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NAR’s Board Approves New Guidance for MLS Listings

According to NAR, the changes create greater transparency for consumers and “more explicitly state’ the spirit and intent of the NAR Code of Ethics and policies regarding information about commissions and broker participation in the marketplace.” Policies take effect Jan. 1.

CHICAGO – The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) announced that it adopted changes to its guidance for local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) broker marketplaces, saying the updates “reinforce greater transparency for consumers.”

According to NAR, the changes ensure disclosure of the compensation offered to buyers’ agents, make sure a search results list doesn’t exclude results based on the amount of compensation offered to buyers’ agents, and reinforce a rule that buyers’ brokers don’t represent their services as free.

The NAR Board of Directors adopted the changes to take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

“Grounded in our commitment to act in the best interests of buyers and sellers, we regularly review and update our guidance for local broker marketplaces to continue to advance efficient, equitable and transparent practices,” says NAR President Charlie Oppler. “These latest changes more explicitly state what is already the spirit and intent of the NAR Code of Ethics and local broker marketplace guidance regarding consumer transparency and broker participation.”

MLS changes adopted

  • Reinforce that local marketplace participants don’t represent their brokerage services as free. While Realtors® have always been required to advertise their services accurately and truthfully, this change creates a bright line rule on the use of the word “free” that NAR says is easy to follow and enforce.
  • Ensure disclosure of compensation offered to buyer agents. NAR says this change improves transparency for Realtors’ existing duties and practices to talk with clients about the services they provide and how they’re compensated.
  • Ensure listings aren’t excluded from search results based on the amount of compensation offered to buyer agents. NAR says this wording change reiterates a Realtor’s existing duty to inform clients about all relevant properties that meet their criteria.

“This is another example of NAR constantly evolving to ensure pro-consumer, pro-competitive marketplaces for buyers and sellers, and brokers,” Oppler says. “NAR is proud to be affiliated with the hundreds of local broker marketplaces around the country and will continue to tirelessly pursue changes that improve the real estate experience for all Americans.”

© 2021 Florida Realtors®