MLS of Choice: Will NAR’s New MLS Policies Affect Me?

The Board of Directors of the National Association of Realtors adopted changes to MLS Policy Statements during the 2017 Annual Convention. The new policy is commonly referred to as “MLS of Choice” and goes into effect July 1, 2018.

Why was the change made? The MLS industry is changing dramatically, as is the business of brokers and agents. The new policy offers flexibility to MLS subscribers and encourages innovation and value-driven competition among MLSs. In some regions of the US, brokers may eliminate paying multiple fees for numerous MLS subscriptions if they were previously “required to join”.

What has changed? Prior to the change, some MLSs imposed the jurisdictional boundaries of their owner associations for the basis to assess MLS fees. In other words, if you were a member of the Mountain View Board of Realtors, you were required to subscribe to the Mountain View MLS. That is no longer the case. Brokers and agents will be able to choose their primary MLS based on the services provided. In addition, the MLS may not charge for a waiver – a practice some MLSs had in place until now. (IRES has not.)

Does this impact IRES subscribers? For IRES subscribers, there is no change since IRES adopted a waiver policy many years ago. The only additional piece of information we will request on the Waiver from MLS Fees form is the name of your primary MLS, if it is not IRES. We will verify your subscription with that primary MLS and you’re good to go.

What has not changed? The Managing Broker/Owner must subscribe to the MLS before any licensee can subscribe. This is in line with license law and a “responsible party” in a supervisory role.

Can I still belong to more than one MLS if I so choose? Yes. The key word is “choice”.

If you have any questions about Policy Statements 7.42 and 7.43, also known as MLS of Choice, NAR has posted a variety of resources on their site and you are also welcome to reach out to IRES.

As always, we look forward to continuing to provide innovative solutions that streamline business practices, along with exceptional customer service and training. Thank you for being an IRES subscriber.

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