In their motions to stay the case, the plaintiffs in the Nosalek suit state that they have agreed to the “substantive terms” of Anywhere‘s and RE/MAX‘s settlement agreements in the Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl buyer broker commission lawsuits.
According to the filing, the Nosalek plaintiffs “and counsel for the Burnett and Moehrl plaintiffs are presently conferring regarding the appropriate treatment of the Nosalek Plaintiffs and the class they purport to represent.”
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 have requested that the court stay all deadlines and proceeding for a period of 30 days solely to the Anywhere and RE/MAX defendants.
The motion claims that the reasoning is to “preserve the resources of plaintiffs, the Anywhere defendants and the court, and to allow plaintiffs’ counsel to conclude their negotiations regarding the appropriate treatment of the Nosalek plaintiffs and the class they purport to represent.”
“We are pleased that the Nosalek plaintiffs have agreed that the substantive terms of the Burnett/Moehrl settlement should include the proposed MLS Pin class members in the Nosalek case,” a RE/MAX spokesperson wrote in an email.
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 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 indicated that it has “significant concerns” about the proposed antitrust settlement between home sellers and MLS PIN, filing 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.
Anywhere, MLS PIN, Keller Williams and HomeServices of America, as well as attorneys for the plaintiffs declined to comment.