Michael Ketchmark Called Anthony Lamacchia

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Anthony Lamacchia is the Founder and CEO of Lamacchia Realty, a multi-state real estate company.

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Summary of 'Michael Ketchmark Called Anthony Lamacchia'

In this video Anthony Lamacchia discusses a range of topics related to the real estate industry, focusing on a class action lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and other parties, led by attorney Michael Ketchmark. Anthony shares his conversation with Ketchmark, who praised Anthony’s videos critiquing the lawsuit but also hinted at a debate challenge. Anthony expresses skepticism about Ketchmark’s intentions and defends the real estate industry’s practices, emphasizing the value of REALTOR® services and criticizing the lawsuit as a money grab.

Anthony also touches on new legal challenges in Georgia, critiques articles and studies suggesting REALTORS® steer clients based on commission rates, and disputes claims that the current commission system harms consumers. He argues that the lawsuit and similar actions misunderstand the intricacies of the real estate market and could harm buyers and sellers by disrupting a system that works well.

Furthermore, Anthony mentions an upcoming hearing in Washington D.C. related to NAR’s appeal against the Department of Justice (DOJ) for backing out of a previous agreement, suggesting this legal battle is part of broader regulatory scrutiny under the Biden administration.

Throughout the video, Anthony positions himself as a defender of the traditional real estate model, criticizing the lawsuit and its proponents for attacking an industry that, in his view, provides significant value to consumers. He vows to continue highlighting what he sees as flaws in the case and supporting the real estate industry against what he perceives as unfounded legal challenges.

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Read the Full Transcript For 'Michael Ketchmark Called Anthony Lamacchia'

Michael Ketchmark (recounted by Anthony): “Hey, Anthony, how are you doing?”

Anthony Lamacchia: “Good, is anyone else on the line?”

Michael Ketchmark (recounted by Anthony): “No, listen, Anthony, I just wanted to call to tell you that you’re doing a great job with your videos. I watched them all yesterday, my brother-in-law played it to me, and I was impressed. You’re so articulate, you’re so smart, you explain yourself so well, you explain things in a common-sense manner that I haven’t heard other people say, I’m just glad you weren’t in that courtroom.” [laughs]

Anthony Lamacchia: “Thanks, Mike.”

That was the beginning of my conversation with Michael Ketchmark, the attorney leading the class action, ridiculous lawsuit against NAR, and all of the other parties. He called me on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I want to talk to you about that call, and I also want to talk to you about some other things. There is a new case. There are some other articles. Folks, we actually have a positive news article about our industry, and I’m going to cover that.

There’s even a hearing on Friday at the United States Appeals Court in Washington DC with respect to the argument between NAR and the Department of Justice, I’m going to touch on that. Then lastly, I’m going to get into what has really changed. It’s been four weeks and a day, what has really changed? I’ll get to that last. First, back to the Ketchmark call, I have to say, I give him credit, he’s taken a page out of my book, hitting the problem head-on, folks, I will give him credit for that. This guy is not scared, he cannot be intimidated, and he is someone that is not scared to speak out. Who does that remind you of on our side? Me.

He called, he hit it head-on. I’ve done the same thing. I’ve done that against people that we’ve litigated against, I’ve emailed across the aisle to other lawyers, I’ve been known to do the same thing, and that’s what he was doing. Now, what was the conversation like? I’m not going to repeat every word of the whole conversation, but he was a gentleman, he was a professional, he was overly nice to the point that I was like, “All right, he’s definitely up to something.”

It’s like when a shark bumps you in the water when you’re snorkeling and you think, “Oh, he only bumped me,” and then they swing around and bite you, that’s what I’m expecting. If I get sued today, tomorrow, and Ketchmark is leading it, then it’s game on. It’s game on, folks. I will deal with that if that is the case. Of course, I hope I don’t get sued. I don’t want my company to end up in an unnecessary, ridiculous, frivolous, foolish money-grabbing lawsuit that we have to defend ourselves against, but if we have to, we will, and I will be a tyrant of a defendant. I will be different than any other defendants in this case, and Ketchmark knows that.

He knows that because he and I talked a little bit about how I’m the one voicing my opinion on this side, I’m the one throwing haymakers because I’m trying to match what he’s doing. He’s going out in the news and calling us all kinds of things, and he pointed that out. I also suspect part of what he was up to with all those compliments, was to try to drive a wedge between me and NAR and maybe perhaps some of the other defendants. Not happening, Mike.

