BrokerageIndustry News

Lawsuit proceeds in constitutional challenge of N.H. law

Web site charges that ads shouldn't require license

A U.S. District Court judge has ordered that a constitutional challenge may proceed against New Hampshire real estate regulations that require a broker's license for a range of real estate-related services. The lawsuit was filed last year in federal court against the New Hampshire Real Estate Commission and state Attorney General's Office by ZeroBrokerFees.com, a company that allows sellers to post information about for-sale properties at its Web site. ZeroBrokerFees.com, which does not have a real estate license, charges that state regulations violate First Amendment freedom of speech rights in requiring that the company obtain a broker's license to post property advertisements. A libertarian public-interest law firm, the Institute for Justice, is supporting ZeroBrokerFees.com in the lawsuit. This organization also supported another property-advertising Web site, ForSaleByOwner.com, in a legal dispute that found a similar real estate law in California to be unconstitutional. Ed Willia...