The MLS Clear Cooperation Policy

2 Replies

The National Association of Realtors just passed what's known as the MLS Clear Cooperation Policy, banning all off-market real estate listings starting May 1.

Are there any benefits to us investors or will this make it harder to find deals? What are your thoughts BP?

@Mariah Petzoldt

First, it doesn't really ban all off-marketing. if you publicly market a property, you need to also put in your MLS. My layman's understanding of NAR's long standing anti-Trust argument is that broker cooperation via the MLS increases competition, and thus good for the consumer. Many agents have been marketing off the MLS, e.g. Zillow, etc. Since the governing MLS in the area (some are owned by the local Realtor associations and some by private parties) don't have the listings, many of the local agents don't see the listings and thus competition is reduced (so the argument goes). I believe it leads the listing agents to having a better chance of double ending the deal.

So, how do I see that affecting investing? Not necessarily a whole lot... In terms of searching for deals to purchase, the better deals are found off-market (i.e. that public market) anyway... Depending on how you sell your properties, it shouldn't change much. If you use FSBO, then this doesn't affect you all. If you use a Realtor, (s)he or they just won't be able to drive traffic to themselves.

Note, my understanding is the policy still allows for agency exclusives and no public marketing. The key issue is publicly marketing a property and leaving it out of the MLS. For licensed agents/brokers to use websites such as Zillow to be their central point for publicly marketing listings defeats the purpose of the MLS.

Make sense?  Any other points of view out there?

@Mariah Petzoldt

Oh, I should add that I believe most to all MLS have data interchange agreements with the secondary markets (e.g. Zillow/Trulia, Redfin, is a private company and not NAR, movoto, etc.). For me, as soon as I enter a listing in the MLS, I can log into Zillow (or any of the other websites) and see it immediately. Even scheduling of Open Houses works the same way. I don't think people realize how much "data" is marketed around. That's why I think the off-MLS marketing technique is a way for licensed agents to market to the public w/o marketing to other agents, thus cutting off broker cooperation.