Section 4: Relationship of Association with Independent Multiple Listing Service in Association Area (Policy Statement 7.20)

No association may make or maintain any rule prohibiting a REALTOR® from participating in an independent multiple listing service. Associations shall take every action necessary to avoid responsibility and liability for the policies, practices, conduct and activities of any unaffiliated multiple listing service not owned and operated by it. In this connection the association shall document by letter to such independent multiple listing service that the association has no relationship or agreement with the service, no jurisdiction over the service, and no responsibility for it. (Amended 2/94)

This policy statement is not intended to prohibit associations from entering into cooperative relationships with independent multiple listing services (that limit participation to appropriately licensed or certified individuals or firms), including reciprocity agreements, regionalization agreements, and other forms of cooperative venture. (Adopted 2/94)

Such agreements may limit coverage under the National Association’s blanket errors and omissions insurance policy and associations will want to ascertain the extent of insurance coverage, and the availability of coverage from other sources, prior to entering into such agreements. (Adopted 2/94)

Explanation: A primary responsibility of an association of REALTORS® is to protect the interests of the association and its members. With respect to an unaffiliated independent multiple listing service not owned or controlled by the association, or that is not party to an agreement with the association, the association has no jurisdiction over such multiple listing service and can, therefore, assume no responsibility for it or its actions. Positive effort should, therefore, be made to establish clearly that there is no relationship between the association of REALTORS® and the independent multiple listing service even though some or all of the multiple listing service participants may also be members of the association, and that no direct or indirect control is exercised by the association in connection with said independent multiple listing service. Such effort by the association should be documented to provide a basis for extricating the association from any litigation which may be brought against the independent multiple listing service and which may also name the association as a party to such litigation. (Amended 2/94) M