Douglas Elliman released from buy-side lawsuit known as Batton II – Inman

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The case still names Compass, eXp, Redfin, Weichert Realtors and United Real Estate Group as defendants after Howard Hanna was previously released.

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Douglas Elliman has one less lawsuit to worry about after it was released on Tuesday from a commission case filed in Illinois.

The case, known as Batton II, was notable because, unlike many other commission cases working through the legal system, it was filed by a group of homebuyers in November.

The plaintiffs are alleging largely similar claims as the homebuyers and sellers in other cases: That key players in the real estate industry conspired to keep commissions high.

“Such dismissal is proper because Douglas Elliman Inc. has not yet served either an answer or a motion for summary judgment,” the plaintiffs wrote.

Douglas Elliman joins Howard Hanna, which was dismissed from the suit in March. Douglas Elliman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

The case still names Compass, eXp, Redfin, Weichert Realtors and United Real Estate Group as defendants.

If the plaintiffs get their way, the class it represents could include consumers across the U.S. who bought a house anytime between 1996 and the present.

Douglas Elliman in April reached a settlement agreement with plaintiffs in lawsuits known as Umpa and Gibson, which were filed by homesellers. Douglas Elliman agreed to pay up to $17.75 million, depending on the company’s cash balance through 2027. 

Among the other terms of the Gibson settlement agreement, Douglas Elliman agreed: 

  • to remind its brokerages and agents that the company has no rule requiring agents to make or accept offers of compensation from buyer brokers and no rule that, if made, such offers have to be blanket, unconditional or unilateral;
  • to require its brokerages and agents to clearly disclose to buyer and seller clients that commissions are not set by law and are fully negotiable;
  • to prohibit its brokerages and buyer agents from claiming buyer agent services are free;
  • to require its brokerages and agents to disclose to the buyer the listing broker’s offer of compensation for prospective buyers’ agents as soon as possible;
  • to prohibit its brokerages and agents from filtering out or restricting listings that are searchable by and displayed to consumers by offer of compensation, unless requested by a client, and to eliminate any internal systems that may facilitate such filtering;
  • to remind its brokerages and agents of their obligation to show properties regardless of compensation for buyers’ agents for properties that meet the buyer’s stated priorities; and
  • to develop training materials for its brokerages and agents that support all the practice changes outlined and eliminate any contrary training materials currently in use.

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