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MLS PIN moves forward with settlement changes despite lack of final approval

Last week, the MLS told members it would allow the submission of a listing with no offer of cooperative compensation

Despite lacking final court approval — and while facing vocal disapproval from the Department of JusticeMLS Property Information Network has decided to move forward in implementing some of the changes outlined in its settlement agreement for the Nosalek commission lawsuit.

In an email sent to MLS PIN customers on June 20 and obtained by HousingWire, the MLS states that, effective immediately, listing brokers and agents are able to submit listings to its platform without offering any cooperating compensation to the buyer’s broker, as outlined in its settlement agreement.

“If your seller instructs you not to offer compensation, enter a value of 0 into the compensation fields in Pinergy [the MLS platform],” the email states.

The email also notes that MLS PIN is not opting into the nationwide commission lawsuit settlement agreement reached by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), choosing instead to move forward with its own.

“Even though MLS PIN’s rules changes presented as part of the settlement in Boston are still awaiting final court approval, MLS PIN has decided to start implementing those rules changes now,” the email states. “If the Court in Boston does not approve our settlement, we may need to further modify our rules and Pinergy or revert to our previous rules.”

Some of the additional changes that MLS PIN is looking to implement, as outlined in its settlement include:

  • “Offers of compensation, if any, will be made by the seller. Listing brokers and cooperating brokers will no longer split commissions.
  • Listing agreements must disclose that the seller is neither required to offer compensation nor required to accede to any cooperating broker’s request for compensation. The listing broker must disclose this to the seller before the seller signs the listing agreement.
  • If a seller elects to offer compensation, the listing agreement must also say that the cooperating broker will be an intended third-party beneficiary of the agreement with the right to enforce the same.
  • Before posting a listing, the listing broker must certify, in a checkbox designated for this purpose in Pinergy, that the listing broker has notified the seller of the seller’s rights not to offer compensation and not to accede to a cooperating broker’s request for compensation.”

MLS PIN did not specify when these changes would be put in place. But in two emails dated June 24, also obtained by HousingWire, the MLS told customers that new data fields would be “made available in the Property Resource for Compensation within roughly 30 days.”

The new fields are related to cooperating compensation offered; facilitator compensation offered; sub-agent compensation type; cooperating agent compensation type; facilitator compensation type; and the new option(s) to the compensation based on field (compensation not offered and potential compensation not offered on the MLS).

According to the email, the database field for the Property Resource for Compensation “will be null or empty if the broker selects ‘Not Offered’ under the two new compensation fields and the already provided Sub Agency Compensation field. If any of the three fields return null or is empty, please display ‘Not Offered’ for compensation.”

In June 2023, MLS PIN reached a settlement agreement with the Nosalek plaintiffs. But in late September of last year, the DOJ intervened, stating that it had “significant concerns” about the settlement. 

In February 2024, the DOJ filed a statement of interest in the Nosalek suit, in which it called for the end of cooperative compensation. Earlier this month, MLS PIN and the Nosalek plaintiffs filed a legal brief in which they expressed their disagreement with the DOJ’s position on cooperative compensation and urged Judge Patti B. Saris, who is overseeing the suit, to approve the settlement.

Earlier this week, Saris delayed her own ruling on MLS PIN’s settlement agreement until after the court overseeing the final approval of NAR’s settlement agreement issues a decision in late November.

The DOJ did not return a request for comment.

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