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realMLS Implements NAR’s MLS Clear Cooperation Policy

MLS Clear Cooperation Policy

Effective January 1, 2020, realMLS (aka RealtyWEB MLS) will implement NAR’s MLS Clear Cooperation Policy. 

At the November 2019 NAR meetings, a new MLS Policy Statement was approved titled the Clear Cooperation Policy. This policy states: Within 24 hours 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 (such as email blasts)
  • multi-brokerage listing sharing networks
  • any application available to the general public

So why was this new policy put in place? It actually stemmed from consumer complaints.  Consumers were conceptualizing that there was an “underground market” and thereby a lack of transparency in the real estate industry.  This idea of a limited exposure market place creates a number of issues for real estate professionals and consumers:

  1. The fiduciary and/or statutory duties of a real estate agent/broker requires that they act in the best interest of their clients.  Intentionally limiting exposure as a primary business model invites regulatory scrutiny.
  2. Realtors Code of Ethics – the practice of limited exposure could create ethical concerns.
  3. Fair Housing-does limited exposure include all consumer classes, is everyone being afforded the same access to housing opportunities.

The decision to provide guidance to brokers and the MLS’s was made.  It was initially developed by NAR’s advisory board composed of large and small brokers, MLS executives, and Board executives and voted in by the NAR Executive Committee.

This policy is NOT:

  • designed to stop marketing but to enhance the marketing plan for listings
  • about getting between the Realtor/client relationship
  • about losing their right to privacy.  If a property can be advertised then it can be in the MLS
  • about Coming Soon
  • about endorsing or shunning any business model
The policy IS:
  • about ensuring that cooperation remains at the forefront of our business industry
  • about the best interest of the consumer
  • about transparency. Making sure all MLS members have access to all listings even if they don’t know the “right” agent or belong to the “right” groups
  • about protecting the rights of all our members to serve your customer by ensuing you have access to all the inventory

In response to the new policy, realMLS has included this language on a NEW SELLER WAIVER FORM.  You may find the updated Waiver on Flexmls>Forms/Info>realMLS Listing Agreements and/or the section titled New realMLS Seller Waiver.  The updated form will be sent to all authorized third party vendors.

If you would like additional information please contact us or here is a FAQ from NAR on the Clear Cooperation Policy.

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