Homebuyers Seek to Stop Approval of Commission Settlements

Homebuyers to prevent commission settlements

The first round of settlements in the buyer agent commission lawsuits faced unexpected complications just one day before they were expected to be finalized.

In Illinois, the Batton case plaintiffs have sought a temporary restraining order and injunction against the preliminary settlements involving Anywhere, RE/MAX, and Keller Williams. These settlements are scheduled to be finalized at a hearing set for 10 a.m. on May 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City.

The Batton plaintiffs claim that the defendants had not revealed plans to seek immunity from homebuyer claims—particularly affecting Batton class members who also sold homes and were included in the settlement class on the sell-side—until May 3, merely six days before the scheduled final approval.

On May 8, Randall P. Ewing Jr., the attorney for the Batton plaintiffs, filed court documents stating that the Sitzer/Burnett case settlement class was initially described as representing only home sellers who paid a broker commission. Last September’s settlements with Anywhere and RE/MAX, which also involved the Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl cases, were initially understood not to affect the Batton case, according to a statement from the court.

However, it was only after the April opt-out deadline that the settling defendants made their intentions clear. They had previously concealed their plans to settle as many Batton homebuyer claims as possible without additional compensation, while also claiming limited available funds, as revealed in the recent court documents.

Homebuyers opposing commission settlements

The Batton plaintiffs argue that these latest disclosures about the settlements would cause irreparable harm by releasing many of their claims without any compensation.

The motion for a restraining order does not affect the settlement involving the National Association of Realtors, which includes upcoming rule changes set to take effect in August.

The Batton cases, known as Batton 1 and Batton 2, involve similar allegations to those in the Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl cases but from the perspective of homebuyers rather than sellers. These plaintiffs argue they were adversely affected by the prevailing commission system.

These two cases, involving the same plaintiffs but different defendants, have been moving forward normally throughout the settlement process, despite a temporary pause while another court considered consolidating all related commission lawsuits. Both cases are overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Andrea Wood.

Recent court filings outlined a schedule for what is expected to be an extensive discovery process, not set to conclude until May 2026.

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