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NAR backing Realcomp appeal

Michigan MLS defends right not to publish exclusive-agency listings

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With the continued support of the National Association of Realtors, a Detroit-area multiple listing service will appeal an order requiring the MLS to transmit "exclusive agency" property listings favored by discount brokers to public Web sites.Realcomp II MLS's refusal to publish the listings creates a "significant impediment" to consumers' ability to access listings represented by limited-service brokers, and helps protect full-service brokers from competition, the Federal Trade Commission said in an Oct. 30 opinion (see story).The commission's ruling was a setback in Realcomp's three-year legal battle with the FTC, which began with an October 2006 complaint by the federal agency. Six other MLSs accused of similar practices entered into consent orders with the FTC requiring them to stop.But Realcomp has defended its practices, racking up more than $2 million in legal expenses in the process.Exclusive-agency contracts are often employed by brokers offering flat-fee,...