A battle over real estate commissions will take an interesting twist Friday when a top official with Keller Williams Realty Inc. comes to Greater Des Moines to provide some cash relief for local real estate agents who the company says have been cheated out of what’s due them.
Keller Williams is one of the country’s largest real estate firms. In March 2012, it bought the Clive-based operations of Burnett Realty and by June 2012 Keller Williams’ parent company, Golden Circle Real Estate Group LLC, had filed a lawsuit against Iowa Realty Co. Inc., the state’s largest real estate company, claiming that Iowa Realty was refusing to share commissions on the sale of existing houses it listed for sale.
Keller Williams said its local agents have received $1 for each listing Iowa Realty controls.
That tussle is being played out in Polk County District Court, where a judge dismissed an Iowa Realty motion for summary judgment on some issues. A trial is scheduled for November.
Relations between Keller Williams and Iowa Realty have been contentious at least since 2006, when Iowa Realty told Keller Williams that it would not share commissions if the national real estate company entered the Greater Des Moines market.
Iowa Realty reiterated that sentiment last year when Doug Burnett was considering a merger with Keller Williams. It restated its position after the merger.
There is no standing policy, rule or law that requires real estate companies to share commissions, although it is a common practice that is encouraged by the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors, an organization that counts both companies as members.
Meanwhile, Keller Williams established what is called the KW Family Fund, which has collected more than $100,000 to make up for commissions it claims have been denied its real estate agents in Greater Des Moines.
Mo Anderson, vice chairman of the Keller Williams board, will visit the Clive office and deliver $107,040 that has been collected since February, when Anderson issued a challenge at the company’s annual convention in Dallas for other agents to support their cohorts in Greater Des Moines, according to a Keller Williams news release.
Keller Williams started out in Greater Des Moines with 23 real estate agents and now has 67.
The company launched a commercial real estate division last month that is being headed by Brad Long, former president of Grubb & Ellis/Mid-America Commercial. Click here for a related story at the BusinessRecord.com.