NYS ATTORNEY GENERAL --Illegal anticompetitive practices hurt the real estate industry as well as the consumer

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Contact The Antitrust Bureau

Participants in the real estate industry are closer to daily real estate activity and more
likely to observe anticompetitive conduct. We rely on reports from real estate lawyers, brokers, purchasers, and others in the industry. Please feel free to contact us with your questions and concerns.

Antitrust Bureau
State of New York
Office of the Attorney General
120 Broadway, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10271
antitrust.realestate@ag.ny.gov
212-416-8262

 

What to Look for

Illegal anticompetitive practices in real estate transactions can include:

  • Agreements among brokers not to charge
    commissions under a certain level;
  • Agreements among brokers not to work
    with discount brokers;
  • Refusals to deal with brokers who offer
    rebates to their clients;
  • Refusals to show properties that are for
    sale by owner (FSBOs) or listed by a discount
    broker;
  • Agreements among brokers or multiple listing services (MLSs) to prevent competition from real estate websites.

Agents and Fiduciary Responsibilities

Frequently, a real estate agent’s fiduciary duties are not well understood by consumers, and even by some real estate professionals. Consumers should receive full disclosure of all the information they need for a fair real estate transaction. For example,

  • Buyers must receive the required disclosure form listing the broker’s fiduciary duties and disclosing whom the broker represents.
  • Buyers should be informed if the agent representing them is going to be paid by the seller’s broker.
  • Buyers should feel free to inquire about how much commission their broker will earn on a transaction.
  • Both buyers and brokers should know that rebating commissions is legal in New York.