Discount Brokerage REX Denied a Retrial Against Zillow

January 22, 2024
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The former discount brokerage REX has seen its request for a retrial turned down as its crusade against Zillow's allegedly unfair listings policy looks set to finally fizzle out.

Real Estate Exchange (better known as REX) saw its claims initially dismissed by a jury back in August 2023 with a further hearing in September also finding in Zillow's favour.

Despite the defeat, REX's counsel did not agree with the decision and filed a motion for a retrial in November claiming that it was prevented from presenting testimony about commissions that would have changed the outcome of the trial.

In dismissing that motion last week, U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly pointed out that the former brokerage had three rounds of written objections and an "almost hour-long hearing" in which to get its point across to jurors.

“REX cannot establish error, let alone prejudicial error justifying a new trial, when it does not set forth with any particularity the jury charge that it contends the Court should have provided.”

The case dates back to 2021 when Zillow switched from ingesting its listings using many feeds from individual MLSs to using a so-called 'IDX feed'.

While the switch to an IDX feed helped Zillow's back-end processes become more efficient it also came with a set of rules that the portal was obliged to adhere to as a non-listing member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sites like Zillow that use the IDX feed must display NAR members' listings separate from non-members' listings.

The discount brokerage, which was not a member of the NAR, claimed that Zillow's policy of displaying listings from non-NAR affiliated brokerages on its 'Other' tab was unfair and led to a loss of leads, ultimately putting REX out of business.

January 22, 2024
Since March 2020 Edmund's job has been to read about, write about, collect data on, analyse and generally know about real estate marketplaces and the companies that run them. Before that he worked at the aggregator Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect) for five years.

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