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Debate flares over ‘MLS’ in Web site URLs

NAR amends guidance on issue

The acceptable use of "MLS" in Realtor Web sites is still an open question, though members of a National Association of Realtors committee have amended language in a case study to avoid potentially "overbroad" guidance. Use of "multiple listing service" and "MLS" in Realtor Web site and company names has been a contentious issue in some markets, and the issue escalated to a lawsuit against a Minnesota MLS that had adopted restrictions on the use of the terms. That case was settled. Members of the NAR Professional Standards Committee last year approved a case interpretation relating to Realtor standards in presenting a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public. That case study provided an example in which a Realtor using the Web site was in violation of the Code of Ethics and Standard of Practice because the Realtor was not the operator of a multiple listing service. "While Realt...