Let Valuation Tech Help Improve Your Collateral Valuation

Join this webinar to learn how technological advancements in valuation provide solutions to help lenders and servicers deliver more comprehensive offerings to their clients.

Talking proptech with FinLedger Director Holden Page

In this episode, Page discusses the hottest topics coming across FinLedger’s news desk. Topics include: the online banking market, what’s happening in the proptech space and recent private market deals.

engage.marketing 2021

We brought together the smartest minds in purchase marketing to share the insights, tactics and strategies that set the leaders apart. Watch the sessions on-demand now!

How Rocket Pro TPO continues to give its broker partners the upper hand

To remain competitive and create a better experience in this purchase environment, brokers need one thing above all: Speed. And there’s one lending partner that has the solutions and resources to give LOs just that.

BrokerageReal Estate

Judge rules for Zillow in REX antitrust lawsuit

Court denies motion to change how Zillow separates out "agent" home listings from "other" listings

REX grabbed national attention in March when the residential real estate brokerage filed a lawsuit alleging an antitrust conspiracy between listings giant Zillow and the powerful National Association of Realtors. But a judge’s ruling Wednesday forcefully concluded there’s little merit to REX’s allegations, and denied the brokerage’s motion to stop how Zillow is currently listing properties.

“Plaintiff has not supported its claim that there is any deception that is injuring a substantial portion of the purchasing public,” stated a Seattle federal court judge, Thomas Zilly.

The judge dinged REX for making a lawsuit out of, “An optional, internal NAR rule allegedly resulting in display bias.”

The case stems from Zillow changing how it collects the home listings information it publicly displays. The company moved late last year from syndication agreements with various parties to getting Internet data display, or IDX, feeds from Multiple Listings Services that are operated by the NAR.

In order to get these feeds, Zillow had to comply with the vast majority of MLS’s that adopt the NAR’s “no commingling” rule. Under the rule, Zillow was requested to separate out listings from MLS agents with those not part of the MLS, including many homes listed for sale by REX agents.


Does your CRM hurt or help the customer experience?

In real estate, data is king. The more you leverage your own data the better off your agents or loan officers will be because they’ll be able to identify, target and create better customer experiences.

Presented by: Propertybase.

As a result, there is now an “agent listings” and “other listings” tab on Zillow’s website. Non-MLS listings, including by REX, are relegated to other listings.

REX calls such separation “the segregation rule,” alleging it “falsely indicates that REX’s listings are not represented by licensed agents” and suggests to the consumer that REX’s listings are somehow inferior.

But the Seattle judge sided with Zillow that the listings website “have attempted to explain, in a consumer-friendly manner, the differences between the two tabs by developing pop-up and FAQ pages.”

The judge also noted that REX is not always on the other side of the MLS. The brokerage has “Co-listed properties with MLS agents to increase the online presence of client’s listings.”

Zillow provided a statement on Wednesday that it is pleased with the judge’s decision, “And it’s acknowledgement to our commitment in empowering consumers.”

The ruling suggested that REX, a six-year-old brokerage based in Austin, Texas, is balancing telling the court that Zillow’s business practices are seriously hurting the brokerage, while still operating said business. For example, the judge cited a REX internal communication that, “We still have good views” on a particular Zillow listing as evidence against the company.

In a statement Thursday, REX CEO Jack Ryan pointed out that the case is not over. REX still has, for example, monetary claims against Zillow and the NAR.

“We are disappointed that consumers will continue to face the NAR segregation rule every time they visit Zillow,” Ryan said. “The segregation rule banishes homes that would save consumers thousands–if not tens of thousands of dollars–in fees. REX won’t stop until consumers are freed from this indefensible rule.”   

Though it chafes at the term, REX is a “discount brokerage” meaning that they give their real estate agents a smaller commission, passing along the savings to consumers. Like Redfin, REX’s real estate agents are salaried employees.

The REX lawsuit against Zillow should not be confused with several lawsuits filed against the NAR regarding the commissions that consumers pay real estate agents.

Those lawsuits, which some legal observers say could upend the residential real estate industry, charge the NAR and the biggest brokerages with a “horizontal conspiracy” to fix prices, with home sellers paying agents about 5% of the sales price.

Rulings in these cases have not been made, excepting a Chicago federal judge denying NAR’s motion to dismiss one such lawsuit.

Leave a comment

Most Popular Articles

Will we ever see a “normal” housing market again?

The question on everyone’s minds: When will this hot housing market cool down? Arch MI investigates this and more in its Spring Housing and Mortgage Market Review.

Jun 22, 2021 By

Latest Articles

Buyside launches a new home valuation pages feature

After years of aggregating behavioral data from homebuyers and homesellers at the largest real estate brokerages in the country, Buyside is proud to announce the launch of their expansion into core & ancillary services by focusing on the homeowner.

Jun 24, 2021 By
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please