The saga among real estate brokers in the Chicago area took another turn when the Chicago Association of Realtors reversed its position on an all-in or all-out brokerage listing policy.


The board of directors for the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois approved a motion in early June to require that if a brokerage firm participates in the MLS service, all of its offices within the market area must participate. But last week, the CAR board of directors reversed its position on the policy and will cast its vote against the policy at the upcoming MLSNI board meeting.


For the last several months, the MLS has been at war over what the organization can do with broker property listings. Some brokers would like to selectively have their listings published on the MLS while others in the MLSNI argue all or none.


The CAR memo did not outline why it had reversed course on the policy, except to say that “CAR directors did not feel it was in the best interest of its membership, who are MLSNI users, to implement the policy at this time.”


Darcy Dougherty, CEO of CAR, was not available for comment Thursday afternoon.


The all-in or all-out policy was not on the agenda for the June 23 meeting of the MLSNI board of directors as originally planned. That’s because shareholder boards in addition to CAR felt “passing the policy now would close doors on active policy debate that would be hard to reopen,” according to the memo.


The original decision would have prohibited member brokers from putting listings from some offices, but not others in the MLS database.


MLSNI is one of the largest association-owned MLSs in the country, with about 39,000 members in more than 6,900 realty offices.


Coldwell Banker was the first Chicago-area brokerage to begin pulling listings from certain offices out of MLSNI. The brokerage in March pulled all of its for-sale listings from 10 of its offices in Chicagoland’s North Shore region, and instead posted the listings exclusively with MAP MLS, a smaller-broker owned operation based in nearby Palatine, Ill.


Koenig & Strey GMAC, which has 13 offices and 700 sales agents in the Chicago area, followed suit and pulled the listings from its Northshore offices out of MLSNI in favor of MAP. Baird & Warner apparently has done the same.


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