The chief executive officer of the largest real estate trade association in the U.S. has stepped down from his post after a massive judgment on real estate commissions. Bob Goldberg, the now-former CEO of the National Association of Realtors, left the organization, according to a Thursday announcement.
The NAR and several large brokerage firms were found liable for conspiring to artificially inflate real estate commissions.
After about two weeks of hearing testimonies, a federal jury in Kansas City ruled on Tuesday that the NAR and real estate franchises Keller Williams and Home Services of America would be ordered to pay $1.8 billion in damages to more than 260,000 home sellers.
The lawsuit included home sales made between April 2015 and June 2022 in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois.
The verdict has the potential to rewrite the entire structure of the U.S. real estate industry, as it could ultimately change how Americans purchase homes and pay broker fees. NAR President Tracy Kasper said the m-atter is not over, and the organization plans to appeal.
"We stand by the fact that NAR rules serve the best interests of consumers, support market-driven pricing and advance business competition," Kasper said in a statement following the ruling. "We remain optimistic we will ultimately prevail. In the interim, we will ask the court to reduce the damages awarded by the jury."
The case is just one of several class-action lawsuits against the real estate companies and could generate additional legal action in other states. The latest verdict also lets the court issue additional damages, meaning the penalty could swell to $5 billion.
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