Real Estate

Redfin Agrees to Share Data and Pay $9.25 Million to Settle Lawsuit

Redfin will give home sellers who say they were forced to pay inflated commissions access to its vast, nationwide trove of data on payments made to real estate agents, under a proposed settlement in an ongoing legal fight that has shaken the real estate industry.

The online brokerage has access to information from real estate databases, known as multiple listing services or the M.L.S., which is otherwise only available to real estate agents — a restriction that has made the way commissions are set opaque to average consumers.

A group of home sellers who sued Redfin, several other brokerages and the National Association of Realtors are hoping to use the information from those databases to help them in ongoing litigation.

Redfin filed a fact of settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, following its earlier proposed agreement to resolve pending class action lawsuits filed in federal court in the Western District of Missouri. As a publicly traded company, Redfin was required to disclose the deal to the SEC.

As part of the agreement, which still must be approved in federal court, Redfin has also pledged to make several of its top executives available as key witnesses in the ongoing commission trials.

Redfin now joins a number of major brokerages, including Compass, Keller Williams and Re/Max, who have all agreed to settlement deals in the wake of a slew of landmark antitrust cases against them and the National Association of Realtors. The lawsuits accuse N.A.R., the country’s largest professional organization with 1.5 million members, of setting rules surrounding how real estate agents are paid. The rules have stifled competition and inflated fees, home sellers claim. As members of N.A.R., brokerages followed those rules so they were named in the suits.

Back to top button