Do I wish our side would be a little more vocal, would be a little more outspoken, would get into the news stations, and sound off against you like you’re doing against our industry? Of course, I wish that. I’m happy to do it, and guess what folks, to Michael’s credit, he is too. That’s another reason he called. He said, “Listen, I just want you to know, I will debate you on any stage anywhere.” Was he trying to get on Crush It in Real Estate? I don’t know. Maybe, but he’s not getting on Crush It in Real Estate.

I’m not putting him on any of my platforms that I own, because I don’t think he’s deserving of that. He’s trying to take down our industry. This is someone that thinks we should be on the Australian system, which provides people no help, and I’m going to go over something about that in a little while about Australia. He will be on none of my platforms, but he said he’ll do it on any platform, and then I said, “Well, why did you bail on Inman?” He said, “Well, Anthony, I wouldn’t exactly say I bailed,” and then he had his side of the story.

I’ve heard some of the story from folks at Inman, I’ve heard Michael’s side of the story, and if I had to bet, probably a 60:40 on 40% he got pushed out, or 25%, he got pushed out. 60% or 75% he bailed. I will tell you, and I hate to give this guy any credit because he is the devil to real estate, but I don’t think he backed down. This is not a guy that backs down. I think he probably looked at the situation, saw all the pushback Brad was getting, and said, “Listen, I don’t need to walk into a hostile environment.”

I’ll be honest, I was surprised he agreed to it in the first place. I also can’t help but wonder, did he see that I was going to be the rebuttal and bail because of that? I asked him, I said, “Did you see that I was going to be the rebuttal?” He said, “Yes, I saw that.” Now, Inman, in my opinion, made a mistake of not immediately announcing that or immediately lining that up in advance. For those of you that were paying attention to Brad Inman on LinkedIn or me on LinkedIn, you would see that on Saturday morning, two Saturdays ago, Brad was debating with someone and he replied and said, “Anthony Lamacchia is going to be on stage,” and he actually invited the person, and that kind of fizzled.

Then I had set it up with Inman and Brad, that I was going to be the official rebuttal after Ketchmark, and I was going to be responding. I said, “I’d like to debate.” They said they didn’t want that, because they knew we’d talk over each other, which let’s face it, we would. I’d have a hard time sitting there, listen to him throw bombs, half of them untrue, or distorted in the way that it’s explained and holding my tongue, and he probably would have a hard time too. I was excited to be the rebuttal. Then Inman didn’t officially announce it, even though they told me to. Then all of a sudden, Ketchmark bailed out.

There’s room for debate there, I don’t know the exact answer. I wasn’t on the phone with him and Brad. I didn’t see the emails with my own eyes, but that’s generally what I think happened. Again, why did Ketchmark call and why was he overly nice? Was he probably trying to soften me a little? Yes, I think that there’s probably some of that. He’s certainly a warm personality, charismatic person. Great, I’m not falling for it. I’m not going to be his friend, he knows that. We’re not going to be friends in this life, or the next life, it’s just not happening, but I think he was defending himself on Inman. I think he was defending himself about all the money talk.

He said, “Hey, in your videos, you mentioned that all I talk about is money, then you mentioned the podcast.” He goes, “In the podcast, the name of the podcast is the Financial Samuroi or Samurai,” whatever it’s called. I said, “You’re right, Mike, but I know what you did here. You painted a story of money, the real estate industry is ripping off everybody else, and you did it brilliantly to a jury of people that you fooled, the jury of eight that you fooled, and then you’re doing it to get on the airwaves, and it’s working.” Then we debated about that for a few minutes. I think that’s part of the reason.

He’s definitely an argumentative type, obviously, he’s a trial attorney. He wanted to make his points. He did say, “I’ll debate you on any stage,” and I’m still up for it, folks. Good Morning America, CNBC, if Inman decides to change their mind and they want to put us up to debate, which if you look at the comments everywhere, that’s what everyone’s asking for.

Brad wants to sit in the middle and ask me questions and then let Michael respond, fine, we can do it in a controlled atmosphere. I can’t promise that I won’t mouth off or interrupt, but I’ll do the best I can. One of the things that he said to me, it was interesting, is he said, “Anthony, tell me, tell me what I’m missing,” because I said, “You’re missing things you don’t know the intricacies of our business.” He goes, “Okay, tell me what I’m missing.” I said, “You’re missing the fact that you are severely going to hurt homebuyers.” I should have also said sellers, by the way, but I don’t know why I didn’t.

