BrokerageIndustry News

Lawyers seek more evidence in Idaho antitrust lawsuits

Court filings challenge judge's decision to dismiss claims

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A U.S. District Court Judge last month tossed out antitrust charges filed by buyers of vacant lots in four separate class-action lawsuits filed against Idaho real estate brokerage companies, though lawyers for the buyers are contesting the decision. The lawsuits allege that buyers were charged excessive real estate commissions when they purchased home lots from the brokerage companies, and that the commissions charged for the lot sales were also tied to commissions that were based on the cost of homes to be built on those lots. Because conspiracy among the companies was not alleged in the cases, they were filed as separate lawsuits. U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill found that evidence was lacking to support the claims that the companies' real estate commission practices in tying the sale of the land lots to the sale of homes on the lots represented an illegal arrangement. While lawyers for the buyers suggest "that some (buyers) may have wanted to purchase the tied product from...