Real Estate

“Godspeed”: Implementation of NAR settlement changes MLSs.

At the Realtors Legislative Meetings earlier this week, MLS executives were told they would be responsible for making sure real estate agents and brokers follow the commission’s new rules.

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Multiple listing services will be responsible for implementing rule changes that are part of the National Association of Realtors’ proposed antitrust settlement, an attorney for the 1.5 million-member trade group told hundreds of thousands at its midyear conference this week. informed a group of MLS executives. .

NARC Associate Counsel, Dan Remarochz, spoke at the MLS Association Executives Session of the Realtors Legislative Meetings in Washington, DC on Sunday.

Dan Remarochz

She passed some of the policy changes included in the settlement, which NAR said MLSs would have to implement by Aug. 17, even before a November court hearing in which a judge will decide whether to give final approval to the deal. .

On Friday, NAR informed its members of key changes that would be required under the settlement, noting that the changes had been reviewed by its MLS Emerging Issues and Technology Advisory Board and adopted by the NAR leadership team. .

Rymarowicz broke down the contract requirement for written contracts with buyers and then told attendees what to expect.

“Well, here’s the big question from all of you in the room: Who’s enforcing all of this?” he said, prompting laughter from some in the audience.

“That’s you. The MLS will be responsible for enforcing the rule on written contracts as if your MLS already enforces the rules you have. This will be a complaint-based process as you Like any rule that has

“Now, importantly, the MLS is not required to obtain a copy of the written agreement, but it can request it as a matter of local enforcement. So it’s up to your MLS whether Whether or not they wish to receive a copy of this written agreement.

Slide by NAR Associate Council Dan Remarochz at the MLS Association Executives Session on May 5, 2024 in Washington, DC

“Good luck, Godspeed,” Remarochz said at the end of his presentation, prompting more laughter.

After the session, Mary Jo Cowen, CEO of Stellar MLS in Florida, which has 84,000 subscribers, told Inman she needed more information.

Mary Jo Coven

“[It’s]It’s still not clear what our role as an MLS is when it comes to enforcing the buyer-broker agreement requirement before showings,” Cowan said. “More guidance from NAR is needed.”

Cowen came into the session knowing that her MLS would be responsible for changes to her data fields related to the settlement, including the deal’s prohibition against putting the buyer’s broker’s compensation in the MLS.

Noting that dealing with the changes was “stressful,” she said removing the compensation field was pretty straightforward, though she’s trying to figure out how to add a seller’s discount field. .

She said she would not personally keep the new field “due to liability”. [is] Considered an alternative to paid sectors, but its subscribers are asking for it.

Right now, the Stellar MLS has a concession field to close with a pick list that it doesn’t plan to replace, but not to enter the list into MLS. She wants to know if she can add the buyer’s broker’s fee to the pick list there.

“We don’t want to leave room for creativity,” Cowan said. She said she wanted to make the most of the settlement so there would be no room for liability for anyone.

According to Cowen, many of its customers are worried about the settlement. But, he pointed out, sellers can still pay a buyer’s agent — just not through the MLS.

“Nothing’s really changing,” he said. “Just pick up the phone instead of looking for a solution.”

Third-party companies have reached out to Cowen to offer their own methods of gross compensation outside of the MLS, and the answer is a resounding “No!” And “don’t use my data,” he told Inman.

Cowen said he attended a joint workshop on real estate competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission in 2018 and knew at the time that “it was going to come back.”

A big question on the industry is whether the DOJ will weigh in against the NAR settlement, as it did against the MLS PIN settlement in another antitrust commission case known as Nosalk.

Regardless, Cowen believes NAR will implement the settlement changes no matter what because otherwise, the association will be open to litigation.

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