MLS & Associations

One-size-fits-all approach to portal listing feeds questioned

Consultant: Model agreement should be seen as starting point for negotiations

A model agreement hammered out by industry players representing listing portals, MLSs and brokerages in the hopes of standardizing the terms under which listings are provided to big search sites like Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com should be viewed as a floor, not a ceiling, says a prominent real estate industry consultant and attorney. Brian Larson, who advises brokers and MLSs, says the model content licensing agreement -- drafted by Clareity Consulting, and offered by nonprofit real estate intellectual property protection group REDPLAN -- is worth buying (REDPLAN is providing the model agreement to members at no charge, and will license it to nonmembers for $500). But Larson cautions readers of his blog that they should regard the terms in any standard agreement "only as a floor and not as a ceiling. Starting with an agreement that the portals have already said they’d be willing to sign is potentially leaving a lot of value on the table. You will never know whether a given po...