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WHAT ARE THE FINES IF I BREAK THE RULES?

1st offense: a warning email is sent to the participant/subscriber, plus $10 per day until the violation is corrected.  "Corrected" means the listing is either entered on the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants and subscribers, OR, all public advertising has been removed (public marketed is defined in the policy statement below)

2nd offense: immediate $50 fine, plus $10 per day until corrected

3rd offense: immediate $100 fine, plus $10 per day until corrected

4th offense: the participant/subscribers membership with the BSCMLS is put up for review by the BSCMLS BOD. They will determine the appropriate course of action (additional fines, suspension, or even termination of the individuals membership)

WHAT IS IT?

"Listings of Real Property which are listed subject to a real estate broker’s license and located within the service area of the BSCMLS must be submitted to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants by 11pm on the third (3rd) weekday after a listing agreement goes into effect, OR within one (1) weekday of marketing the property to the public (Clear Cooperation policy). Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.  NOTE – Clear Cooperation does not apply to vacant land."

IN LAYMAN'S TERMS:

If you take a listing that is considered a required property type, on 40.000 acres or less, located within the BSCMLS service area, you have 3 weekdays to enter it. If the property includes a residence, and at any point prior to day 3 you begin to market that property to the public, you now have 1 weekday to enter it.

If your seller wants to withhold their property off the MLS for longer than 3 weekdays, you need to submit the required paperwork to the BSCMLS office...properties with a RESIDENCE require a different form than vacant LAND.

When an agent reports a potential violation of the rule, the burden of proof lies on the agent reporting the violation and BSCMLS staff. Clear and convincing evidence must be present to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the agent is in violation of the rule. The Board of Directors will review the evidence if necessary.

WHAT IF MY SELLER DOESN’T WANT IT ON THE MLS, OR THE PROPERTY ISN’T READY TO BE ON THE MLS?

If the seller refuses to permit the listing to be disseminated by the service, and the property will not be advertised to the public through any of the methods mentioned in the Clear Cooperation policy, AND IT INCLUDES A RESIDENCE, you may then take the listing “Office Exclusive” and such listings shall be filed with the service, but not disseminated to other participants. Filing of the listing should be accompanied by the “Listing Exemption Authorization for RESIDENCE” form.  If the property is vacant land and does not include a residence, filing of the listing should be accompanied by the “Listing Exemption Authorization for LAND” form. These forms must be signed by the seller indicating that he/she does not want the listing to be immediately disseminated by the service.

EXPLAIN “OFFICE EXCLUSIVE”

Office Exclusive” listings are properties for sale that include a residence but not disseminated through the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants.  Office Exclusive listings may only be marketed within the listing brokerage and brokerages within the firm. If at any point during the term of the listing agreement the property is marketed to the public, the listing must be submitted to the MLS by 11pm the following weekday.

Direct promotion of the listing between the brokers and licensees affiliated with the listing brokerage or brokerages within the firm, and one-to-one promotion between these licensees and their clients, is NOT considered public advertising.

WHAT ABOUT LAND LISTINGS?

Land listings that are not going to be submitted to the MLS require a different Listing Exemption Authorization form than properties for sale that include a residence. Vacant subdivision lots that are not on the MLS but are being advertised to the general public will be subject to the rules of Clear Cooperation once excavation has begun.

WHO CREATED THE POLICY?

  • NAR Emerging Trends & Technology Committee
  • NAR MLS Issues and Policies Committee
  • NAR Board of Directors

WHY?

For years The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has been tracking the erosion of cooperation among MLS Participants/Subscribers. This erosion seems to be provoked by actions that benefit the REALTOR® over their Seller’s needs and is a blatant violation of the REALTOR’s® ethical and MLS cooperation obligations.

This policy is intended to reintroduce the important role Cooperation plays in ensuring and facilitating the competitive nature of organized real estate. This vital process of competition has been shown to be exceedingly pro-consumer. The policy comes at a time when some have been and are currently innovating the death of the organized real estate marketplace. This policy has been endorsed by NAR legal counsel and passed with overwhelming majorities in the policy making process.

