SAN FRANCISCO – To address a growing use of off-MLS listings, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Board of Directors voted 729-70 to approve a new rule affecting off-MLS listings, saying they must be submitted to the MLS within one business day after first marketing them to the public. The policy passed at the Board of Directors meeting on Monday. All MLSs must now adopt the policy before a May 1, 2020, deadline.
NAR’s Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee set the stage Saturday for the NAR Board of Directors vote on proposed MLS Statement 8.0, also known as the Clear Cooperation policy. It was discussed Saturday in a standing-room-only forum, where a panel representing NAR’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board discussed the proposal and addressed a range of questions and concerns.
According to the committee’s panelists, MLS Statement 8.0 does not prohibit brokers from taking office-exclusive listings, nor does it impede their ability to meet clients’ privacy needs. It simply ensures that all buyers have fair access to the full range of residential listings. NAR has an overview and history of the issue posted on its website.
“NAR doesn’t want to overly regulate,” says Jon Colie, vice president of MLS and industry relations for HomeServices of America and current chairman of the board for Mid-Atlantic regional Bright MLS. The policy doesn’t eliminate private-office exclusives, “coming soon” listings, or even pocket listings, Colie says. Instead, it addresses what he called hybrids, meaning, “We’re marketing it everywhere except the MLS.”
Bill Lublin, broker-owner of Century 21 Philadelphia and a former chair of the committee, was among the majority of forum attendees who spoke in favor of the proposal, calling it a critical step in preserving cooperation in an increasingly fractionalized environment.
“There’s no fractionalized market that is not exclusive, and that is not who we are,” Lublin said in a direct appeal to the committee prior to its vote. “I have had the honor of teaching real estate in many countries. They would open a vein to have the MLS that you are here to protect today.”
Full text of MLS Statement 8.0
Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.
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