August 20, 2018
In November 2017, the NAR Board of Directors passed MLS of Choice. As a result, YOU decide which MLS to join! MLSs are required to offer REALTORS® an opt-out waiver if they don’t use the MLS’services but join another MLS. The form is available upon request in OKCMAR’s Membership department.
The following are frequently asked questions about MLS of Choice:
Can an agent join an MLS without their principal broker being a participant of the service?
No. An agent cannot join an MLS unless their principal broker is first a participant of that service. The principal broker offers, and accepts, compensation and cooperation on behalf of the firm.
If a broker participates in more than one MLS, must all affiliated licensees in the participating offices subscribe and pay for each service?
No. Pursuant to the new policy, licensees affiliated with a participant will have a choice to belong to one or more of the services where their principal broker receives multiple listing service. At a minimum, each licensee will need to subscribe to at least one multiple listing service where their principal broker participates. Licensees are only authorized to receive and use data from services where they subscribe; unauthorized access/use of MLS data where a licensee does not subscribe will lead to sanctions against their principal broker and termination of any MLS subscription waiver. Agents can be required by the MLS to certify non-use of the MLS data and to provide proof that they subscribe to a different MLS.
Do these changes affect IDX or VOW?
No, individuals who participate or subscribe to an MLS are still able to display MLS data consistent with the local IDX and VOW rules. Those who do not participate or subscribe to an MLS will not have access to the benefits of that service’s IDX and VOW programs, or any other benefits of that service.
Can an MLS require secondary membership as a condition of MLS Participation?
No. As established under existing policy, MLS Participation is available to any REALTOR® principal regardless of where they hold membership. An MLS cannot require local REALTOR® membership as a prerequisite to MLS access.
Can a licensee subscribe to more than one MLS where their principal broker participates?
Yes. Licensees are encouraged to subscribe to MLSs of their principal broker where they benefit from receiving access to information and services, including current listing information, sold data, lockboxes service, and more. A waiver of subscription fees is available to a licensee who does not use or want the services of an MLS, provided that licensee already subscribes to a different MLS where their principal broker is a participant.
Do the offers of compensation expressed in the MLS apply to licensees who receive a waiver of MLS subscription fees?
The offers of compensation in the MLS are between the principal brokers of the firm, and not the licensees affiliated with the MLS Participant. However, the principal broker can rely on the actions of his or her affiliated licensees to claim entitlement to compensation through procuring cause. That remains unchanged for licensees who receive a waiver of subscription fees. However, waived licensees are precluded from using the MLS as the source of any property information, and licensees who violate the terms of the waiver can be subject to sanctions in accordance with the waiver agreement and/or MLS rules.
Where do I find the waiver form?
The form is available upon request in OKCMAR’s Membership department.