NAR Announces New MLS Guidance That Reinforces Greater Transparency
Real Estate In-Depth | November 16, 2021
CHICAGO—The National Association of Realtors announced on Nov. 15 the adoption of changes to its guidance for local Multiple Listing Service broker marketplaces that reinforce greater transparency for consumers. The changes ensure disclosure of compensation offered to buyer agents, ensure listings are not excluded from search results based on the amount of compensation offered to buyer agents, and reinforce that buyer brokers do not represent their services as free. The NAR Board of Directors adopted the changes to take effect Jan. 1, 2022.
“Grounded in our commitment to act in the best interests of buyers and sellers, we regularly review and update our guidance for local broker marketplaces to continue to advance efficient, equitable and transparent practices,” said NAR President Charlie Oppler. “These latest changes more explicitly state what is already the spirit and intent of the NAR Code of Ethics and local broker marketplace guidance regarding consumer transparency and broker participation.”
Pro-consumer changes adopted by NAR include:
• Reinforce that local marketplace participants do not represent brokerage services as free. While Realtors always have been required to advertise their services accurately and truthfully, this change creates a bright line rule on the use of the word “free” that is easy to follow and enforce.
• Ensure disclosure of compensation offered to buyer agents. The change bolsters transparency and Realtors’ existing duties and practices to talk with their clients about what services they provide and how they are compensated.
• Ensure listings aren’t excluded from search results based on the amount of compensation offered to buyer agents. This changes wording to reiterate Realtors’ existing duty to inform clients about all relevant properties meeting their criteria.