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Sample Letter: Revised Definition for "MLS Participation"

Associations may use this sample letter where an MLS Participant may no longer qualify under the revised definition for "Participation" established between NAR and the U.S. Department of Justice.


Download the Model Letter as a Word DOC (30 KB) or as a PDF (311 KB).


Dear ______ (MLS participant’s name):

As you may know, in November, 2008 the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) finalized a settlement regarding the NAR policy that governs the display of MLS listings on brokers’ virtual office websites (VOWs). A provision of this settlement modifies the definition of MLS Participation and impacts your membership in the ___________ (MLS).

The previous definition of MLS Participation required that an individual or firm be capable of offering and accepting compensation to and from other Participants. Under the revised definition, the capacity to offer and accept compensation is not sufficient. Rather, the individual or firm must offer or accept cooperation and compensation. The revised definition requires the individual or firm to “actively endeavor to list and sell real estate on an ongoing basis” in order to qualify for MLS Participation.

As mandated by NAR, the _________‘s (association name) Board of Directors adopted the revised definition and amended the Bylaws.

It appears you/your firm may not meet the revised definition of MLS Participation because it does not actively endeavor to list and/or sell real estate on an ongoing basis, and as a result, is/are no longer eligible for membership in the _________ (MLS). If you disagree you may submit for our review information that demonstrates your ongoing efforts to list or sell properties through the MLS. You/Your firm’s membership will be terminated on ______ (date), unless you do at least ONE of the following:

  • Provide documentation confirming that you have participated in a real estate transaction involving a property listed in the _______ (MLS) between ____ (date) and _____ (date). (NAR suggests a six month period)
     
  • Confirm in writing that your firm actively endeavors to acquire listings of properties for sale to be submitted to the MLS and/or represent buyers seeking properties for sale in the MLS – utilizing the _______ (MLS) – on a continual and on-going basis, and provide a description of your activities in that regard.
     
  • Confirm in writing that your firm engages in appraisal activities exclusively and that there are no real estate brokers or sales licensees licensed with you or your firm. Please include your appraisal license number and the state in which you are licensed. 

If you acknowledge that you no longer engage in activities that allow you to be a participant in the MLS you may request in writing that your ________ (MLS) membership be discontinued immediately.

Please forward all responses to my attention. If you do not respond, your _________ (MLS) membership will automatically be terminated on _____ (date).

If you have any questions or concerns about this change or your options, please do not hesitate to contact me at _________ (phone) or email me at ____________ (email). 

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.