If/when your MLS adopts a version of NAR’s clear cooperation policy then you must input your listing into the MLS and you have one business day to input your listing into MLS unless you are only communicating your listing internally to your brokerage as an office exclusive. Sellers will no longer be able to simultaneously direct you to both publicly market the property and withhold the property from MLS. Sellers will only be able to direct you to withhold the property from MLS if the property is not being marketed publicly (e.g., multiple brokerage/licensees on Facebook, print, electronic), and only being marketed as an office exclusive only to your brokerage.

NAR created the clear cooperation policy to address national reports of some licensees potentially acting unethically with regard to coming soon advertising and private Facebook group sharing of what amounted to pocket listings contrary to the best interests of the seller and potentially creating fair housing violation risks.


MLSs can adopt the specific policy language under Listing Procedures. Below are the changes to the NAR model MLS Rules. These changes will be reflected in the Model MLS Governing Documents found in the 2020 Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy (updated version expected January 2020):

Section 1.01 – Clear Cooperation

Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public. (Adopted 11/19)

Note: Exclusive listing information for required property types must be filed and distributed to other MLS Participants for cooperation under the Clear Cooperation Policy. This applies to listings filed under Section 1 and listings exempt from distribution under Section 1.3 of the NAR model MLS rules if it is being publicly marketed, and any other situation where the listing broker is publicly marketing an exclusive listing that is required to be filed with the service and is not currently available to other MLS Participants.

Section 1.3 Exempt Listings

If the seller refuses to permit the listing to be disseminated by the service, the participant may then take the listing (office exclusive) and such listing shall be filed with the service but not disseminated to the participants. Filing of the listing should be accompanied by certification signed by the seller that he does not desire the listing to be disseminated by the service.

Note 1: Section 1.3 is not required if the service does not require all (indicate type[s] of listing[s] accepted by the service) listings to be submitted by a participant to the service.

Note 2: MLS Participants must distribute exempt listings within (1) one business day once the listing is publicly marketed.See Section 1.01, Clear Cooperation.

Posted by: Byron King on 3/3/20 (This information is only accurate as of 3/3/20. You must contact SCR for updates and changes to this information after 3/3/20 as laws and regulations may change over time. SCR 803-772-5206 or email info at screaltors.org)