LegalReal Estate

Nosalek plaintiffs can join commission lawsuit settlements

Plaintiffs in the Boston case have agreed to the "substantive terms" of Anywhere and RE/MAX's settlement agreements in the Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl suits

A U.S. District Court judge in Boston has endorsed a motion to stay the Nosalek buyer broker commission case, allowing the plaintiffs to join the settlement agreements reached by Anywhere and RE/MAX in two separate multi-billion dollar commission lawsuits, Moehrl and Sitzer/Burnett.

The motion was filed early last week and was endorsed by Judge Patti Saris on Thursday. The filing stated the plaintiffs in the Nosalek suit had agreed to the “substantive terms” of Anywhere‘s and RE/MAX‘s settlement agreements in the Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl suits.

The motion argued that as the Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl cases have both been stayed as to Anywhere and RE/MAX, the plaintiffs and the two real estate firms requested that the court stay all deadlines and proceedings for a period of 30 days solely to the Anywhere and RE/MAX defendants.

Originally filed in December 2020, the Nosalek lawsuit, named after its lead plaintiff, alleges that the broker-owned MLS PIN is not directly required to abide by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) rules.

However, it has nonetheless adopted a rule similar to a NAR rule requiring listing brokers to offer a blanket, unilateral offer of compensation to buyer brokers in order to submit a listing to MLS PIN. Two other, larger lawsuits, Moehrl and Sitzer/Burnett, also take aim at this NAR rule, and they do name NAR as a defendant.

In addition to MLS PIN, Anywhere and RE/MAX, defendants in the suit include Keller Williams and HomeServices of America.

In late June, MLS PIN, which is New England’s largest Multiple Listing Service (MLS), filed the settlement agreement. Despite initial skepticism, Saris ultimately approved the settlement in mid-September. However, earlier this month the Department of Justice said that it has “significant concerns” about the proposed antitrust settlement between home sellers and MLS PIN, and filed a motion to extend the deadline for the final approval of the settlement.

Saris granted the DOJ’s motion, extending the final settlement hearing deadline nearly two months to March 7, 2024.

Keller Williams declined to comment on the update, while the other defendants and attorneys for the plaintiffs did not return a request for comment.

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