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NAR poised to close one front on war with regulators

Guest perspective: 'Exclusive agency' squabbles waste everyone's time

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"When we came back from the war the banners and flags hung on everyone's doorwe danced and we sang in the street and the church bells rang..." -Pink Floyd, "The Hero's Return" The National Association of Realtors is poised to resolve what has been one of the least meaningful of federal regulators' beefs with organized real estate: squabbles over whether multiple listing services can withhold so-called "exclusive agency" listings from advertising sites such as IDX and Realtor.com, while sharing the predominant "exclusive-right-to-sell" listings. (IDX is the program under which brokers in an MLS can advertise other participating brokers' listings on their Web sites.) The NAR's MLS policy-making body will consider a proposal at its national meeting on Nov. 11 to amend NAR policy on the topic. I fear many will view the proposed policy as a capitulation to the FTC, but NAR should adopt it because it may bring an end to a pointless war of attrition. The FTC should welcome the ch...