Real Estate

NAR Board Votes To Require Addresses On MLS Listings

The ongoing, controversial debate surrounding pocket listings finds some resolution, with NAR voting to make addresses immediately available to other MLS subscribers. Here are the details.

Following a debate over privacy and pocket listings, the board of directors of the National Association of Realtors on Friday approved a controversial proposal to require listings to include a property address upon submission to a multiple listing service.

The board, which has some 800 members, also approved a policy requiring sold listings (without a sales price) to be included in data feeds in non-disclosure states. That policy passed without any discussion, 716 in favor and 44 opposed.

The votes were among the last taken at the board’s meeting on the last day of NAR’s midyear conference, the Realtors Legislative Meetings, which was held virtually and open to both members and the press.

The 1.4-million-member trade group’s Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee previously shelved the address proposal at NAR’s annual conference in November following a spirited debate for and against the mandate. After re-consideration by the committee’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board, the proposal was once again brought forward with added language about including a parcel number or a legal description if an address is not available, though the proposal proved no less controversial at the committee’s meeting last Friday.

The policy says: “Residential listings filed with the MLS must include a property address where one exists at the time the listing is filed. If a property address is unavailable, then the parcel identification number must be submitted at the time the listing is filed. If no address or parcel identification number is available at the time the listing is filed, the listing must, at a minimum, contain a legal description of the property sufficient to describe the location of the property. This information shall be available to participants and subscribers at the time of filing.”

The policy does not require that an address be made public, just that it be immediately available to other MLS subscribers.

“The committee recommends this action to empower MLS participants and subscribers with key listing information, specifically the property address to best serve their clients and customers,” Jon Coile, the committee’s chair, told NAR’s directors upon presenting the proposal.

“It’s important to note that this is about brokers and agents sharing the address with other brokers and agents inside the MLS. The listing broker and seller will still have many options available to withhold the address from public display on the internet to control who gets access to the property and as a last resort to withhold the listing itself from distribution from other MLS participants through office exclusive.”

He added that the policy “leverages the MLS’s three tenets of cooperation, efficiency and transparency” and would “ensure that listing information in the MLS is complete.”

“Further, this new policy will discourage business practices and fair housing concerns that may not provide property details to all potential qualified purchasers working with another MLS subscriber agent,” Coile said.

The original motion passed with 665 in favor and 127 opposed.


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