I said buyers because truthfully, buyers are going to be hurt the most. He said, “Really? You really feel that way?” We debated a little, we got into some detail, and I said “Mike,” he said, “Well, can’t they put it into the sale?” He used some words like that, don’t quote me and I said, “Mike, Fannie Freddie regulations don’t allow that.” He said, “Well, regulations can be changed.” “Regulations can be changed? Michael, Fannie and Freddie went into the FHFA into government conservatorship in 2008.” Every year, there’s talk about getting it out of government conservatorship, it’s 15 years later nothing’s changed. Washington moves at a snail’s pace. They’re not changing that regulation, and if they are, it’s not going to be easy, and it’s not necessary.

There’s disruption that is being attempted here, and I don’t believe it. The other thing that Ketchmark said, and he was tough about it, he said, “No one’s backing me, there’s no financial backers, there’s no big money behind me, there’s no disruptors that pointed me to your industry, I decided to do this myself.” I don’t believe it, maybe there’s no financial backers, that’s possible.

He’s a wealthy person, he’s a very successful person. I actually read that he went after a pharmaceutical company in 2002 for someone was screwing up the drugs and he took them down over it. He got the victims like 1500 victims, that’s a great cause. Michael, go back to real causes like that, instead of frivolous cases like this. Charlotte Laws, she points that out in an article and I’m going to read something that she pointed out in an article that she said same thing, “Go spend your money, time and energy on real causes, not trying to take down a system that’s working,” but he was adamant about that, and I wanted to tell you all that.

Let me move on, and of course, I’ll still intermingle things about the conversation. We’ve got another case, Georgia in the last two days they jumped in and the key points of the case here’s one of them. The current system allows “inefficient agents to remain in the business without the necessity to enhance their competitiveness or exit the market.” All these plaintiffs’s attorneys and plaintiffs, they really care about how many people are in their industry? Give me a break. One thing I meant to add a minute ago when I was talking about Michael decided to do this on his own. Bullshit. Not possible.

There’s no way in hell these plaintiffs woke up one day, everybody called Ketchmark and McCreight, that’s their law firm, and said, “We were wronged,” not possible. Folks, our next video, we’re doing some digging on those plaintiffs, not personally. I want to see when they bought their homes, when they sold their homes. Let’s see how wronged they really were. Let’s take a look at that because I think it’s a bunch of garbage. I truly believe that. Michael knows that. He sent postcards out to the whole state of Missouri, to all the sellers in the last five years or whatever the statute of limitation timeframe was.

He rounded these people up, “Join my case, you get money. He came up with Sitzer and Burnett as the lead plaintiffs. Last summer Sitzer heard what’s going on and bailed out of the case, but he had Burnett and the others. One of the others, just to give you a little tease on my next video, a personal injury attorney. Do you think a personal injury attorney that lives in Kansas City doesn’t know Michael Ketchmark from being in the industry?

Do you think they didn’t somehow work together on this? Come on, let’s be real. There’s no doubt about that. New case in Georgia, little bit of a different flare on this one. Bunch of plaintiffs that they mentioned here. Let me move on to some articles. I’m going to start with a positive one. Unfortunately, this positive one is not in a major news organization. It’s CityWatch LA. This woman, Charlotte Laws, put it out.

This one has so many, so many things in it that I can’t read it all. One part in particular that I loved, “Michael Ketchmark, a class action attorney for the Missouri case, says that agents should earn as little as 1% commission. He likens them to travel agents who used to make 10% on the cost of a ticket. He claims they make less today. Note, Ketchmark appears to be wrong about travel agents. They make 10% to 22% on international bookings according to online studies.”

Guess what I did? I talked to someone here whose spouse is in the travel agency, they said standard’s 10%, sometimes higher. See, what Ketchmark understands is you can go on the news and push the envelope on truths because that’s how you get on the airwaves. When you say bold things, people pay attention. Let’s face it, in my videos here, if I was “Mm-hmm, mm-hmm” and wimpy and perfect and direct like a typical lawyer, would these videos be getting thousands of views? No. Michael understands that. Truthfully, I wish our side understood that a little better. I wish our side came out swinging more in the media.

I’ve lended myself, I’ve said the next case, NAR knows this, I’ll go in the room, I’ll spend a week if necessary and I’ll be an expert in the room to assist the attorneys if necessary. I don’t claim to know the legalities of the Sherman Act to the extent that Ketchmark does or the extent that our defense attorneys do. I know the intricacies of our business inside out, upside down, and very few people can match me on that. Good job pointing that out, Charlotte. I want to go to the end of the article, which by the way, we’re going to send this article out in the emails that we send out and you all should look at it. Charlotte did a terrific job. I’m going to read her conclusion.

