Industry Relations Episode 35: The DOJ’s Scrutiny of Cooperating Compensation


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By Greg Robertson and Rob Hahn. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

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And now on with the show....

When Moehrl v. NAR was introduced in March, the industry response was largely… meh. Then in April, the Department of Justice reached out to the top MLS platform vendor, requiring documents and testimony about MLS data—with a specific focus on cooperating compensation. What is the DOJ likely to find? How might this information impact the class action suit? And what does it all mean for the real estate industry as a whole?

Today, Rob and Greg are discussing the Civil Investigative Demand (CID) CoreLogic recently received from the DOJ. They address the possibility of getting compensation data in the absence of a search feature on the MLS and predict whether the DOJ will find buyer-steering to be a widespread phenomenon.

Rob offers his take on why a directive requiring the disclosure of sold information would be more likely than new regulations, and Greg speculates that the industry is unlikely to stand by while the government eliminates cooperating compensation. Listen in to understand how the plaintiff attorneys in Moehrl v. NAR might use the DOJ’s findings and learn why organized real estate needs to take the lawsuit seriously.

What’s Discussed:

The Civil Investigative Demand CoreLogic received from the DOJ

Getting compensation data without a feature search on the MLS

What a DOJ study demonstrating buyer steering might achieve

Why disclosure of sold info is more likely than new regulations

How many brokers + agents script for the commission question

How DOJ findings might be used by attorneys in Moehrl v. NAR

How the Canadian Competition Bureau handled this issue

The potential impact of eliminating cooperating compensation

How it could take up to 10 years to resolve the class action case

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website


Rob’s Post on CoreLogic & the DOJ

Rob’s 2015 Post on the NBER Study

Randy Ora’s Live Listing Presentation

Rob’s Post on the Brookings Institute Panel

Competition Bureau of Canada Resolution

Inman Coast to Coast Facebook Group

39 episodes