LegalReal Estate

Nosalek suit stayed pending court ruling on NAR settlement

Judge Patti B. Saris is delaying her ruling on MLS PIN’s settlement agreement until the NAR settlement is resolved

Judge Patti B. Saris, who is overseeing the Nosalek commission lawsuit, made the decision to stay the case, pending Judge Stephen R. Bough’s ruling on the nationwide commission lawsuit settlement agreement reached by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in March.

According to Saris’ order, the plaintiffs have 30 days after Bough’s ruling to file their supplemental preliminary approval of settlement. Additionally, the Department of Justice will have 90 days to review the settlement agreement as stipulated in the Class Action Fairness Act.

By staying the suit, Saris is delaying her ruling on defendant MLS Property Information Network’s settlement agreement. Saris granted preliminary approval to MLS PIN’s first proposed settlement agreement in September 2023. But soon after, the DOJ intervened due “significant concerns” about MLS PIN’s settlement. Since then, the court, the DOJ, the plaintiffs and MLS PIN have gone back and forth trying to create a settlement that the DOJ will accept.

In addition to MLS PIN, the four other defendants in the suit — Anywhere, RE/MAX, Keller Williams and HomeServices of America — have each reached nationwide settlement agreements of the seller-side commission lawsuits.

The settlements for RE/MAX, Anywhere and Keller Williams have already been granted final approval by Bough. But the HomeServices of America settlement, which was filed much later, has not yet been granted final approval.

In making the decision to stay the Nosalek suit, Saris is taking the opposite tack of Judge William Stickman, who is overseeing the Moratis commission lawsuit. Stickman denied West Penn MLS’ motion to stay the suit. West Penn MLS sought the stay as it opted in to NAR’s settlement.

MLS PIN did not wish to comment on this development. RE/MAX, Anywhere and Keller Williams did not return a request for comment.

Chris Kelly, executive vice president of HomeServices of America, wrote in an email to HousingWire that the industry is currently working hard to adapt to the business practice changes outlined in NAR’s settlement.

“What is essential now is a clear and timely resolution of the ongoing legal issues and a collaborative approach from all stakeholders involved,” Kelly said. “This clarity will enable the industry to guide consumers effectively through the evolving landscape of buying and selling homes — a process that our brokerages and agents are embracing with proactive and positive determination.

“It is our hope that we can avoid a start-and-stop approach or the need to shift abruptly to a completely different set of practices based on future rulings, as such disruptions could significantly impact the consumers we aim to serve.”

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