SAN FRANCISCO — Association and multiple listing service executives at the National Association of Realtors annual conference are gearing up to discuss a proposed policy that would require listing brokers to submit a listing to the MLS within one business day of marketing a property to the public.
At the Realtors Conference and Expo Friday morning, Tina Grimes told hundreds of association executives that the proposed policy, dubbed the “Clear Cooperation Policy,” had been changed from requiring a property be submitted to the MLS within 24 hours to one business day — an adjustment that puts the policy in line with one recently adopted by Bright MLS in the Mid-Atlantic region.
That policy has inspired controversy, including a pre-litigation letter from heavily-funded brokerage Compass, as members who violate it face steep fines.
Grimes is the Association Executives Committee’s representative on the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee, which will vote whether to send the proposed policy to NAR’s Executive Committee Saturday morning. If the Executive Committee approves the policy, it will then go to the trade group’s 800-member board of directors for a final vote on Monday.
“The policy proposal has generated just a little bit of conversation,” Grimes told attendees at the conference’s AE Forum, half-jokingly.
“Opinion largely seems to fall into three groups: those who support it as is; those who like the spirit behind it, but feel it needs a little bit of tweaking; and those who are just against it.”
She said the advisory board that proposed the policy had received nearly 100 pages of feedback, comments and letters about the proposal.
“It’s been amazing,” she said.
If the policy passes as currently written, it will be effective Jan. 1 and the implementation requirement will be March 1. But the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS) has recommended that NAR delay the implementation deadline to May 1. That suggestion is likely to be discussed Saturday morning at the MLIP Committee meeting.
Grimes offered a personal opinion on the debate, noting that discussions about the MLS had changed to emphasize cooperation rather than marketing.
“Regardless of the opinion you have about it, I personally think it’s been invaluable in the conversation it has created. We’ve been talking about ‘coming soon’s and pocket listings for years, but from the standpoint of the MLS being a marketing mechanism,” she said.
“The conversation now, and what is exciting to me, is that this proposal has shifted from the prior conversation to the fact that the MLS is, while it facilitates marketing, it is not and has never been a marketing platform. It is a platform for cooperation.” Attendees clapped.
She added, “I’m thrilled that that’s the direction the conversation has gone. Whether the policy passes as is, is amended, fails, whatever, I’m glad that we’re finally having the right conversation.”