The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday edition that a proposed class-action lawsuit which takes aim at real estate commissions in Canada's largest home-sales market has survived a first test in court. The Globe's Shane Dingman writes that a judge ruled this week against an attempt by the local real estate board and several large brokerages to have the case thrown out. At issue is the practice of a seller listing their home for sale and offering a co-operating commission to the buyer's agent. The proposed lawsuit argues that the rules imposed by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) create anti-competitive controls and limit how those commissions can be negotiated. The case centres on the Toronto market where traditionally home sellers can expect to pay a 2.5-per-cent commission on a sale to a buyer's agent, while listing agents could expect to receive the same or less. A typical home selling with a 2.5-per-cent commission would cost sellers $35,409. Federal Court Chief Justice Paul Crampton ruled that there was not enough evidence that the defendants attempted to "fix" or "increase" prices. The initial statement of claim names, among others, Royal LePage.
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