Individuals and entities that sold Manhattan residential real estate since November 2019 may have paid inflated commissions and may be owed compensation, according to an antitrust investigation launched by class action law firm Edelson Lechtzin LLP.
What are the allegations?
Edelson Lechtzin LLP is investigating potential violations of federal and New York State antitrust and unjust enrichment laws by the Real Estate Board of New York (“REBNY”) and numerous NYC real estate brokerages.
Specifically, the claim against REBNY and the New York real estate companies is that they unfairly compelled sellers to pay unfairly inflated prices for the buyer’s real estate representation. The demand that those selling real estate sign a non-negotiable contract allocating a significant percentage of the sale price for a property to the buyer’s agent may be unfair to those selling real estate.
Instead of shopping around for a competitive price, sellers may feel as though the only option they have is to agree to pay as much as 6% of a property’s total price to have agents oversee the transaction. REBNY has already agreed to alter practices related to buyer’s agents because of claims about the fees assessed. While licensed real estate agents do deserve appropriate compensation for the services that they provide, agents may have less marketing and footwork to do on a highly competitive market like the one that currently exists in New York.
How do I know if I overpaid?
If you paid a Buyer Broker’s commission in accordance with REBNY’s Listing Service rules from November 8, 2019 to the present, you may have grounds to hold the offending entities accountable for their alleged misconduct and the losses related to inflated buyer’s agent fees. Discussing a recent real estate transaction in depth with Edelson Lechtzin LLP could help you determine if you overpaid due to the possible violation of antitrust laws.