FAIR HOUSING:

By not disseminating listings through the broad exposure of the MLS, some are choosing to exclude in favor of “Exclusive” networks or focused advertising. This leads to a concern that many protected classes of buyers are not allowed equal opportunity at homes that other buyers are afforded.

DOES THIS CHANGE THE MANDATORY SUBMISSION DATE FOR ALL LISTINGS ENTERED ON THE MLS?

NO.  All required listings still have 3 weekdays to be entered on the MLS.

UNDERSTANDING REQUIRED LISTING ENTRY

To understand how Clear Cooperation applies to your listing(s), you must first understand the 3 criteria used in determining what is required for listing entry, and when...

  • Is it a required property type?
  • Is the lot size less than 40 acres?
  • Is it located within the Big Sky Country MLS Service Area?

If the answer to all 3 criteria is YES, the listing must be entered within 3 weekday of when the listing agreement goes into effect, or within 1 weekday of marketing the property to the general public.

PROPERTY TYPES

Here we will refer to all Residential, Multi-Family, and Farm/Ranch properties as "REQUIRED RESIDENCE", and all Land properties as "REQUIRED LAND"

REQUIRED RESIDENCE

  • All required RESIDENCE properties on lots up to and including 40.000 acres located within the BSCMLS service area must be entered by 11pm the 3rd weekday after the listing start date, OR by 11pm the 1st weekday after marketing the property to the public (this is the Clear Cooperation Policy).
  • If the seller requests that the property not be entered on the MLS, the agent must submit the "Listing Exemption Authorization for Required RESIDENCE" (a.k.a. “Office Exclusive”) form by 11pm the third (3rd) weekday after the listing start date. If at any point during the term of the agreement you market the property to the public, and the listing is not on the MLS, you are in violation of the Clear Cooperation policy.

REQUIRED LAND

  • All required LAND properties on lots up to and including 40.000 acres located within the BSCMLS service area must be entered by 11pm the 3rd weekday after the listing start date.
  • If the seller requests that the property not be entered on the MLS, the agent must submit the "Listing Exemption Authorization for Required LAND" form by 11pm the third (3rd) weekday after the listing start date.

RESIDENTIAL

  • Single Family
  • Condominium
  • Townhouse
  • Manufactured Home De-titled

MULTI-FAMILY

  • Duplex
  • Triplex
  • Fourplex
  • Home w/Apartment
  • Multiple Dwellings
  • Cabins
  • (5+ Units are not required as they are considered Commercial properties)

FARM & RANCH

  • Land w/Residence
  • Land Only*

LAND

  • Land w/Manufactured Home
  • Land w/Structure*
  • Vacant Land/Acreage*

*The Clear Cooperation policy DOES NOT apply to 3 of the required property types above:

  • Land Only
  • Land w/Structure
  • Vacant Land/Acreage

Under this rule, the listing agent may publicly market the property without any penalty for non-entry in the MLS, so long as the BSCMLS has received a copy of the Listing Exemption Authorization for LAND.

In its simplest explanation, if it has a residence, the listing is subject to the rules of Clear Cooperation.

LOT SIZE

ALL required property types on lots up to and including 40 acres for sale or exchange are required for listing entry if it is located within the Big Sky Country MLS service area…

LOCATION (BSCMLS Service Area, by County)

  • Beaverhead
  • Broadwater
  • Deer Lodge
  • Gallatin
  • Granite
  • Jefferson
  • Madison
  • Meagher
  • Park
  • Silver Bow
  • Sweetgrass

We hope this information helps you understand how the new Clear Cooperation policy works and what is required for listing entry for all property types, regardless if they are going to be submitted to the MLS or not.

Keep in mind that late submission of a required listing is still a violation. If you enter a listing on the MLS, it must be submitted within three (3) weekdays of the listing start date. Anything beyond that is a violation of the Big Sky Country MLS policies regarding timely submission.