Updated; See below
What started as a lockbox issue, and evolved into a debate about classifying public MLS web sites as a basic service, has further evolved into a power struggle between large brokers and MLSs. I certainly understand why a large broker would not want a public MLS site. I also understand why small and medium brokers would. It’s a tough issue and it looks like one that NAR is not quite ready to make a definitive decision on. While the MLS committee approved amendments on Tuesday that list public MLSs as a basic service, NAR’s Executive Committee moved to add an amendment that sends the issue back to a workgroup in their meeting today. I received some clarification on this from Laurie Janik, NAR Chief Counsel:
“The MLS Committee’s recommendation will be presented to the directors tomorrow morning. The Executive Committee will recommend to the directors amending the Committee’s recommendation to delete the one sentence that lists public facing websites as a “basic” service. The Executive Committee would like this aspect of the policy to receive further study by the Advisory Board over the summer. The Executive Committee is not recommending a prohibition on the operation of public websites. There will be no loss of NAR-provided professional liability insurance should the amendment pass.”
This is mixed news for MLSs already operating public sites. While NAR is stating that no immediate action will result if passed, the move certainly leaves those MLSs in limbo, especially now that the issue is far more public. It definitely looks like tomorrow’s BOD meeting will be lively. Stay tuned.
Update: NAR’s BOD passed the MLS amendment as presented by the MLS Committee. The Executive Committee’s amendment failed. Good news for publik facing MLSs
Photo: Creative Commons license via Flickr user Ron Cogswell