Seven multiple listing services (MLS) in Northern California have finalized an agreement to share their listings, creating a region-wide consortium for MLS access. The agreement covers 21 counties, including Sacramento, San Francisco, Alameda, Marin counties, and 60,000 agents.

Agents in the region can now access MLS information online and the properties themselves via lockboxes.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the seven MLSs that have agreed to reciprocate lockbox key codes have been sharing listings data since 2008.

Members of seven multiple listing services (MLS) in Northern California that have been sharing listings data for more than three years can now access lockboxes throughout Northern California.

The 60,000 combined subscribers of the seven MLSs have been able to join their MLS of choice have full access to all seven MLS systems since 2008, and that has been working well, said Jim Harrison, president and CEO of Sunnyvale-based MLSListings Inc.

But if an agent wanted to access a lockbox outside of their home market, they still had to join that other MLS, pay its dues, and join that other lockbox system and pay for that as well, Harrison said.

There are three different lockbox systems, but the seven MLSs and their shareholder associations have now agreed to reciprocate key codes.

MLSListings, for example, has waived its requirement for subscribers from the cooperating MLSs to join the MLS in order to have the market area key code added to an out-of-area agent’s lockbox key, Harrison said.

Out of area agents must sill pay lockbox reciprocal fees to have a key code added to their key, he said. So while the MLS dues requirement was waived three years ago to share MLS system access among the cooperating MLSs, organizations that operate lockbox systems are still charging out of area agents fees to add the additional key code to their keys.

Other MLSs participating in the exchange agreement are the Bay East Association of Realtors MLS, Contra Costa Association of Realtors MLS, EBRDI, the San Francisco Association of Realtors MLS, BAREIS MLS, and MetroList.

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