NAR's Clear Cooperation Policy 8.0
Updated: May 15
Last fall, NAR approved the Clear Cooperation Policy, which implements a cooperation-enhancing change to MLS Rules & Regulations. As an association-owned MLS, CHS MLS must abide by the new policy and incorporate the NAR language into our Rules & Regulations, effective May 1, 2020. The CHS MLS staff and leadership teams have worked tirelessly in recent months to understand the policy, how it will affect us, and to make locally-specific decisions under the 8.0 umbrella that align with the highest values of our profession. The MLS 8.0 policy is a change, and change is uncomfortable, but we do believe that it will enhance cooperation amongst members, and help you serve your clients better by having full knowledge of listings in your marketplace, and full confidence in your MLS. Below you’ll find everything you need to understand MLS 8.0, including the MLS 8.0 Guide. It is imperative that you understand the full package involved in these changes. The new details surrounding public marketing dates, listing input, and showings, are crucial to success. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your MLS team for help!
NAR's Clear Cooperation Policy 8.0
Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public. [updated 11/11/19]
Rationale: Distribution of listing information and cooperation among MLS participants is pro-competitive and pro-consumer. By joining an MLS, participants agree to cooperate with other MLS participants except when such cooperation is not in their client's interests. This policy is intended to bolster cooperation and advance the positive, pro-competitive impacts that cooperation fosters for consumers. The public marketing of a listing indicates that the MLS Participant has concluded that cooperation with other MLS participants is in their client’s interests.
WHY ARE WE ADOPTING THIS POLICY? As an association-owned MLS, CHS MLS must abide by the new policy and incorporate the NAR language into our Rules & Regulations, effective May 1, 2020. WHEN DO I ENTER MY LISTING NOW? You have control over your listing entry. It must be entered into the MLS database 1 business day after your first public marketing action. If you need extra time to prepare your listing for entry, you may wait, however you may NOT publicly market during the time that you are delaying MLS entry. Other than this crucial entry point, based on your public marketing actions, listing entry remains the same. Per NAR, public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public. CAN I PUBLICLY MARKET MY LISTING BEFORE IT IS IN MLS? Only 1 business day prior. After the first public marketing action, you have 1 business day to enter it into MLS. WHAT COUNTS AS PUBLIC MARKETING? According to NAR, public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public. Note: Private facebook groups comprised of agents working in different firms are considered Public Marketing. Email blasts to licensees of another firm, are also considered public marketing WHAT IF MY SELLER PUBLICLY ADVERTISES THEIR PROPERTY? NAR's Clear Cooperation policy refers to the marketing of the property, not WHO markets it. Sellers will need to be made aware to not advertise their property prior to the agreed upon public marketing date. WHAT IF MY SELLER DOES NOT WANT TO USE MLS? Sellers who wish to not publicly market their property at all, including cooperating broker viewing, listing syndication, prospecting emails, etc., may choose to execute an Office Exclusive listing, if their brokerage allows them to do so. Always consult with your Broker-in-Charge on Office Exclusive listings. Should a Broker-in-Charge and seller determine to use an Office Exclusive, the Office Exclusive form must be filed with CHS MLS within 2 business days. Office Exclusive policies may be found in the MLS Rules & Regulations Section 1.3 DOES THIS CHANGE WHEN MY LISTING MUST BE AVAILABLE TO SHOW? Listings must be available for showing scheduling upon MLS entry. Sellers who need to have restricted showing hours may set those in ShowingTime.
WHAT IF MY LISTING IS OUT OF COMPLIANCE WITH 8.0?
If your listing is out of compliance with MLS 8.0 policies, you may be subject to a fine. Explore the fine structure for a Clear Cooperation violation in Section 9.3 R of the CHS MLS Rules & Regulations. You may also download a CHS MLS fine cheat sheet here.
NAR's Frequently Asked Questions
Do ALL REALTOR® Association MLSs have to adopt the MLS Clear Cooperation Policy?
Yes. By establishing a national policy, it is mandatory that all REALTOR® Association MLSs adopt the policy and have the same consistent standard.
Can a seller or the listing broker “opt out” of the policy’s obligations? No. The new policy does not include an “opt out.” Any listing that is “publicly marketed” must be filed with the service and provided to other MLS Participants for cooperation within (1) one business day.
What is the meaning of “business day?”
Business days exclude Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The NAR MLS Advisory Board specifically revised the policy’s timeframe due to concerns with enforcement to provide greater flexibility for days when submitting the listing to the service could be a challenge. For consistency among all REALTOR® Association MLSs, the approved timeframe is 1 business day.; “holidays” include all recognized federal and state holidays.
Why was this policy approved?
Brokers and MLSs from across the country asked NAR to consider policy that will reinforce the consumer benefits of cooperation. The MLS creates an efficient marketplace and reinforces the pro-competitive, pro-consumer benefits that REALTORS® have long sought to support. After months of discussion and consideration within NAR’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board, this proposal was brought forth for the industry to discuss and consider, then approved by NAR's Board of Directors.
Who made the decision that this policy was needed?
NAR’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board is made up of brokers and MLS executives from across the country. Two dozen volunteers review industry concerns from a wide range of business and regional viewpoints. Potential policy changes are discussed within the group to create a positive impact on the industry and to address broker needs within the marketplace. These proposals move on to the 130-person Multiple Listing Issues and Policies committee for consideration, and if approved, on to NAR’s 900 member board of directors for final ratification.
No. While listings that are displayed on the Internet must be submitted to the MLS and distributed to other MLS participants for cooperation, submitting a listing for cooperation within the MLS does not necessarily require that listing to be included in an MLS’s IDX display, if the seller has opted out of all Internet display. Per MLS rules, participants can work with their listing clients to determine an appropriate marketing plan, taking into account the client’s needs and full disclosure of the benefits to market exposure.
No. "Office exclusive" listings are an important option for sellers concerned about privacy and wide exposure of their property being for sale. In an office exclusive listing, direct promotion of the listing between the brokers and licensees affiliated with the listing brokerage, and one-to-one promotion between these licensees and their clients, is not considered public advertising.
Common examples include divorce situations and celebrity clients. It allows the listing broker to market a property among the brokers and licensees affiliated with the listing brokerage. If office exclusive listings are displayed or advertised to the general public, however, those listings must also be submitted to the MLS for cooperation.
Yes. "Private listing networks" that include more brokers or licensees than those affiliated with the listing brokerage constitute public advertising or display pursuant to Policy Statement 8.0. Listings shared in multi-brokerage networks by participants must be submitted to the MLS for cooperation.
Yes. Policy Statement 8.0 applies to any listing that is or will be available for cooperation. Pursuant to Policy Statement 8.0, "coming soon" listings displayed or advertised to the public by a listing broker must be submitted to the MLS for cooperation with other participants.
No. MLSs have different local rules as to listing turn-in times. If a listing is taken and is not yet ready to be marketed/shown, longer timelines for turn in may apply in local markets. If a listing is marketed to the public, however, Policy Statement 8.0’s 24 hour turn-in timeline goes into effect.
The MLS Tech and Emerging Issues Advisory Board held a conference call on October 30, 2019. Based on feedback and concerns over the time enforcement, the timeframe was changed from '24 hours' to 'one business day.'