For years, REALTORS® have debated the risks and merits of so-called pocket listings, "coming soon" listings, and listings that are marketed on private networks rather than being shared cooperatively through a local multiple listing service. Advocates say that sellers’ desire for privacy and advances in technology have led to the expansion of these off-market listings. Others believe that keeping listings off of the MLS reduces buyers’ choice, skews market data, and may not be in the sellers’ best interests.
Watch NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson explain pocket listings and coming soon listings—and the potential legal and ethical concerns they raise:
Back in 2013, a National Association of REALTORS® work group issued a report saying NAR should educate brokers about the risks of discouraging inclusion of listings in MLS without disclosing the potential consequences to sellers.
Now, an advisory board to the National Association of REALTORS® has developed a recommendation designed to foster broker cooperation and address the problems surrounding off-market listings. It has become known as the Clear Cooperation Policy proposal. Members of NAR’s MLS Issues and Policies Committee will be discussing the recommendation during the 2019 REALTORS® Conference and Expo on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The group that developed the proposal, the MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board, chaired by Bellaire, Texas, broker Shad Bogany, concluded that leaving listings outside of the broader marketplace excludes consumers, undermining REALTORS®’ commitment to provide equal opportunity to all. The Advisory Board’s Clear Cooperation proposal calls for all MLS participants to input any listing they market publicly (via websites, yard signs, mailers, Instagram, etc.), into their local MLS within 24 hours, enabling MLS participants to share the listing with the widest possible range of potential buyers.