Recently there has been a great deal of misinformation in various circles about what Clear Cooperation is and what it isn’t. Our hope is these FAQs, gathered mostly from user questions and feedback, will answer most questions. If you still have concerns or questions not addressed here, contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-385-0777. Additionally, NAR has compiled a great deal of Clear Cooperation information which can be viewed at https://www.nar.realtor/about-nar/policies/mls-clear-cooperation-policy.
As we have mentioned, the rules are neither burdensome nor a hindrance for you to do what you do best. Good Realtors provide exceptional service to clients and customers. So, keep doing what you are doing. When advertising a listing for sale, just put it in Realtracs and use the multiple tools in the system to meet the needs of your sellers.
What is Clear Cooperation? Who approved it and why?
Real estate practitioners from all over the U.S. asked the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to consider a policy that would reinforce the benefits of broker cooperation. After much discussion in several committees, including NAR’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board (comprised of brokers and MLS executives), the Clear Cooperation proposal was introduced for discussion and consideration. It was ultimately approved by NAR’s Board of Directors at the 2019 NAR Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Because Clear Cooperation is a national policy, adoption by Realtor Association MLSs is mandated to ensure consistent standards.
How does this affect new construction?
Clear Cooperation was implemented to primarily address concerns with listings available for sale with exclusive listing contracts that are required to be listed in the MLS. There are some property types excluded from this, including new construction with multiple properties under a blanket listing agreement.
What if a listing enters the MLS in Under Contract – Not Showing status?
Whether this is a violation or not depends on the circumstances around the listing agreement. There are many situations (especially in this seller’s market) where a listing goes under contract immediately. The crux of the question and discovery would surround the order of events: Was a listing agreement signed and publicly advertised BEFORE it was submitted to MLS? Was it under contract within the 48-hour submission timeframe? And, conversely: Was a buyer identified and contracted with before the listing agreement was signed or within the 48-hour timeframe?
Can you respond to someone who posted about a buyer’s need if you will have a listing signed next week?
Yes. Because there has not been a listing agreement signed yet, Clear Cooperation is not in effect.
Can the seller exempt the listing from the MLS by putting it in writing?
Yes. This is an Exempt Listing. The listing broker can withhold the listing from the MLS as long as the following stipulations are met:
- The seller(s), listing broker, and listing agent must sign the Seller’s Waiver of Broker Cooperation and Public Advertising and email the form to email@example.com
- No public marketing (as defined below) outside of the listing agent’s brokerage is permitted.
- If public marketing takes place, the listing must be entered in the MLS within 48 hours of such marketing.
If a listing agent has an Exempt Listing from the MLS that is being publicly marketed there are two options on the day Clear Cooperation goes into effect:
- Within 48 hours of May 1, list the property in MLS to continue marketing.
- Remove all existing instances of public marketing and have the Seller’s Waiver of Broker Cooperation and Public Advertising completed and signed by the seller(s), listing broker, and listing agent, and then email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is defined as public marketing?
The easiest way to define public marketing is to share Realtracs rule 1.14:
1.14 Public Marketing. Marketing a listing to the general public through flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public-facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital marketing such as email campaigns and social media applications, intra-brokerage and/or intra-agent listing sharing networks, and other similar marketing and advertising activities. Direct promotion of the listing between the Participant and her/his Users affiliated with the listing brokerage, and one-to-one promotion between these Users and their clients, is not considered Public Marketing.
What if the Seller wants privacy?
Realtracs has a solution for seller privacy, which has been around for several years. When entering a listing in the MLS, select “No” for the Internet List selection. This will keep the listing from being sent to all advertising, franchise, Realtracs.com, and IDX websites. The listing will only be available for viewing by other Realtracs subscribers in Realtracs.net. If you or your seller wish to still withhold the listing from MLS, the listing becomes an Exempt Listing and must follow the Public Marketing guidelines above and as defined in Realtracs Rule 2.9.
How do you report a violation?
Violations can be reported to email@example.com. The email should include the property address, the listing agent and office, and the reason why it is believed there was a listing being withheld from MLS that was publicly advertised.
Can I advertise before I have a listing agreement?
No. Advertising listings without a valid listing agreement is a violation of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission’s rules on advertising.
Can I show my home in Coming Soon status?
No. However, public Marketing (other than showings) is permitted while a listing is Coming Soon. Please note, the prohibition of showings in Coming Soon also includes users in the same brokerage as the listing agent.
Can a buyer make an offer on a Coming Soon listing without seeing the property?
Of course. A sight-unseen offer is not uncommon, especially in multi-offer or competitive situations. However, showings are not permitted while in Coming Soon status.
When am I required to enter a listing into the MLS?
Listings are required to be entered within 48 hours of the date shown on your signed listing agreement. Also, if your listing is withheld from MLS (Exempt Listing), the listing must be entered in MLS within 48 hours of public marketing.
Can I still market my listing in Coming Soon groups?
You are free to do whatever business practice works for you. However, as a condition of membership with Realtracs, if you have an executed listing agreement and are marketing the property in “coming soon” groups, it must be submitted to MLS.
Remember, at the end of the day, Clear Cooperation boils down to this. If you have a listing agreement, and then market that listing to the public or other brokerages, add it to the MLS. See? Simple.
* Learn even more about Clear Cooperation via the following links:
- What is Clear Cooperation?
- Using the Tools in Realtracs for Clear Cooperation.
- The Policies and Rules of Clear Cooperation
- Enforcement of Clear Cooperation