2 Competing Brokerages Land in Legal Battle

October 7, 2013

Iowa’s largest real estate agency, Iowa Realty, filed a lawsuit last week accusing a competitor, Keller Williams, of trying to damage its reputation. 

Iowa Realty alleges that Keller Williams filed an earlier lawsuit as a way to try to “harass and embarrass” Iowa Realty. The Keller Williams lawsuit alleged, among other things, that Iowa Realty had refused to share commissions equally with Keller Williams agents who had sold homes listed by Iowa Realty. Keller Williams accused Iowa Realty of denying its Des Moines agents $600,000 worth in commissions since Keller Williams opened its office there in April 2012. 

About a month ago, Keller Williams dropped the lawsuit. But now Iowa Realty has filed a lawsuit accusing Keller Williams of filing a frivolous lawsuit that it had “never intended the courts to resolve.”

“They have given us no choice but to defend ourselves and bring final resolution to this situation,” says Mike Knapp, president and CEO of Iowa Realty, who also accuses the brokerage of attacking its Iowa Realty agents via social media at both local and national levels.

Brian Wentz, CEO of Keller Williams Des Moines, declined to comment on the specifics of the latest lawsuit, but denied any wrongdoing. “We’re very proud of our agents for doing the right thing with consumers,” Wentz told the Des Moines Register. “They continue to show and sell houses whether the competitor is paying them a dollar or not.”

Source: “Lawsuit claims Keller Williams mounted damaging public relations campaign against Iowa Realty,” Des Moines Register (Oct. 4, 2013) 

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Avoiding Commission Disputes
Fighting the Frivolous