This Handbook is intended to guide member associations of REALTORS® in the operation of multiple listing services consistent with the policies established by the National Association’s Board of Directors.

The Handbook includes model enabling provisions for insertion in association bylaws authorizing establishment of a multiple listing service and bylaws and rules and regulations for MLSs which will permit optimum service and efficiency.

Association and association-owned MLSs must conform their governing documents to the mandatory MLS policies established by the National Association’s Board of Directors to ensure continued status as member boards and to ensure coverage under the master professional liability insurance program. Associations are encouraged to review any variance from these policies with their legal counsel so the legal implications and liabilities incident to such variance can be clearly ascertained.

Multiple listing is an evolving concept. For this reason, new procedures, needs, operational facilities and organizational arrangements must evolve to respond to its role and function. It is not the purpose of the Handbook to arrest this evolution, rather, it is to assure that it proceeds in a manner which satisfies the requirements of the law, the needs of participating REALTORS®, and the interests of the buying and selling public.

This Handbook is somewhat residential in focus because most multiple listing services are residentially-oriented. However, policy information related to the operation of all types of multiple listing services and commercial information exchanges is included. Specific governing document provisions related to the establishment and operation of commercial/industrial multiples and exchanges can be found in the Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy — Commercial/Industrial Supplement, available online at

Associations are invited to bring to the attention of the National Association any issues they have concerning the clarification or modification of the policies and other information provided in this Handbook.