MLS auctioned for $250K after years of association infighting

Trade group dispute cost hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • New York's Capital Region Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS) was dissolved during a public auction after four years of litigation between the two trade associations that owned it.
  • The Eastern New York Regional Multiple Listing Service, a new subsidiary of the Greater Capital Association of Realtors, won CRMLS's assets with a bid of $250,000.
  • The legal battle is not over. The two associations disagree on how to split the $250,000 from the auction.
  • The substantial litigation bills of this battle may serve as a lesson for future association and MLS disputes; impasses that end up in court come with a hefty cost to your wallet and time.

It didn’t feel like a typical auction, the fast-talking auctioneer and prospective buyers shouting numbers in rapid-fire succession nowhere in sight. The room was quiet. About two dozen people witnessed an unprecedented event.