The former discount brokerage REX has filed a motion for a retrial in its attempts to hold U.S. real estate portal Zillow accountable for what it feels is unfair listings display policy.
The controversy 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 which ultimately put REX out of business.
In September, after a lengthy timeline of preceding headlines, a jury decided that the portal giant was not liable or responsible for the damages sought by REX.
But in a document filed with the court on Tuesday, REX claims that it was prevented from presenting testimony about commissions that would have changed the outcome of the trial:
"Zillow was able to improperly escape liability for knowingly creating a deceptive and unfair web site by simply convincing the jury that it benefitted from doing so. Separately, REX seeks a new trial because the Court erroneously prohibited REX from presenting expert and other testimony that would have rebutted Zillow’s affirmative defense and also made other erroneous evidentiary rulings that prejudiced REX."
If REX is granted a retail and ultimately prevails, it could mean that Zillow and other U.S. real estate marketplace sites are forced to change how they display listings from sources such as discount brokerages and FSBO which do not pay MLS membership fees.