Industry News

Realtor multiple listing policies investigated

Federal and state agencies probe more MLS display rules

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Justice Department, among other federal and state agencies, is investigating several multiple listing services around the country over policies that prevent some types of property listings from being displayed on home-search sites such as Realtor.com, a National Association of Realtors official told MLS executives during a meeting here Saturday. Laurie Janik, general counsel for the trade group, said that there are a "number of MLSs around the country that are currently being investigated." The national trade group's stance is to allow Realtor-operated MLSs to place restrictions on exclusive agency property listings, and because of that there is insurance available for those organizations that are sued over the practice, she said. An exclusive agency property listing is one that allows the seller to attempt to sell on his or her own while also providing an opportunity for a real estate agent to sell the property. The real estate industry's property listings po...