The number of settlement appeals is totally bananas: The Download

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Buyers and sellers who feel like the commission settlements didn’t go far enough are fighting back in court, and the cases are bunching up.

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Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: Buyers and sellers who feel like the commission settlements didn’t go far enough are fighting back in court, and the cases are bunching up.

As the August date for implementation of the commission lawsuit settlements approaches, and as the settlements were slowly but surely being approved by the courts — with the National Association of Realtors’ approval date set for Nov. 26 — it felt OK to breathe easier, believing that we were on the road to a well-defined new normal.

However, many of the buyer and seller plaintiffs in the commission lawsuits have watched with concern as multibillion-dollar awards turned into multimillion-dollar settlements, and they’re pushing back against approval of the settlements that have not yet been finalized — and appealing those that have.

On July 1, law firm Knie and Shealy, which represents South Carolina homesellers in a commission suit filed in November, filed a notice of appeal in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The notice informed the court that the firm’s clients would look to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a decision from Judge Stephen R. Bough granting approvals of nationwide settlements to resolve antitrust claims against major real estate franchisors Anywhere, Keller Williams and RE/MAX.

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The settlements for the three franchisors cover claims from the cases known as Sitzer | Burnett, Moehrl and Nosalek, as well as other, similar homeseller suits nationwide.

The homesellers’ legal filings regarding the appeal so far do not contain any arguments, but earlier legal filings offer hints. Previous objections posit that the settlements far exceed the scope of the original suits that led to the deals and that the combined settlement amount among the three franchisors, $208.5 million, “is far too low to adequately compensate the massive number of injured parties here.”

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Christy Murdock is a writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. Connect with Writing Real Estate on Instagram and subscribe to the weekly roundup, The Ketchup.

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