NAR Voted to Remove Forced MLS Membership
Are you working in an area with several MLS (Multiple Listing Services)? Currently, you must be a member of the MLS that your broker belongs to – any pay the required fees. In a ground-breaking decision by the NAR, agents may be able to subscribe to the multiple listing service they prefer to use… and opt-out of the ones they don’t!
The National Association of Realtors board of directors met at the beginning of the month to vote on several Multiple Listing Service policy changes, including the “MLS of Choice.” After much debate, the policy change passed and as of July 2018, real estate agents will no longer be required to be a member of a particular MLS (as long as they subscribe to at least one MLS).
This is a big win for those real estate agents that live in an area with two or more MLSs. Typically agents have one MLS service that they use, but they have to pay the subscription fee for both. According to Inman News, “MLSs will be required to provide a no-cost waiver of all MLS fees for such agents, and MLSs may, if they choose, require agents and their brokers to sign a certification for non-use of their MLS services, which, if violated, can include penalties (such as back-billing) and termination of the waiver.”
Why did they make this change?
The previous policy allowed MLSs to require that all licensed salespersons affiliated with a broker’s office subscribe to the MLS. So if your broker is a member and the broker’s office lies within the territorial jurisdiction of the association that owns and operates the MLS, all agents must be members and pay the MLS dues. According to the real estate brokers who were pushing for this change, the current policy forced brokers or their agents to pay for MLS services they did not want or find valuable and hurt agent recruiting / retention. The policy also discriminated against any newer business models that may offer superior service and data to the real estate agents and brokers. Learn more about the “MLS of Choice” below…
More about the NAR Policy Change and “MLS of Choice”
What do YOU think about this change in MLS membership? We’d love to hear from you!