Changes to MLS Policy Statements 7.42 and 7.43 - "MLS of Choice"


During the 2017 REALTORS® Conference and Expo, NAR’s Board of Directors voted to adopt changes to MLS Policy Statements 7.42 and 7.43. These changes were also considered by the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee.

This page sets forth background information for the changes as well as resources MLSs may use for implementation.

Policy Changes

Motion adopted by the Board of Directors:

Effective July 1, 2018, that MLSs be prohibited from requiring participation by all offices of a real estate firm within the shareholder association(s) jurisdiction and that MLSs be required to provide a no-cost waiver option of MLS fees, dues and charges for licensees affiliated with an MLS Participant who can demonstrate their subscription to another MLS. Further, that references to MLS “jurisdiction” or “territory” be changed to “service area” to reflect the true nature of the location, and help eliminate confusion over the jurisdiction of shareholder association(s).


Background on the Changes

Guiding Principle: To empower REALTOR® MLSs, brokers, and agents with a modern service structure that recognizes evolving business needs in the real estate industry, provides flexibility in light of emerging technology and workplace trends, and encourages value-driven competition among MLSs.

Prior to the Changes: Policy utilized REALTOR® association jurisdictional boundaries as a basis for assessment of MLS fees. MLSs had discretionary authority to assess MLS fees based on all offices of a participating firm located within the territorial jurisdiction of the association (or associations) that own and operate the MLS. This policy was adopted in 2002 after several MLSs expressed concern that a rule prohibiting such assessment was overly-broad and unnecessarily restrictive of their ability to require, as a matter of local determination, participation by all branch offices within their jurisdiction.

Affect on Local Adoption (which must occur prior to July 1, 2018): Brokers and agents will be empowered with a nimble MLS service structure that allows for innovation and competition amongst MLSs. The new approach will allow agents a choice in subscribing to any MLS in which their broker is a participant, and it will require MLSs to only assess Brokers a fee based on their affiliated licensees who chose to subscribe to the MLS. However, MLSs will have the discretion to assess fees to agents affiliated with a participating office jurisdiction, if those agents have not subscribed to another MLS. This will result in a value-driven service structure that encourages competition amongst MLSs, responds to the evolving business needs and varied structures of brokerage firms, and, therefore, is in the best interest of brokers and their affiliated agents.

Licensees can subscribe to an MLS only if their broker is a participant.




View the FAQ about the proposed revisions.

For Local MLS Rules:

Download the MLS rules provisions required to implement the policy changes.