NAR may suspend real estate franchisor IDX listing display rule

Commitee recommends work group revisit issue

WASHINGTON — An influential committee that considers policies for multiple listing services has voted to recommend that the National Association of Realtors suspend until November a recent rule change that allows franchisors to index and display Internet Data Exchange (IDX) listings in markets where they have obtained permission to do so from their franchisees.

Before the rule change was implemented in January, franchisors were limited to displaying listings represented by their franchisees. IDX listings include all listings of participating brokers in a given market served by a multiple listing service.

A number of brokerages who belong to two brokerage networks — The Realty Alliance, and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World — have objected, saying that franchisors are not participants in multiple listing services and should not have the right to display IDX listings.

Critics have said the rule change puts small independent brokers at a disadvantage by giving the biggest national franchisors the ability to create national listings portals with comprehensive and up-to-date listing information rivaling or bettering third-party sites like Zillow and Trulia.

After hearing from franchisors and representatives of brokerages including HomeServices of America, NAR’s Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee voted to recommend that the rule change — approved by the committee and NAR’s board of directors last November — be suspended until NAR’s annual meeting in November.