A Realtor association in New York is considering whether to sell its association-owned Central New York multiple listing service to establish a privately owned MLS.
The Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors discussed the “proposed sale/dissolution of the MLS” at a general membership meeting Wednesday.
“There was a discussion at the membership meeting but the issue has been tabled,” said Lynnore Fetyko, CEO for the association. “I’m not sure when the issue may come back on the table.”
The association and its MLS, the Central New York Information Service, have an estimated 1,300 members, Fetyko said.
Also at the meeting, association members elected three new directors. Fetyko said Michael Asterino of Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, Laurie Omans of Prudential First Properties and Mark Haws of RE/MAX Masters were elected as new directors, to be installed in January. Fetyko on Friday refused to provide a complete list of board members’ names–she said she was awaiting approval from the association’s lawyer.
Haws won the election as a write-in candidate – he had not been nominated for the position. A broker associate at RE/MAX Masters in Fayetteville, Haws said he is unconvinced whether a sale of the association MLS is the right thing to do. “I’m sure they’re going to look into it more. So far I haven’t seen anything that would cause me to sell the MLS.”
Joseph Nastri of Nastri Real Estate in Syracuse, president-elect for the association, said the association’s leaders have been in discussions for about a year about the possible sale of the Central New York MLS. “We just are researching the avenues and weighing the pros and cons,” Nastri said today.
“Some of our local brokers had researched it (and) thought that it may be advantageous to them and to their agents to have it privately owned. They approached us and started talking to us about it. There really is no timeline,” he added.
The association’s leadership have spoken with the operators of a privately owned MLS in the Buffalo, N.Y., area, an MLS in the Virginia Beach, Va., area, and operators of MLSs in other parts of the country, Nastri also said, including Oregon and Washington.
He said that a local, privately owned MLS would be useful to association members if there were any efforts to establish an MLS system covering a larger region in New York, or if a small group of brokers in the local market attempted to establish their own independent MLS.
“There are private companies that go into localities and establish an MLS in an effort to lure one or two or three brokers who buy into the system. Our concern: We have always had great cooperation among Realtors in sharing our data. We thought maybe that if it were privately owned, it will be easier to control on a local level.
“It may or may not stave off the state coming in and establishing a statewide MLS. We are concerned about control of our local data.” Nastri said he is “sure it will be a topic for discussion” at future association meetings.
Though Nastri said he has heard rumors about a possible statewide MLS system in New York, an executive for the New York State Association of Realtors denied that any such discussions had taken place.
“There are no discussions going on within this association to create a statewide MLS. There is no desire at this time and no discussions going on in the leadership of the organization,” said Charles M. Staro, CEO for the state association.
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