NAR Practice Changes to Take Effect Aug. 17

 

This past Friday, the National Association of REALTORS® announced new details regarding the proposed settlement agreement, which received preliminary approval from the court on April 23.

The announcement, shared with REALTOR® Magazine, provides important information regarding the practice changes required for NAR members under the settlement agreement; it also establishes Aug. 17 as the effective date for these changes.

In a communication distributed to members, NAR Chief Legal Officer and Chief Member Experience Officer Katie Johnson explained the deadline will provide a three-month window for NAR members and MLSs to prepare to implement the policy adjustments.

“Our settlement requires NAR to implement the practice changes no later than the date plaintiffs can issue class notice,” wrote Johnson. “Through the preliminary settlement approval process, we now know the earliest date of class notice is Aug. 17. We are announcing these important changes now to ensure NAR members and MLSs have ample time to prepare.”

MLSs that have opted into the settlement agreement have until Sept. 16 to implement the necessary policy changes and to be considered released parties, as provided in the relevant appendices they executed. In accordance with mandatory NAR policy, REALTOR®-owned MLSs must implement the practice changes by Aug. 17. NAR recommends all opting-in MLSs implement the practice changes by this date.

The policy changes were reviewed by the MLS Emerging Issues and Technology Advisory Board and adopted by the NAR Leadership Team. The revised policy reflects the practice changes required by the settlement as follows:

  • Eliminate and prohibit any requirement of offers of compensation in the MLS between listing brokers or sellers to buyer brokers or other buyer representatives.
  • Retain and define “cooperation” for MLS participation.
  • Eliminate and prohibit MLS participants, subscribers and sellers from making any offers of compensation in the MLS to buyer brokers or other buyer representatives.
  • Require the MLS to eliminate all broker compensation fields and compensation information in the MLS.
  • Require the MLS to not create, facilitate or support any non-MLS mechanism (including by providing listing information to an internet aggregator’s website for such purpose) for participants, subscribers or sellers to make offers of compensation to buyer brokers or other buyer representatives.
  • Prohibit the use of MLS data or data feeds to directly or indirectly establish or maintain a platform of offers of compensation from multiple brokers or other buyer representatives. Such use must result with the MLS terminating the participant’s access to any MLS data and data feeds.
  • Reinforce that MLS participants and subscribers must not, and MLSs must not, enable the ability to filter out or restrict MLS listings that are communicated to customers or clients based on the existence or level of compensation offered to the cooperating broker or the name of a brokerage or agent.
  • Require compensation disclosures to sellers, as well as prospective sellers and buyers.
  • Require MLS participants working with a buyer to enter into a written agreement with the buyer prior to touring a property.

More information regarding the practice changes and effective date is available in NAR’s settlement FAQs. A detailed summary of the policy changes is available on facts.realtor.