In November, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Board of Directors approved MLS Statement 8.0, also known as the Clear Cooperation Policy. Aimed at benefitting consumers and ensuring a level playing field for brokers, the new policy requires MLS-participating brokers to share listings with other brokers in the MLS within one business day of marketing the property to the public.
Have you ever seen a for-sale sign for a house that wasn’t in the MLS, or have a buyer ask about a property they found online that you knew nothing about? Low inventory levels and tech-enabled pocket listings have resulted in a growing number of off-MLS listings, leading to questions of fairness and serving sellers’ best interests. Amid mounting frustration, brokers, agents and MLSs across the country asked us to consider policy that would reinforce the consumer benefits of cooperation.
After much deliberation, and with considerable input from members, brokers and MLSs, NAR’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board proposed the Clear Cooperation Policy. The board concluded that leaving listings outside the broader marketplace excludes consumers, undermining REALTORS®’ commitment to provide equal opportunity to all.
NAR President Vince Malta explains, “When properties for sale aren’t input into the MLS, it skews market data, makes it harder for our members to serve clients, reduces buyer choice, creates a potential fair housing risk and often hurts sellers’ interests. I’m pleased the Board of Directors decided that’s not who we are, and overwhelmingly approved the Clear Cooperation Policy.”
What Is the Clear Cooperation Policy?
The policy states that within one business day of marketing a property to the public, brokers must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes everything from yard signs and flyers in windows to web marketing and social media posts. Effective Jan. 1, MLSs have until May 1, 2020 to adopt the changes.
Pocket and “Coming Soon” Listings
The new policy doesn’t prohibit these specialized listings, but does change some of the rules. Pocket—or office-exclusive—listings are an important option when privacy and exposure are concerns, such as with divorce or a celebrity client. These listings are allowed when they are in the best interest of the seller and not advertised to the public.
“Coming Soon,” a popular marketing tactic to create exposure ahead of showings, is accommodated if they are shared with the MLS’ participants when the listing is advertised publicly. MLSs have flexibility in creating processes around these listings and can add clarity by defining specific statuses and showing requirements as well as determining enforcement measures.
The Impact of the Clear Cooperation Policy
Our MLS is a rare and unique system in which competitors cooperate for the benefit of consumers. It is an indispensable tool that creates a healthy and efficient marketplace serving the interests of sellers, buyers and practitioners. But it only works when REALTORS® act ethically to cooperate with other REALTORS® and respect their exclusive relationships with clients.
According to Rene Galicia, director of MLS Engagement at NAR, “The intent of the Clear Cooperation Policy is to benefit members, consumers and the industry in general by ensuring access to all available listing data. It reinforces the pro-competitive, pro-consumer aspects of the MLS as a broker cooperative and helps power innovation in the industry by providing a central source of aggregated listing data. I encourage brokers to embrace this new policy and get involved in your local MLS’ implementation process.”
Visit nar.realtor/ClearCooperation to see the full policy, a webinar, FAQs, and more.
Their is big difference between cooperation and compensation! None MLS listing, Coming Soon and Pocket listing ….Big difference…We have companies that have none mls listing that cooperate and compensate! You are killing their business…Customer benefits with a full service at lower fee on the listing side, with a market co op out commission. Still getting full service and saving money.
This is ridiculous. With this rule, NAR is punishing brokers with listings of their own who had worked hard and full time for many years to gather a good portfolio of buyers/investors, to benefit realtors who don’t have listings nor buyers maybe because they are part-time realtors or just because they don’t have the ability and/or knowledge and dedication required to accomplish that. This sounds like a communist rule to me. Just my personal opinion.
There are lots of reasons Sellers may not want to list their homes on the MLS. We’ve had clients who were sick or dying and didn’t want a parade of unprofessional agents calling from the driveway to show their home. We’ve also had sellers who only want pre-qualified buyers entering their home, law enforcement officers who have privacy concerns, and many who wish to save thousands, possibly tens of thousands of dollars by not having to pay two commissions required on the MLS. Sellers offering financing want to know more about the buyers they’d be lending to than most agents are willing to provide. Real estate representation should always be doing what’s best for the client, not providing inventory so part-time hairdressers and Uber drivers can pay their NAR dues. Are plumbers who spend money on advertising required to give competing plumbers their client list? This smoke screen was never about doing what’s best for Sellers, it i just NAR trying to find a reason to exist and keep as many people as possible paying their dues. There will be a class action lawsuit on this and the NAR commies will LOSE again.
This is a ridiculous rule. Why would NAR determine what the best selling solution is for a home owner? If NAR is looking to benefit consumers and members, why not take away the third party .com’s that are false advertising and conducting transactions without going through a realtor or broer? Groups like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor have exclusive access to our home inventory and they have no membership? They make up fictitious listings to entice consumers, they sell our listings to the highest bidder. If NAR wants to protect consumers and members, while ensuring accuracy in market data, then take away the extortion counter-parts that are taking transactions away from the hard work of licensed agents.