MLS & Associations

What’s NAR’s role when Realtor associations go to war?

Trade group offers advice on avoiding costly litigation

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More local Realtor associations and MLSs are likely to merge in 2017. But as some high-profile cases show, consolidation does not necessarily last forever, and fights between associations can be costly. Upon hearing about litigation between associations, some observers may wonder what role their parent, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), plays. After all, local associations fall under NAR's umbrella and are required to follow NAR's rules to keep their professional liability insurance and NAR charter. But the national trade group's hands, it appears, are mostly tied once a disagreement reaches the litigation stage. Conflict and competition Regional MLSs owned by multiple Realtor associations can be especially fertile ground for disputes. Because the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) "board of choice" policy allows its 1.2 million members to choose which local association to join, such associations often compete for membership. If one association feels its fel...