“In conclusion, I would like to offer some advice to class action lawyers who are creating confusion and chaos while recklessly destroying a tried and true process.” She should have added, “Tried, true and transparent process,” but that’s okay. “End the short-sighted war on real estate. Save your bullets for a worthy cause.” That’s exactly what I said to Ketchmark a few minutes ago, going after a pharmaceutical company that mixed drugs the wrong way and hurt thousands of people, that’s a cause you should go after. Give it up on our business.

Next, Miami Herald, “Is your realtor steering buyers away from your home? This might be the reason.” Here we go. Realtors steering again. I’ve said it in the last four videos, buyers drive the process. Realtors cannot hide properties. Let’s see. A study was done, I’m sure– yes, Texas A&M study. “They call their study ‘the first systematic nationwide evidence that buyer-agents do, in fact, steer clients away from properties that owe that offer low buyer-agent commissions.” How do you steer a buyer in any market, but truthfully, a low inventory market? Since the internet came out, since all the properties went online, there’s no hiding properties from buyers.

It is impossible to do that. Impossible. Especially impossible to do that in a low inventory market. Wanted to point that out. Here we go, Consumer Federation of America, again, Stephen Brobeck. Stephen, I know you’re a nice guy. I know you care about consumers. Why don’t you come to my office and let’s talk? I’ll send you out with some agents to see what agents do every day. See how hard they work, see how much they put in so that you can see how it works on a ground level, because I know you care about consumers, but you’re misunderstanding our business.

The true care in your heart about consumers would stop this because you’re going to hurt buyers more than anyone and I strongly doubt you want to be a part of that. Ketchmark’s in a different boat. He doesn’t care. He’s out for blood, he wants money, he wants to set up the next 10 generations. I don’t believe Stephen’s like that, although maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know him that well. Only spoken to him a couple of times. This is interesting and I want to dispute this in the Miami Herald. “What they discovered is sobering. They found that all else being equal low-commission listings attracted less attention.”

The lower the fee, the more agents who wanted nothing to do with it. How do they know that? That is a news statement being twisted into an opinion. Right there I underline it, “Moreover, the researchers observed that listings with the lowest commissions took 33% longer to sell.” They never mentioned, “You get what you pay for.” They probably hired a discount brokerage or maybe an entry-only company that’s just putting the listing in MLS, not doing proper pictures or photography, not doing aerial drones on the properties that warrant it, not properly marketing the property, not emailing it out to their database, not doing just listed cards, probably not properly doing an open house.

All of those things, you start adding those up it’s less exposure. Folks, more marketing equals more demand, more demand equals more money for a seller. That’s why my company spends millions of dollars over the years on television and billboards and radio, why? Not only to bring in new business, but that new business, those sellers that call are also buyers. Those buyers that come in, we expose our listings to them. Are we a discount brokerage? Hell no. I have no problem saying that on a camera that could end up anywhere. You want to get some discount, you want discounted services, call somewhere else.

We’re a full-service brokerage that does the right things by clients, properly elevates their properties, adheres to our fiduciary duties to the clients. That’s what the realtors at Lamacchia Realty do and that’s what the realtors at most of these big brokerages that he’s going after are doing. They failed to mention that and they should have. Shame on them for not putting that part in. Yahoo Finance. Folks, I’ve got some new lawyers to introduce you to. I’ve got some new lawyers to call into the Royal Rumble. Check out this headline. “The hefty commissions home sellers pay to real estate agents may soon disappear.” Whoa.

Folks, Ketchmark’s a good trial attorney. He’s not Harry Houdini. He’s not going to make it so that every commission, whoa, they’re all gone all over the country. Not going to happen. It’s normal for commissions to be paid in an array of industries. That’s not some unusual thing. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Hang on, let me find a couple of different things here. Patrick Knie, he’s an attorney in South Carolina. “The whole practice needs to stop.” One of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in a case filed in South Carolina told Yahoo Finance, “We just need to go back to being a free market.”

We’re in the freest market you could imagine in this business. Our properties are listed on a platform that gives everyone the chance, all buyers the chance, all buyers at all levels, all realtors at all levels to see those properties, to show those properties, to have a chance at selling those properties. It’s totally an open market system. Patrick, I wanted to welcome you. I also want to welcome, hang on, let me look for the next attorney. He’s in here somewhere. Here we go. Here we go. Matt Shealy, also in a South Carolina attorney. They’re probably working together.

They were referring to a prior statement in the article about some changes being made. “That’s just window dressing in our opinion.” Whoa. “We don’t think that solves the problem. What buyer’s agent is going to take a buyer to that house?” Folks, buyer’s agents have many of them contracts with their buyers, they can charge their buyers directly. That makes it more expensive, that makes it more complicated when a buyer has to come out of pocket, but they’re trying to act like they’re for the buyer and they’re not. They’re going to hurt the buyer. Welcome to the Royal Rumble, Matthew. I won’t be as hard on you if you are not as hard on us.

