BrokerageIndustry News

MLS backs off property listings display restrictions

FTC investigation prompts Northeast Wisconsin MLS to change rules
Published on Sep 8, 2006

The Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin MLS has changed its rules on the types of home listings that it allows to appear on some public Web sites after an investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The Aug. 29 rule change amends an earlier MLS policy, adopted in October 2001, that prohibited exclusive agency listings from being displayed at the Realtor.com property-search Web site and at the Web sites of MLS members who participate in an online data exchange with other brokers called Internet Data Exchange. In exclusive listing agreements home sellers are not obligated to pay their agent if they locate a buyer on their own. Alternatively, the more common exclusive right to sell listing agreement -- which requires sellers to pay their agent even if the sellers locate the buyer -- had no such MLS restrictions. National Association of Realtors general counsel Laurie Janik announced earlier this year that 14 separate government investigations were focused on MLS policies...

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