertainties and burdens for Anywhere. Furthermore, the company highlighted Schneider’s contributions in reducing approximately $280 million in debt during the third quarter and implementing cost-saving measures over the past few years.
The initial antitrust lawsuits, which were scheduled for trial, were settled by Anywhere. In the case of Sitzer/Burnett v. National Association of Realtors, a jury in Kansas City held NAR, Keller Williams, and HomeServices of America accountable for compelling home sellers to pay excessive commissions to buyer agents within an anti-competitive framework. The jury granted $1.8 billion in damages, which could potentially be tripled to over $5 billion.
Looking ahead, the upcoming case Moehrl v. NAR, set to be tried in Illinois next year, has the potential to result in damages exceeding $40 billion.
Anywhere, previously identified as Realogy, has reached a settlement of $83.5 million for both cases in September. The settlement received preliminary approval from a judge this week, coinciding with the announcement of Schneider’s bonus by Anywhere’s board. Final approval is anticipated in the coming year.
Following the Sitzer/Burnett case verdict, numerous lawsuits with similar claims have emerged throughout the United States, including in Texas and South Carolina.
Anywhere has stated in their SEC filing that the settlement has released them from the burden of time and cost associated with litigation.
As a part of the settlement, Anywhere has agreed to mandate that agents include the listing broker’s required compensation in active listings. Additionally, company-owned brokerages and their agents will be prohibited from sorting listings by compensation offers unless their clients request it. Anywhere will also ban these brokerages and their agents from claiming that buyer agent services are free.
In 2024 and 2025, Schneider may also receive performance-based compensation awards of up to $5 million.
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