Real Estate

REX Seeks Courtroom Order For Zillow Itemizing Information On FSBOs

Courtroom units new trial date for June 5, 2023, because the authorized battle over the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors’ no-commingling rule continues.

Be a part of trade visionaries Pete Flint, Spencer Rascoff, Ryan Serhant and extra at Inman Join New York, Jan. 24-26. Punch your ticket to the long run by becoming a member of the neatest individuals in actual property at this must-attend occasion. Register right here.

Low cost brokerage REX Actual Property is searching for a courtroom order to power actual property big Zillow to show over information on For Sale By Proprietor (FSBO) listings on its web site, because the battle of wills between the businesses continues towards a June 2023 trial date.

In a movement to compel filed Thursday, REX argues that Zillow’s FSBO itemizing information is “extremely related” to REX’s antitrust claims, which allege {that a} Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors rule, referred to as the no-commingling rule, prompted Zillow to separate non-MLS listings from MLS listings on its web site. The non-MLS listings, which embody REX’s listings in addition to FSBO listings, seem beneath an “Different” tab on Zillow’s web site, separate from an “Agent Listings” tab for MLS listings.

When studies indicated that REX was closing store in Might, REX blamed NAR and Zillow for the demise of REX’s enterprise mannequin.

“The show change had the impact of suppressing competitors and depriving shoppers of decrease priced options for purchasing and promoting properties,” the attorneys for REX wrote within the submitting.

“In REX’s case, its listings on the ‘Different’ tab had considerably lowered views and REX misplaced gross sales and revenues. In the end, REX’s losses have been so nice that it was pushed out of enterprise.”

In response to the submitting, information on FSBO listings, which add as much as 6.2 p.c of all listings nationwide, will present the influence on REX’s listings of being moved to the “Different listings” tab in that it may function “highly effective corroboration of REX’s place that the two-tab show proximately induced REX financial hurt.”

The information would additionally present the hurt of the show change on competitors extra usually, in response to the submitting.

“If, following Zillow’s show change, there was a decline within the variety of shopper views of FSBO properties, or a decline within the variety of properties supplied on the market by proprietor on Zillow, such a decline would characterize a big influence on competitors from NAR’s and Zillow’s collusive exercise,” the submitting mentioned.

Though REX’s attorneys famous that REX and Zillow disagree on whether or not FSBO properties are in the identical marketplace for brokerage companies as these offered by an agent, they mentioned that even when they’re not in the identical market, the information would present that the two-tab show had harmed shopper selection and due to this fact competitors.

“[I]t is properly understood that when costs are elevated, shoppers could flip to merchandise that may in any other case be exterior the related market in a aggressive surroundings, and eliminating such merchandise would give a monopolist much more energy over value as shoppers have even fewer substitutes,” the submitting mentioned.

Zillow declined to remark for this story. In an exhibit to the movement to compel, REX included a September 20 letter from Zillow counsel Jesse Beringer to REX saying that the FSBO listings weren’t “related to this case in any method.”

“However even when they have been, the burden of manufacturing such information, which contains practically 1,000,000 listings data and much more engagement data — on prime of the already thousands and thousands of data that Zillow is in any other case producing for MLS and REX’s personal listings inside REX’s MSAs — can be disproportionate and outweigh any such relevance,” Beringer wrote.

He added that the itemizing and engagement information for REX’s personal listings and MLS listings within the markets the place REX did enterprise will enable REX to evaluate shopper engagement on REX’s listings and MLS listings earlier than and after the show change.

Individually, Choose Thomas S. Zilly of the U.S. District Courtroom in Seattle set a brand new trial date for 9:00 a.m. Pacific on June 5, 2023. The earlier date was in April 2023.

Zilly lately determined to grant, partially, a movement to compel from Zillow, ordering REX to supply an inventory of REX workers who had each left the corporate and stored a REX-issued laptop computer.

Two motions to compel filed by REX towards NAR within the case are nonetheless pending. The motions demand that NAR produce paperwork associated to 2 main antitrust fee lawsuits the commerce group is combating, referred to as Moehrl and Sitzer/Burnett, and that NAR add senior executives — together with NAR CEO Bob Goldberg, NAR Basic Counsel Katie Johnson and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun — to its listing of knowledge custodians required to show over proof in the course of the case’s discovery part.

E mail Andrea V. Brambila.

Like me on Fb | Observe me on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Back to top button