Judge grants preliminary approval of NAR commission lawsuit settlement 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) can breathe a small sigh of relief. The trade group’s nationwide settlement of the commission lawsuits has passed its first hurdle as Judge Stephen R. Bough, who oversaw the Sitzer/Burnett lawsuit, granted preliminary approval to NAR’s settlement on Tuesday. 

While the agreement still must receive final approval from the court, the industry is now one step closer to operating under the new rules outlined in the settlement agreement. According to NAR, the new rules would go into place in July of this year. 

In his ruling, Bough called the proposed changes “fair, reasonable and adequate.” 

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, NAR will pay $418 million to a settlement fund over the course of four years, and the trade group is barred from establishing any sort of rules that would allow a seller’s agent to set compensation for a buyer’s agent.

Additionally, all fields displaying broker compensation on MLSs must be eliminated, and there is a blanket ban on the requirement that agents subscribe to MLSs in the first place in order to offer or accept compensation for their work.

The settlement agreement also mandates that MLS participants working with buyers must enter into a written buyer broker agreement

A final approval hearing for the settlement has been set for November 2024. The court will hold a final approval hearing for the settlement agreements reached by Anywhere, RE/MAX and Keller Williams in May 2024.

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