ANAHEIM, Calif. — The National Association of Realtors board of directors today approved a repeal of a provision of multiple listing service policy allowing real estate franchisors to display an aggregation of affiliates’ Internet Data Exchange feeds in online search results at franchisors’ websites. The repeal is effective immediately.
Linda Bonarelli Lugo, a Realtor in Long Island, N.Y., spoke in opposition to the repeal, stating that "franchisors out there … have spent a lot of money and time," in implementing the provision, and "it is an unfair burden if it gets passed." She also said, "If we rescind this policy we are opening ourselves up to potential lawsuits," including "restraint of trade."
But Ted Loring, who led an NAR presidential advisory group to evaluate the controversial policy — which had pitted franchise companies against some large brokerage entities that are not franchisors — addressed the board and explained that the original "combatants" involved in the dispute had agreed to the repeal.
"I’d like to share with you my astonishment that the the individuals who sat in that room to discuss whether or not the franchisor IDX provision should be retained, expanded or rescinded reached consensus," Loring said. The parties sitting in that room — the folks who in May were combatants on this floor directly affected by the franchisor indexing provision — supported the motion that is here before you today."
NAR’s board voted last year to allow franchisor display of IDX listings, and the change went into effect in January. After the change went into effect, brokerages including HomeServices of America called for the decision to be repealed.
At NAR’s midyear conference in May, the board of directors ruled that while the presidential advisory group studied the issue, brokers would have to "opt in" if they wanted their IDX listings to appear on franchisor websites.
In an August report, the IDX presidential advisory group recommended that NAR rescind the rule change allowing franchisor display of IDX listings, and support listings syndication as an alternative way for franchisors, real estate brokerage networks, and regional real estate firms to display listings.