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Policies: MLS Antitrust Compliance Policy

The purpose of multiple listing is the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information to participants so they may better serve the buying and selling public. Boards and associations of REALTORS® and their multiple listing services shall not enact or enforce any rule which restricts, limits, or interferes with participants in their relations with each other, in their broker/client relationships, or in the conduct of their business in the following areas.

Boards and associations of REALTORS® and their MLSs shall not:

  1. Fix, control, recommend, or suggest the commissions or fees charged for real estate brokerage services (Interpretation 14).
  2. Fix, control, recommend, or suggest the cooperative compensation offered by listing brokers to potential cooperating brokers.
  3. Base dues, fees, or charges on commissions, listed prices, or sales prices. Initial participation fees and charges should directly relate to the costs incurred in bringing services to new participants.
  4. Modify, or attempt to modify, the terms of any listing agreement; this does not prohibit administrative corrections of property information necessary to ensure accuracy or consistency in MLS compilations.
  5. Refuse to include any listing in an MLS compilation solely on the basis of the listed price.
  6. Prohibit or discourage participants from taking exclusive agency listings or refusing to include any listing in an MLS compilation solely on the basis that the property is listed on an exclusive agency basis.
  7. Prohibit or discourage participants from taking “office exclusive” listings; certification may be required from the seller or listing broker that the listing is being withheld from the MLS at the direction of the seller.
  8. Give participants or subscribers blanket authority to deal with or negotiate with buyers or sellers exclusively represented by other participants (Interpretation 10).
  9. Establish, or permit establishment of, any representational or contractual relationship between an MLS and sellers, buyers, landlords, or tenants.
  10. Prohibit or discourage cooperation between participants and brokers that do not participate in the MLS.
  11. Prohibit or discourage participants or subscribers from participating in political activities (Interpretation 15).
  12. Interfere in or restrict participants in their relationships with their affiliated licensees (Interpretations 16 and 17).

As used in this policy, “rule” includes all rules, regulations, bylaws, policies, procedures, practices, guidelines, or other governance provisions, whether mandatory or not. “Multiple listing service” and “MLS” means multiple listing service committees of boards and associations of REALTORS® and separately-incorporated multiple listing services owned by one or more boards or associations of REALTORS®.

These policy prohibitions are subject to and limited by applicable statutes, ordinances, and governmental regulations, to agreements entered into by an MLS or board or association of REALTORS® and an agency of government, and to final decrees of courts or administrative agencies.

This policy does not prohibit boards or associations of REALTORS® or their MLSs from adopting rules or policies establishing the legitimate uses of MLS information, from prohibiting unauthorized uses of MLS information, or from establishing rules or policies necessary to prevent illegal collective action, including price-fixing and boycotts.

It is the duty and responsibility of all boards and associations of REALTORS® and MLSs owned by or controlled by boards or associations of REALTOS® to ensure that all bylaws, rules, regulations, and other governance provisions comply with all mandatory multiple listing policies of the National Association of REALTORS®. Boards and associations of REALTORS® failing to conform with these policies will be required to show cause why their charters should not be revoked.

The numbered references refer to the official interpretations of Article I, Section 2 of the bylaws of the National Association of REALTORS®. (Amended 11/04) M