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MLS PIN, Nosalek Plaintiffs Ask Court For Permission To Respond To DOJ

The plaintiffs in the Nosalek commission lawsuit and defendant MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN) have teamed up to ask Judge Patti B. Saris if they can file separate responses to the statement of interest from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The joint motion was filed on Wednesday by MLS PIN, Jennifer Nosalek, Randy Hirschorn and Tracy Hirschorn.

In the filing, the parties wrote that they “dispute the factual and legal arguments made in the DOJ’s Statement of Interest.”

The DOJ in mid-February filed its statement of interest relating to the settlement agreement reached between the Nosalek plaintiffs and MLS PIN. In its statement, the DOJ advocated for the prohibition of cooperative compensation, meaning that “sellers would be responsible for determining only the compensation of their own broker in the listing contract … [and] buyers would be responsible for determining the compensation of their own broker in a buyer-broker representation contract.”

The DOJ argued that changes similar to those proposed in the settlement agreement — including lowering the required compensation amount to $0 or abandoning the requirement for listing brokers to make a blanket offer of compensation to the buyer’s broker in order to list on the MLS — have done nothing to decrease agent commissions.

“Preventing sellers and listing agents from setting buyer-broker commissions would promote greater price competition and innovation in the market for brokers’ services,” the DOJ argued.

Based on the filing from the plaintiffs and MLS PIN, it is clear they have other opinions. While Saris has yet to rule on the matter, the parties asked for a March 28, 2024, filing deadline if the motion is granted. The case is currently listed as closed after Saris postponed the case pending action by a multidistrict litigation panel, which is set to decide this spring if nine of the commission lawsuits can consolidate.

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