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Clear Cooperation Policy

April 29, 2023

NAR’s Clear Cooperation Policy Definition

The Policy 8.0: Clear Cooperation went into effect for NorthstarMLS subscribers on March 1, 2020. The policy as written and published by NAR® is below.

“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.”

FAQs

Why was this policy approved?
Brokers and MLSs from across the country asked NAR to consider policy that will reinforce the
consumer benefits of cooperation. The MLS creates an efficient marketplace and reinforces the
pro-competitive, pro-consumer benefits that REALTORS® have long sought to support. After
months of discussion and consideration within NAR’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues
Advisory Board, this proposal was brought forth for the industry to discuss and consider, then
approved by NAR’s Board of Directors.

Who made the decision that this policy was needed?
NAR’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board is made up of brokers and MLS
executives from across the country. Two dozen volunteers review industry concerns from a
wide range of business and regional viewpoints. Potential policy changes are discussed within
the group to create a positive impact on the industry and to address broker needs within the
marketplace. The policy was strongly supported by the NAR MLS Committee and the NAR Board
of Directors.

What exclusive listings and property types are applicable under the new MLS Statement 8.0?
The obligations of Statement 8.0 were specifically adopted to address concerns with residential
“for sale” exclusive listing contracts required to be filed with the service. Based on the Advisory
Board’s discussions that did not include commercial properties, rental properties, and new
construction developments with multiple properties (single family homes, condos, etc.).

Can a seller or the listing broker “opt out” of the policy’s obligations?

No. The new policy does not include an “opt out.” Any listing that is “publicly marketed” must
be filed with the service and provided to other MLS Participants for cooperation within (1) one
business day.

Does Policy Statement 8.0 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 among the brokers and licensees affiliated with the listing brokerage, and one-to-one
promotion among these licensees and their clients, is not considered public advertising. If office
exclusive listings are displayed or advertised to the general public, however, those listings must
also be submitted to the MLS for cooperation.

How does Policy Statement 8.0 affect my existing Withheld listings?
For any of your currently Withheld listings that you are publicly marketing, you have two
options. (1) Within one business day of the March 1 policy effective date, convert the Withheld
listings to Active or Sold so that you may continue to publicly market them; or 2) Remove all
existing public marketing (placement on public websites, yard signs, postings, etc) so that you
may leave it in Withheld.

If an office exclusive listing is shared with me by an agent in my brokerage, may I share it with
my clients?
Yes. You may share office exclusive listings from your brokerage with your established clients
list. You may not share the listing outside that list, such as emails to a purchased marketing
and/or neighborhood “farm” list, nor any other forms of public marketing such as the examples
identified above.

What if my sellers publicly market their listing? Do Policy 8.0 requirements apply?
Yes, if your seller(s) publicly market their listing, then within one business day, the status must
be changed from Withheld to Active (or Coming Soon if it is not being shown). For sellers not
wanting their property on the MLS, we encourage you to discuss this with them when having
them sign the Certification to Withhold form.

Does Policy Statement 8.0 require listings to be submitted to the MLS if they are advertised to
a select group of brokers outside the listing broker’s office?
Yes. “Private listing networks” that include more brokers or licensees than those affiliated with
the listing brokerage constitute public advertising or display pursuant to Policy Statement 8.0.
Listings shared in multi-brokerage networks by participants must be submitted to the MLS for
cooperation.

Does holding a Broker Open House for a Broker Price Opinion count as public marketing?
Yes, if agents/brokers from outside your brokerage are invited, then it is considered public
marketing. If it is restricted to only agents within your own brokerage, then it is not public
marketing.

Does Policy Statement 8.0 require a broker to turn in every listing to the MLS within 24 hours
of signing the listing?
No. NorthstarMLS requires that a broker submit a listing within 2 business days of a signed
listing agreement. If a listing is taken and is not yet ready to be marketed/shown, a Withheld
Form must be filed. If a listing is marketed to the public, however, Policy Statement 8.0’s one
business day turn-in timeline goes into effect.

What is considered a “business day?”
Business days exclude Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays.
Is the new policy consistent with Article 3 of the NAR Code of Ethics?
Yes. By joining the MLS, Participants agree to be bound by the MLS Rules and Regulations. Per
the policy’s rationale, the public marketing of a listing indicates that the MLS participant has
concluded that cooperation with other MLS participants is in their client’s best interests.

 

Does the policy apply when an agent is selling her own home?

If there is no listing contract with the brokerage, the agent may sell her own home as a For Sale By Owner.  Any advertising cannot be done under the brokerage branding (including the yard sign).  If there is a listing contract with the brokerage or the advertising done under the brokerage branding, then Clear Cooperation applies and the listing must be made available to all cooperating agents and their buyers through the MLS.

 

Can a listing be advertised if I don’t put the address or location?

No, this is still public marketing and would need to be added to the MLS within one (1) business day.

I have a question that is not answered here. Who do I contact?
Contact our Rules & Regulations Department with any questions. You may reach us at 651-251-
3210 or rules@northstarmls.com. Our business hours are M-F, 8:00-5:00.

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