The National Association of REALTORS® has mandated a new rule known as the “Clear Cooperation Policy”. Your CTXMLS Board of Governors voted to adopt the policy this week.
This policy will be effective May 1, 2020
What the policy says: “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.”
- What is 1 business day: Business days exclude Saturdays, Sundays and recognized federal and state holidays.
- Does the policy apply to listings taken prior to May 1, 2020: The Clear Cooperation Policy will apply to listings taken on or after May 1, 2020.
- How does the new deadline of “1 business day from marketing a property to the public” correspond with the existing MLS filing deadline rule? The five-day filing deadline of the MLS Rules, is the amount of time that a broker has to file the listing with the service after receiving all of the appropriate signatures on the listing contract. Once a broker begins to publicly market the property, they have 1 business day to file property with the service.
- Does the Clear Cooperation policy prohibit Office Exclusives? No. “Office Exclusive” listings are an important option for sellers concerned about privacy and wide exposure of their property being for sale. In an Office Exclusive listing, direct promotion of the listing between the brokers and licensees affiliated with the listing brokerage, and one-to-one promotion between these licensees and their clients, is not considered public advertising. Common examples include divorce situations, celebrity clients or government/military reasons. It allows the listing broker to market a property among the brokers and licensees affiliated with the listing brokerage. If Office Exclusive listings are displayed or advertised to the general public, however, those listings must also be submitted to the MLS for cooperation.
- What exclusive listings and property types are applicable under the new Clear Cooperation MLS rule? The obligations of the new rule are specifically adopted to address concerns with residential “for sale” Exclusive Listing contracts required to be filed with the service. Based on the NAR Advisory Board’s discussions the policy did not include commercial properties, rental properties, and new construction developments with multiple properties (single family homes, condos, etc.)
- Does the Clear Cooperation policy interfere with the fiduciary duty owed to a seller if the seller does not want the property in the MLS but does want to publicly market the property? The policy does not interfere with the fiduciary duty owed to the seller. Prior to entering into a listing contract, listing brokers must explain their obligations under license laws, discrimination policies, local MLS rules, and more, including the new requirement for the Clear Cooperation Policy. This does not stop the seller from exempting their listing from the service when related to privacy concerns, nor does it require publication and syndication of their property on the Internet, but it does trigger a duty to inform and cooperate with other MLS participants and subscribers when a property is publicly marketed. By publicly marketing the property, the seller and listing broker have confirmed that market exposure is in the client’s best interest. MLS participants and subscribers should promote the consumer benefits of the service and how it can lead to the best price and most favorable terms.
- Does the Clear Cooperation Policy apply to non-active listings? Yes. This policy applies to any listing that is or will be available for cooperation. Pursuant to the Clear Cooperation Policy, “coming soon” listings displayed or advertised to the public by a listing broker must be submitted to the MLS for cooperation with other participants. Listing brokers may use “Temporarily Off Market” status for those listings requiring showing restrictions while the property is being made showing ready.
- To report non-compliance with this policy: Send email to CCP@ctxmls.com
The reasoning behind NAR’s adoption of the Clear Cooperation Policy is to effectively end the growing practice of publicizing listings for days or weeks without making them universally available to other agents. This reinforces the value of the MLS and affirms cooperation between brokers.
Moving forward, we will continue to provide education and clarity to this new policy. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to CEO Beckie Whittier or the CTXMLS Board of Governors.
Jared Bryan, 2020 Chairman of CTXMLS Board of Governors
Beckie Whittier, CEO CTXMLS