DOJ Backs out of Agreement with NAR

In what the National Association of REALTORS® has called an “unprecendented breach of agreement” by the United States Department of Justice, the DOJ announced Thursday that the agency would back out of a fully-negotiated settlement that was approved by its Antitrust Division and was already being implemented faithfully by NAR and our membership.
NAR President Charlie Oppler’s full response is below. Please stay tuned to HAAR’s communications channels for developments.

“The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today filed a notice of withdrawal of consent to the agreement we reached in November to make certain changes to the Code of Ethics and MLS policies in exchange for them closing their investigation.

It is a complete, unprecedented breach of agreement by the Department of Justice to withdraw its consent from a fully negotiated settlement that had been approved by the head of the Antitrust Division and which we had already begun to implement. Although NAR has fulfilled our obligations under the agreement, DOJ is inexplicably backing out. Regardless of whether or not DOJ lives up to its commitments under the terms of the agreement, we are confident in our pro-consumer and pro-competition policies, which have long sought to ensure fair and competitive real estate markets for home buyers and sellers.

We remain grounded in our commitment to act in the best interests of property buyers and sellers across this country, and we will continue to regularly update our rules and policies to protect U.S. consumers and to provide transparency in the market.

In the interim, the proposed rule changes negotiated as part of the settlement agreement are on hold. We will continue to keep you informed if there are any additional developments.”