Operational Issues, Section 8: Categorization of MLS Services, Information, and Products
NOTE: This policy was updated in May 2013. Changes are effective immediately. Read more.
The services, information, and products that multiple listing services provide to participants and to subscribers affiliated with participants may be categorized as core, as ancillary to the core but included in a basic package of MLS services as determined locally and provided to all MLS participants and subscribers automatically or on a discretionary basis, or as optional and available to participants and subscribers at their discretion. The following will guide MLSs in categorizing their services, information, and products.
Core: Core MLS information, services, and products are essential to the effective functioning of MLS, as defined, and include:
- current listing information
- information communicating compensation to potential cooperating brokers
Core services include the mechanisms (print or electronic or both) by which this information is communicated between participants and the MLS.
Where MLS participation is available to non-member brokers or their firms, either by law or by local decision, the information, services, and products available to such participants may be limited to those categorized as core.
Basic: In addition to core services, an MLS may also provide additional information and services in a basic package of MLS information, services, and products, as determined locally and provided automatically or on a discretionary basis, such as:
- sold and comparable information
- pending sales information
- expired listings and “off market” information
- tax records
- zoning records/information
- title/abstract information
- mortgage information
- amortization schedules
- mapping capabilities
- statistical information
- public accommodation information (e.g., schools, shopping, churches, transportation, entertainment, recreational facilities, etc.)
- MLS computer training/orientation
- access to affinity programs
Optional: An MLS may not require a participant to use, participate in, or pay for the following optional information, services, or products:
- lock box equipment including lock boxes (manual or electronic), combination lock boxes, mechanical keys, and electronic programmers or keycards
- advertising or access to advertising (whether print or electronic), including classified advertising, homes-type publications, electronic compilations, including Internet home pages or Web sites, etc.
While no participant can be required to use, participate in, or pay for information, services, or products defined in this policy statement as optional, an MLS may, as a matter of local determination, bill all participants (or, where appropriate, subscribers) for optional information, services, or products provided that participants (or, where appropriate, subscribers) may decline such information, services, or products and not be charged for them. In such cases, the MLS must make all participants and subscribers aware, in advance, of their right to decline any such service, product, or information.
None of the foregoing precludes an association or MLS from utilizing association or MLS reserves, dues, or fees or special assessments (as otherwise provided for in the association or MLS governing documents) to acquire assets (including hardware and software) necessary to make optional information, services, or products available, nor does it preclude an association or MLS from making nominal administrative expenditures out of such funds to initiate or maintain such optional services. (Adopted 4/96) M