New Fee Waiver for CCIMLS Access Begins April 1
Over the past several Board of Directors updates, you may have read about changes we are making to the rules pertaining to MLS access requirements 7.42 and 7.43 set forth by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). Essentially, these changes mean that CCIMLS will be offering a no-cost fee waiver for licensees affiliated with a CCIMLS participant (broker) who do not want to use the services of CCIMLS as long as the licensee is a member of another MLS — some have been calling this ‘MLS of Choice.’
The rule changes to implement fee waivers can be found in Article VI of the CCIMLS Rules & Regulations and read as follow:
For all licensees affiliated with a CCIMLS participant who chooses to waive the access and use of CCIMLS and its services, the following would apply:
- Any fee-waived licensee must be a subscriber in another multiple listing service or must exclusively work with rentals;
- No offer of compensation for fee waived licensees as the listing broker’s obligation to compensate any cooperating broker as the procuring cause of the sale (or lease) shall be excused if it is determined through arbitration that the selling salesperson affiliated with the cooperating broker was subject to a fee waiver under Section 6.6 at any time between the offer to purchase and the closing of the sale;
- Prohibited from using this MLS’s systems, databases, etc.: This does not include accessing listing information of the licensee’s own broker or of other brokers through the participant’s IDX site or elsewhere. It does include accessing such information on the participant’s VOW (which is for consumers’ personal use).
- Being a listing agent on an active or pending property listing in CCIMLS;.
- Use of any data feed from this MLS, except one that includes listings only of the licensee’s broker;
- Using this MLS’s data on an IDX or VOW website identified as the fee-waived subscriber’s site or page;
- Using MLS’s data in an automated valuation product or tool in any product or service identified as coming from the fee-waived subscriber;
- Attending an MLS Tour, training, or utilizing any other product, service or benefit of the Multiple Listing Service.
What Does a Fee Waiver for Licensees Mean?
For years, there has been an optional rule under NAR to allow REALTOR-Association owned MLSs to require all licensees affiliated with a broker within a single office to join a specific MLS if the broker was a participant in the MLS. We enforced that policy requiring all licensees in an office to join, once the participant joined CCIMLS. This new policy changes that – it allows the participant and any agent in that office that would like to join CCIMLS to join but does not mandate that all agents join as long as they are active members of another MLS. In other words, all agents must still join a MLS, but we will not require them to join CCIMLS. However, there are strict rules regarding what those licensees who chose not to join CCIMLS may do to be eligible for the waiver as outlined above.
How Will the Fee Waiver Work?
Starting April 1st, 2018, a no-cost waiver will be made available to all current and future participants of CCIMLS. If any agents affiliated with a CCIMLS participant wish to waive their access to CCIMLS, the participant will need to add that agents name to the waiver and certify that they meet the requirements of the waiver including that the agent is a subscriber of another Multiple Listing Service. The waiver will then be reviewed and approved by CCIMLS staff before becoming effective. Once effective, any agents on the waiver will not be able to access any MLS services (see more below) and will also not pay any MLS fees. The waiver will have to be recertified by the CCIMLS participant on an annual basis to remain in effect.
If I Waive my Access to CCIMLS, What Does That Mean?
Quite simply, you can not use any of the services offered by CCIMLS – and that includes a unilateral offer of compensation as the buyer’s agent, the ability to list properties in the MLS as a listing agent, the ability to access or use any data from CCIMLS, the ability to put your property on or attend an MLS Tour, and access to any of our MLS products, including, but not limited to: FlexMLS, Cloud CMA, RealtyInsite, ListTrac, etc., or an entire set of other prohibitions outlined above.
What Does This Mean for the Vast Majority of Members?
If you want to access the data inside CCIMLS, to put your listings in CCIMLS, to display CCIMLS listings on your website, to be compensated as a buyer’s agent on a listing in CCIMLS, to put your listing on an MLS Tour, to attend an MLS Tour, to use valuable products like Cloud CMA, RealtyInsite, ListTrac, etc., or to use our data distribution controls and access points (Zillow, REALTOR.com, ListHub, Cape Cod Times, Boston Globe, etc.) – then this means absolutely nothing! You will simply continue to be a member of CCIMLS and receive the benefits and services that we offer.
Does MLS PIN Have to Implement this Rule?
No, and we do not know if they will implement this rule. As a non-REALTOR Association owned MLS (MLS PIN is owned by brokers who buy shares and get paid profits from the membership access fees you pay to them), they are not required to follow the National Association of REALTORS® mandated MLS Policy. If you have questions about MLS PIN policies in relation to MLS of Choice, we encourage you to contact them directly for more information.