MLS Rule 2C: Clarification Restores Order

Last year I was at a real estate brokerage office meeting when they began the customary round of talking about new and up-coming listings. At one point the Managing Broker interrupted the Agent and firmly reminded him that he could not share the address of the property he was sharing to the group. “What is she talking about?” I thought. So I interrupted the meeting and asked that they clarify why the heck he couldn’t share the property address. I run a homebuilding company and I certainly want Brokers sharing our upcoming listings with their office mates. The Managing Broker then explained the new MLS Rule 2c to me. I was shocked and complained to her in the meeting, which generated a group discussion around everyone’s frustration with the new rule. We moved along to other business only after they pleaded with me to see if I could do anything, and gave me the name and number of the NWMLS corporate attorney. I know that the NWMLS is owned by its membership but there are times when our governing bodies aren’t in tune with those they govern. The MLS Rule 2c was one of those examples.

Previously, Rule 2c wouldn’t allow their brokers to promote the sale of a property in any fashion whatsoever prior to listing it on the MLS. That means even verbally in the Brokerage meetings, on the Internet, or on competing listing services such as the PLS (Postlets Listing Service).

So I asked our attorney to contact the NWMLS and begin the process of discussion around why we felt that the NWMLS Rule 2c was anti-competitive and hurting our business. What I learned was first and foremost, the NWMLS has great council and they were extremely accommodating and sincerely interested in the discussion. They exhibited sincere flexibility and thoughtfulness. The result of those conversations was a revision of Rule 2c that can be read below.

The end result is that the revised Rule 2c does not prohibit a member from promoting or advertising property information obtained from a non-NWMLS source as long as the member didn’t generate the information, has clear authorization from the source, and lists the source of the information. Examples of information members may promote and advertise are defined as:

  1. Public Records Information;

  2. Automated valuation models (“AVMs”);

  3. For sale by owner (“FSBO”) properties – from information not generated by the member;

  4. Real estate owned (“REOs”) or foreclosed properties – from information not generated by the member; and

  5. New construction properties – from information not generated by the member.



As a result of this revision, I am now authorizing all members of the NWMLS to promote and advertise, on any website, listing service, or in any conversation you think appropriate, the sale of Green Canopy’s homes that are not currently listed for sale on the NWMLS.

You can find information about our properties on our website or by calling our office and you can identify the source of that information as me, Aaron Fairchild, or the Green Canopy website: www.greencanopy.com.