Clear Cooperation

Understanding NAR policy statement 8.0


 Cori Lamont  |    April 13, 2020
Clear Cooperation

In November 2019, the National Association of REALTORS¬ģ‚Äô (NAR) board of directors approved MLS Policy Statement 8.0, Clear Cooperation, known as ‚ÄúPolicy Statement 8.0.‚ÄĚ

Policy statement 8.0

This policy requires listing brokers who participate in the multiple listing service (MLS) to submit their listing to the MLS within one business day of marketing the listing to the public. The full Policy Statement 8.0 reads:

Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public. (Adopted 11/19)

What is the intent of policy statement 8.0?

‚ÄúClear cooperation‚ÄĚ is just as the name implies: to have MLS participants cooperate with one another. Policy Statement 8.0
is intended to require a listing firm submit the listing into the MLS
if the property is marketed to the public. 

What is meant by public marketing under Policy Statement 8.0?

Per Policy Statement 8.0, ‚Äúpublic marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.‚Ä̬†

If you keep the listing information internal to your company, you have not triggered Policy Statement 8.0. However, once you market the listing to the public, which includes, for example, social media, email blasts to other agents, or a closed Facebook group with other agents from other firms, Policy Statement 8.0 kicks in, and the listing must be placed in the MLS within one business day. 

When is the new policy effective?

MLSs must adopt NAR Clear Cooperation Policy Statement 8.0 no later than May 1, 2020. 

What are the penalties if the policy is violated?

While each MLS must adopt clear cooperation, the MLS sets its own penalties. Therefore, you must contact your MLS for that information.

How does policy statement 8.0 apply in Wisconsin?

Keep in mind, under Wis. Stat. § 452.136(3), in order to advertise a property, a licensee must have a listing contract or permission from the listing firm. So, while some states may allow firms to advertise a property without a listing, Wisconsin requires a listing contract in order to advertise.

Clear cooperation example

A firm takes a listing on Monday, March 9. The listing is effective on March 9. The MLS rule says participants have four days to get listings into the MLS.

On March 10, the listing firm advertises the property on Facebook. Under Policy Statement 8.0, the listing firm’s Facebook advertisement triggered the one-business-day requirement. Therefore, the listing firm now has one business day to put the property into the MLS. In this situation, if the listing firm does not advertise to the public, then the listing firm per the MLS rule must place the property in the MLS within four days of the effective date of the listing. 

Wait! I have more questions

Since the MLS is responsible for implementing the rule and any associated penalties, we strongly encourage you to contact your MLS about Policy Statement 8.0. 

Additionally, NAR has an outstanding set of frequently asked questions at www.nar.realtor/about-nar/policies/mls-clear-cooperation-policy. 

The following are some common questions the WRA legal staff has been fielding. Due to the substantial similarity of WRA member questions and NAR’s questions, this article provides NAR’s answers to the these questions. The information below is based on the questions and answers provided by NAR at the time of this publication. 

Does Policy Statement 8.0 prohibit office exclusives?

No. ‚ÄúOffice-exclusive‚ÄĚ listings are an important option for sellers concerned about privacy and wide exposure of their property being for sale. In an office-exclusive listing, direct promotion of the listing between the brokers and licensees affiliated with the listing brokerage, and one-to-one promotion between these licensees and their clients, is not considered public advertising.

Common examples include divorce situations and celebrity clients in which the listing broker markets a property among the brokers and licensees affiliated with the listing brokerage. If office-exclusive listings are displayed or advertised to the general public, however, those listings must also be submitted to the MLS for cooperation.

Does Policy Statement 8.0 require listings to be submitted to the MLS if they are advertised to a select group of brokers outside the listing broker’s office?

Yes. ‚ÄúPrivate listing networks‚ÄĚ that include more brokers or licensees than those affiliated with the listing brokerage constitute public advertising or display pursuant to Policy Statement 8.0. Listings shared in multi-brokerage networks by participants must be submitted to the MLS for cooperation.

Does Policy Statement 8.0 apply to nonactive listings?

Yes. Policy Statement 8.0 applies to any listing that is or will be available for cooperation. Pursuant to Policy Statement 8.0, ‚Äúcoming soon‚ÄĚ listings displayed or advertised to the public by
a listing broker must be submitted to the MLS for cooperation with other participants. MLSs may enact ‚Äúcoming soon‚ÄĚ rules providing for delays and restrictions on showings during a ‚Äúcoming soon‚ÄĚ status period, ensuring flexibility in participants‚Äô listing and marketing abilities, while still meeting the participant‚Äôs obligations for cooperation.

What if the listing isn‚Äôt ready to be shown? Are ‚Äúcoming soon‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúdelayed showing‚ÄĚ listings allowed under Policy Statement 8.0?

The concept of ‚Äúcoming soon‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúdelayed showing‚ÄĚ can be achieved within the local MLS. Listings that are truly not yet ready to be shown can be shared with the MLS‚Äôs brokers and agents to create exposure while the property is being prepared for showing.

MLSs can also add clarity to the coming soon and delayed
showing process by defining specific statuses and showing requirements if these listings are to be included in the MLS. The most common implementations do not allow for showings of the listing until its status is changed to active, and any showings of the listing would immediately trigger that status change.

Cori Lamont is Senior Director of Legal and Public Affairs for the WRA.

Additional NAR Resources

 

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