Clear Cooperation: New N.A.R. Mandatory MLS Policy

Takes Effect: April 3, 2020

Clear Cooperation Policy 8.0 has been mandated by the National Association of REALTORS® and takes effect starting April 3, 2020.

Learn the Rule:

Section 1.01 – Clear Cooperation
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. (Adopted 11/19)

Note : Exclusive listing information for required property types must be filed and distributed to other MLS Participants for cooperation under the Clear Cooperation Policy. This applies to listings filed under Section 1 and listings exempt from distribution under Section 1.3 of the NAR model MLS rules if it is being publicly marketed, and any other situation where the listing broker is publicly marketing an exclusive listing that is required to be filed with the service and is not currently available to other MLS Participants.

Here's what you need to know:

The rationale for this rule is that distribution of listing information and cooperation among MLS Participants is pro-competitive and pro-consumer. By joining the MLS, Participants agree to cooperate with other MLS Participants except when such cooperation is not in their customer's best interest. The public marketing of a listing indicates that the MLS Participant has concluded that cooperation with other MLS Participants is in their customer's best interests. This policy is intended to further increase cooperation and advance the positive, pro-competitive impacts that cooperation fosters for consumers.

We will be sending out several communications with access to resources to help our members understand the new rule and how it applies to your personal business.

Clear Cooperation Step by Step

When does Clear Cooperation 8.0 effect my listing?

When Does Clear Cooperation Effect My Listing

What is considered public marketing:

As stated in the rule, once a property is publicly marketed the listing MUST be entered into the MLS within one (1) business day.

What is Public Marketing?

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why was this policy approved?
Brokers and MLSs from across the county 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 with 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. The policy was strongly supported by the NAR MLS Committee and the NAR Board of Directors.

Does Policy Statement 8.0 prohibit office exclusives?

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.

Does Policy Statement 8.0 apply to non-active listings?
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. MLSs may enact "coming soon" rules providing for delays and restrictions on showings during a "coming soon" status period, ensuring flexibility in participants' listing and marketing abilities, while still meeting the participant's obligations for cooperation.

Does Policy 8.0 Statement require listings to be submitted to the MLS if they are advertised to a select group of brokers outside the listing brokers office?

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.

Is the new policy consistent with Article 3 of the NAR Code of Ethics?
Yes. By joining the MLS, Participants agree to be bound by the MLS Rules and Regulations. Per the policy’s rationale, the public marketing of a listing indicates that the MLS participant has concluded that cooperation with other MLS participants is in their client’s best interests.

Helpful Resources:

Click here to learn more from National Association of REALTORS® including a recorded webinar on this topic.