Ketchmark goes on every news station and calls us all kinds of things. You start doing that, I’ll be talking about you too. Michael don’t get jealous, I won’t forget you. Here’s another one towards the end, and this is someone from a law school or something. “Theoretically, it should decrease list prices.” These are people that have no understanding of our business. Commissions changing are not going to decrease listing prices. They’re not. It’s a supply-and-demand business. Now, opening statements, which by the way, I’m working on getting the actual opening statements.

Mr. Ketchmark, if you could send those to me, that’d be cool. I’m trying to get them another way, but the Daily Mail. One of the things Ketchmark mentioned in his opening statement is the Australian system where commissions are lower, things are easier. Buyers go directly. “Sydney, Australia, it takes 14.3 years for an average buyer to save to have enough money for a deposit.” Don’t tell me the Australian system is better because it’s not. I’m going to dig into that more. The jurors probably didn’t know this, but the appellate court judges, I’m sure this will be presented to them or maybe I’ll mail it to them.

Last article but not least, and then I’m going to talk about that hearing on Friday, then I’m going to touch on what’s changed. Last article by Laura Kusisto at Wall Street Journal. Always a good reporter. My view is she tries hard to get all sides. Wish she got a little more from our side on this one. She did point out how Ketchmark’s firm paid $1.7 million to Texas A&M, to Dr. Schulman. Dr. Schulman probably went to college with Ketchmark, we should look into that. She pointed that out in the article and I thought that was good. Then she talked about how this case came to be. She’s a little nicer than me.

My statements would’ve been, “This is a money grab,” but that’s okay. That’s an article to check out as well. Next, this hearing on Friday. There’s an interesting hearing happening at the appeals court in the District of Columbia, DC, on Friday. It is not on the specifics of the case. It is the appeal. What NAR did and I give them credit, though as I said, I wish we’d be more aggressive, but I give them credit. They’re good on the legalities and the laws. They’re good on that stuff. They filed and they sued the DOJ, because the DOJ remember, backed out of the settlement agreement or whatever, I don’t know if the word is settlement, but whatever agreement they had agreed to, some point in 2020.

They backed out in ’21 when the Biden administration came in. Listen, I’m not being political, but there’s no denying that Biden’s administration is not as business-friendly. It’s just the way it is. You tend to see that. They’re going after many industries with respect to antitrust. Once they did that with our industry and they undid the settlement, they embolden all these lawyers. We’re going in to argue that they should not have backed out of the settlement. That’s what’s happening here. Last but not least, what has changed in the industry?

I should say, when we hear about that on Friday, which I don’t think we will, it could take several weeks, but when we do, we’ll get an update out.

What has changed? Today’s four weeks and one day, truthfully, not much. Not much. If anything, all of these articles that keep saying what is not true, “Realtors are paid 6% commissions and they share it 3% and 3%.” If anything, these articles are helping. You’re hurting the discount brokerages because you’re making them feel like, “Well, why aren’t you mentioning us? Why are you only mentioning the full service companies that provide an array of products and services and marketing?”

Really nothing’s changed. There’s been a few clients here or there who have asked questions to our agents, but nothing dramatic at all. People are still signing listing agreements. Sellers are still agreeing to offer cooperating brokerage compensation to the buyer agent’s firm, which makes sense, so the buyer doesn’t have to come out of pocket. That makes sense. Hey, one last thing Ketchmark said, “Anthony, I actually like your videos. They’re helping my case. You’re pointing out flaws in my case or little holes in my case that I’m going to work to argue,” or whatever he said. Don’t quote me on the wording, but I also think there was some reverse psychology there and him saying that.

That’s his way of trying to get me to say, “Shit, I shouldn’t help him.” Not happening, Mike. As I said, we’ll never be friends in this life, probably not the next life. I am going to continue to point out flaws in your case and in all these cases around the country. In the next video, I’ll have more information on these plaintiffs. I want to see how they were so wronged. Watch us find their properties sold $50,000 over asking. That’ll be a nice find, won’t it? We’ll be out with more on that probably next week.

Thank you all for listening. Good luck to all my realtor friends. Keep doing what you’re doing. We do what’s best for buyers, for sellers. We represent their interests. We help people in every manner we can to achieve the dream of home ownership and to sell their homes, get into homes that fit their needs. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing, folks. I’ll keep spending some of my time on this, because I’m very frustrated about this case. Thank you all for tuning in. Follow me on Instagram, I put mini updates out there and I tend to mention when I’m going to put these videos out. Thank you all.