At its mid-year conference beginning next week, the National Association of Realtors will be considering a controversial proposal that offers submitted to Realtor-affiliated multiple listing services must include a real estate address that would be visible to other subscribers.
NAR will also be considering a policy requiring data feed sold entries in classified status and guidance on best practices for MLS.
The 1.4 million member committee of the Multiple-Listing Issues and Policies Trade Group had previously postponed the address proposal at the NAR annual conference in November after a lively debate for and against the mandate. After review by the committee’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board, the proposal is now back.
“We talk about location, location, location when it comes to real estate, and if you don’t know the location, that’s not very useful information,” Greg Zadel, chairman of the advisory board and broker-owner of Zadel Realty, told attendees an MLS Council virtual event on Thursday titled CMLS brings it to the table.
“You need to know where the property is and if there is a privacy issue where someone doesn’t want to tell anyone about the property, you have other options to market that property that is already on the MLS.”
‘Must contain a property address where one exists’
The guideline currently being proposed is: “Apartment listings submitted to MLS must include a property address that is available at the time the listing is submitted. If a property address is not available, the package identification number must be provided at the time of submitting the listing. If an address or parcel identification number is not available at the time the listing is submitted, the listing must include at least one legal description of the property sufficient to describe the property’s location. This information is available to participants and subscribers at the time of submission. “
The rationale for the proposal in the committee meeting’s upcoming agenda emphasizes that real estate agents and brokers need the location of real estate in order to serve the interests of their clients. In addition, the disclosure of information when submitting a listing to the MLS is “in line with the three principles of the MLS: efficiency, transparency and collaboration,” it says on the agenda.
Rodney Gansho, Director of Engagement at NAR, who also spoke at the CMLS event, encouraged those to share their feedback on the proposal to participate in the MLS forum that will be held during the mid-year NAR conference, Realtors Legislative Meetings, Will take place practically from May 3rd to 14th and is free for NAR members. The MLS forum will take place on Thursday. May 6 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Central.
The MLS committee will meet at headquarters on Friday, May 7th, from 10am to 12pm and vote on the political proposals. If approved, the proposals will be presented to the NAR Board of Directors for final vote at its meeting on Friday, May 14th, 10 am-1pm at headquarters. The board meeting is open to NAR members and the press.
Sold offers in confidentiality
Another proposed directive proposed to the advisory board by real estate agent Redfin would no longer allow MLSs in secret states to exclude sold listings from IDX and VOW listing data feeds for agent and broker websites, but would exclude MLSs from displaying sales prices. Secret states are Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and some Missouri counties.
“These changes allow MLS to prohibit the display of the sales price if they wish, but allow MLS participants and subscribers to display other MLS sales data,” such as: B. The location of the property, the number of square meters and the number of bedrooms, according to the justification for the proposal.
“As provided in the existing guidelines, after a property is sold, MLS can continue to adopt local MLS rules for using and accessing photos with property listings.”
The status of nondisclosure status does not preclude viewing all listing data sold, and this is reflected in the inconsistent guidelines that MLS have in such states, Redfin said in his proposal to NAR.
“Some MLS allow the display of sold listing content on IDX with the sales price hidden, others the VOW display of sold listing content and others do not offer any sold listing content in data feeds,” wrote the broker.
At the same time, Redfin argued that not displaying sold listings causes brokers to look bad compared to other listing sites that don’t have to adhere to NAR rules.
“We submitted the proposal because we are constantly hearing from consumers and agents who are frustrated that we cannot display offers for sale in some classified states,” Caitlin McCrory, director of industry relations at Redfin, told Inman via email.
“Consumers use this information to learn about the market, and brokers and vendors use this information to operate proprietary CMA products. Current MLS rules, which restrict the display of sold listing information, penalize brokerage participant websites for some portal websites that are not bound by the same rules.
“A lot of these portal websites are displaying listing information that has already been sold, which they can get directly from brokerage feeds.”
She added, “After reaching out to local MLS and finding inconsistent rules and interpretations of national policies, it seemed like the right way to go about reaching consensus and finding a solution. This is a sensible policy change that will give consumers access to more transparent data and create more consistent rules for MLS members. “
Guide to MLS governance, technology, training, and engagement
The MLS Committee will also consider proposals for MLS best practices that are not mandatory but are encouraged to be adopted in order to “provide a high level of service and engagement [MLS] Attendees and subscribers while ensuring that the MLS leadership and staff have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and duties to the MLS. “
- The MLS should provide participants and subscribers with annual updates (in person or through written material) explaining changes to the MLS guidelines and local MLS rules.
- From January 1, 2022, the MLS should offer the RESO-Web-API as the primary data access method and discontinue all other data feed mechanisms (e.g. RETS) in the future.
- Prior to serving in the MLS, officers, directors, and committee members should receive training to assist them in serving in their positions. Each position in the MLS should include an explanation of its main roles and responsibilities.
- MLS should have a board of directors that is unique to the association and if operated as a committee of the association the association should seek to create a separate legal entity for the MLS.
- MLS should be in continuous and consistent contact with their participants and subscribers.
- MLS executives and key MLS employees should have at least 12 hours of training every two years on: MLS guidelines, technology, customer service, or other MLS-related topics. Attending industry events and conferences is an acceptable way to get an education.
Finally, Charlie Lee, Senior Counsel and Director of Legal Affairs at NAR, offered attendees at the CMLS event a small update on the rule changes expected due to an agreement between NAR and the US Department of Justice in November. Some of the expected rule changes would allow the public display of commissions and universal access to lockers for non-brokers.
NAR announced in November that the trade group would work with the DOJ to agree detailed rule changes within 45 days and then hold a special virtual meeting of the NAR Board of Directors to approve the new rules. NAR expected the new rules to take effect in the first quarter of 2021.
But in March, NAR Inman announced that the trade group was continuing to work through the details of the rule changes with the DOJ, “which can be a process that can take months.”
On Thursday, Lee clarified that the 45-day deadline was when NAR had to submit a draft rule to the DOJ, “which we did immediately.” According to Lee, NAR is currently awaiting feedback from the DOJ on these proposed rules.
“There is no point in the agreement when the DOJ must respond and by when the proposed rules for board approval must be finalized,” Lee said.
“You are dealing with the government and so there are some legal requirements that require comments to be taken into account. Then we cannot ignore the fact that there has been a change in administration that is also affecting the timing. “
Email Andrea V. Brambila.
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