Court Grants Preliminary Approval of NAR Settlement

On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri granted preliminary approval of the National Association of REALTORS®’ proposed settlement agreement that would end litigation of claims brought on behalf of home sellers related to broker commissions.

Plaintiffs filed a motion last Friday for preliminary approval of the settlement agreement in the Western District of Missouri. The court acted quickly to preliminarily approve the motion, calling the agreement “fair, reasonable and adequate.” The plaintiffs’ filing initiated the 60-day period during which all REALTOR®-owned MLSs, brokerages with total residential transaction volume above $2 billion in 2022 and non-REALTOR® MLSs that want to be covered by the settlement must act. The deadline to submit the opt-in agreements is June 18.

REALTOR® MLSs: To be released under the settlement, all MLSs wholly owned by REALTOR® member boards and any other MLS that is not separately incorporated from and is operated exclusively by a member board must agree to and execute Appendix B – REALTOR® MLS “Opt In” Agreement and return it to the email addresses realtorsoptin@jndla.com(link sends e-mail), realtorsoptin@cohenmilstein.com(link sends e-mail) and nargovernance@nar.realtor(link sends e-mail).

Brokerages with an NAR member as principal and residential transaction volume above $2 billion in 2022: To be released under the settlement, eligible brokerages must agree to and execute Appendix C – Brokerage “Opt In” Agreement and return it, along with the required documentation and indication noted in paragraph 20 of Appendix C, to the email addresses realtorsoptin@jndla.com(link sends e-mail), realtorsoptin@cohenmilstein.com(link sends e-mail) and nargovernance@nar.realtor(link sends e-mail).

Non-REALTOR® MLSs: To be released under the settlement, MLSs not wholly owned by REALTOR® associations must agree to and execute Appendix D – Non-REALTOR® MLS “Opt In” Agreement and return it, along with the required indication noted in paragraph 20 of Appendix D, to the email addresses realtorsoptin@jndla.com(link sends e-mail), realtorsoptin@cohenmilstein.com(link sends e-mail) and nargovernance@nar.realtor(link sends e-mail).

All entities choosing to opt in to the settlement should carefully review the agreement and all requirements, says NAR Chief Legal Officer Katie Johnson.

The settlement is still subject to final court approval, and a motion for final approval of the settlement is expected to be filed at the end of the year, Johnson says. The court has set a final approval hearing for Nov. 26. The practice changes set forth in the settlement agreement are slated to take effect in late July, and class notice will take place no earlier than Aug. 17.

For access to the full settlement agreement, the relevant appendices and an estimated timeline, visit facts.realtor.

To learn more about the practice changes and how to prepare, read REALTOR® Magazine’s special digital supplement(link is external) on the proposed settlement.