MLS Policy and Practice Changes

Updated: June 19, 2024

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Offers of Compensation are being removed from the MLS soon - now what?

WATCH: HiCentral MLS President Cathy Matthews summarizes the upcoming changes to our MLS policies and practices and shares your Board of Directors thoughtful reasons for how HiCentral MLS will implement our path forward.

From utilization of Matrix fields, new/updated required forms, mandatory training class, and a new fine structure for new violation categories, there is a lot of new information coming your way!


BACKGROUND

Through thoughtful and lengthy discussions spanning over 10 hours of meetings, HiCentral MLS gathered input from Participants and Subscribers on the MLS Policy Changes needed as a result of the NAR Settlement. 

Participants represented a broad cross-section of the membership including Brokers, Listing Agents, Buyer’s Agents, small to large firms, sole proprietors, franchise and non-franchise firms, members of our Professional Standards, Grievance, Ethics Citation, and Mediation Committees, instructors who teach ethics, contracts, agency and buyer representation, HAR Standard Forms members, HBR and HiCentral MLS past presidents, Directors from both HiCentral MLS and HBR, General Counsel, and Executive staff. 

On June 10th, your HiCentral MLS Board of Directors unanimously voted to opt in, and the required Opt-in Agreement was signed and submitted, thereby including HiCentral MLS as a Released Party, joining all local and state REALTOR® associations, including the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, as well as all individual NAR members. View the email we sent to MLS Participants and Subscribers. 

Individual NAR members are already included in the Settlement Agreement and do not need to take any action.

HANDOUT: Click image to download handout

 


POLICY & PRACTICE CHANGES

Mandatory requirements: Effective Aug. 12, 2024

  • Remove offer of compensation field from the MLS (including on historical listings)
  • Prohibit offer of compensation from listing broker or seller on the MLS
  • Written Buyer Agreement required when working with buyer before touring a home
  • No filtering of listings based on compensation
  • No advertising of services as “free”

Board of Directors unanimously approved:

  • NO new seller concessions field on Active Listings
  • Mandatory MLS training for brokers & agents on NAR settlement provisions & MLS policy changes must be completed by Dec. 31, 2024. Otherwise, MLS suspension until training completed.
  • Violations result in fines and mandatory classes: if compensation included on MLS or no signed Buyer's Agreement when working with buyer before touring a home

Reasons for Board of Directors' decisions:

  • Simplest, most prudent option that follows the intent of the NAR settlement.
  • Encourages open negotiations between seller and buyer for broker compensation off the MLS, via the Purchase Contract.
  • Allows brokers to use Agent Remarks to provide concessions that may include, but not limited to or conditioned on, buyer broker compensation.
  • Education and training ensures brokers and agents know what to do vs. what not to do.
  • Enforcement and training leads to compliance.

DATES TO REMEMBER

 


MANDATORY TRAINING

  • Stay tuned for availability of our training webinars.

VIOLATIONS & FINE STRUCTURE


RESOURCES

  • Overview: HiCentral MLS Policy & Practice Changes - Download the handout
  • FAQs - coming soon
  • New/updated Standard Forms: Hawaii REALTORS® Standard Forms Committee is working to finalize the new forms and provide training - coming soon
  • NAR: facts.realtor regularly updated for members with new resources and the latest information
  • NAR: competition.realtor - website for consumers

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