Massachusetts plaintiffs want in on commission settlement deals
Plaintiffs in the Nosalek case want to reach a deal with RE/MAX and Anywhere following the brokerage companies’ settlements in Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl.
- Similar to other ongoing class action lawsuits, the Nosalek plaintiffs claim buyer-broker commission practices are anticompetitive.
- The judge agreed with the plaintiffs' request to end legal proceedings against RE/MAX and Anywhere, leaving HomeServices of America and Keller Williams as defendants.
- MLS PIN, a previous defendant in the lawsuit, reached an agreement in July that’s currently under review.
Plaintiffs in Massachusetts are finalizing an agreement with RE/MAX and Anywhere to participate in the settlements the two brokerages announced in September.
The Nosalek plaintiffs — Massachusetts home sellers in an area served by MLS PIN — filed documents requesting that legal proceedings against the two brokerages cease because of a pending settlement. It is substantively similar to the agreements Anywhere and RE/MAX made in the Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl class action lawsuits, according to court documents. U.S. District Court Judge Patti Harris approved the stay orders on Oct. 26.
Earlier this year, the plaintiffs reached a $3 million settlement with Massachusetts-based MLS PIN that included changes to how the MLS handles buyer agent commissions. That agreement is currently under review with a final approval hearing scheduled for March 7, 2024.
Keller Williams and HomeServices of America are also defendants in the case, which is still proceeding. NAR is not a defendant because MLS PIN is broker-owned and operates independently of the association. But the case targets rules adopted by MLS PIN which are very similar to NAR rules, and the claims are nearly identical to those in Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl.
A spokesperson for RE/MAX said in an email that the company is "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." Real Estate News has also reached out to Anywhere for comment.
The court documents filed by the plaintiffs on Oct. 24 did not include details about policy changes the companies will be required to make, and monetary damages were not disclosed. RE/MAX and Anywhere are currently conferring with the plaintiffs and counsel for the Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl cases "about the appropriate treatment of plaintiffs and the class they purport to represent," according to a court document about the RE/MAX settlement.