Clear Cooperation Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is the Clear Cooperation Policy? 

The NAR Clear Cooperation Policy 8.0 states:

Within One 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. (The full policy can be viewed here.)

Why was the policy adopted?

As MLS Participants and Subscribers, you have agreed to cooperate and make all of your listings available through the MLS for other Participants and Subscribers to be aware of and show.

The Clear Cooperation Policy (8.0) is designed to support a more collaborative pro-consumer and pro-competitive market through a national standard of practice for REALTOR® MLS organizations and their participants.

Heartland MLS has adopted new standards of practice to meet the requirements of this mandated policy while also addressing the specific challenges of the local market and the best interest of subscribers.

When does the policy go into effect? 

The Heartland MLS Clear Cooperation Policy will take effect April 15, 2020.

Definitions

How does Heartland MLS define a brokerage/office in the NAR 8.0 / HMLS 1.1.1 rule? 

 For the purpose of the Heartland MLS Clear Cooperation Policy, a brokerage (office) is defined as the Participant and all subscribers within the same MLS Office ID

What is considered public advertising as it pertains to the policy?

Public advertising includes (but is not limited to):

  • Yard Signs, flyers or other promotional materials
  • Digital marketing on public facing websites including social media platforms
  • Digital communication including emails promoting the property to contacts
  • Promotional mailings (postcards, flyers, newsletters, etc.)
  • Brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW)
  • Multi-brokerage listing sharing networks including private social media groups

What is considered a showing as it pertains to the policy?

Heartland MLS defines a property showing to be anything outside of broker price opinions and estate sales. Examples of showings include (but are not limited to):

  • Any viewings with potential buyers
  • Broker/Agent tours
  • Showing previews
  • Open house
  • Mentor viewings

How do I determine a listing’s Effective Date?

Review the beginning date and the seller(s) signature date(s) on the Exclusive Right to Sell contract. Whichever of those dates is later is the Effective List Date. Properties cannot be entered into the MLS or marketed in any manner prior to that date.

What Property Types does the Clear Cooperation Policy apply to?

In direct alignment with the property types currently mandated within the HMLS Rules and Regulations (Section 1: Listing Procedures), the Clear Cooperation Policy will apply to all listings of single family homes, vacant lots, acreage, 2 family, 3 family and 4 family residential buildings including all sales made from a model home taken on Exclusive Right to Sell listing agreement within the HMLS Service area.

Will MLS Property Waivers still be required? 

No. Use of Temporary and Permanent Waivers will be discontinued effective April 1, 2020.

Will there be any Forms/Contracts Changes?

Yes. The Exclusive Right to Sell contracts have been modified and a new Private Office Exclusive contract form has been created.

When will these forms be available?

The revised Exclusive Right to Sell and the new Private Office Exclusive will be available for use on or before April 1, 2020.

Exclusive Right to Sell: 

This form has been modified to include a section that allows the seller to authorize the property to be entered in Pre-MLS status with a future MLS active date and the understanding that no showings can occur until that date.

This addition eliminates the need for the current temporary waiver that will be discontinued on April 1st when the updated Exclusive Right to Sell contracts will be available.

You will not be required to submit this form to MLS but please note that the property must still be entered in the MLS as Active or Pre MLS status within 1 business day from the effective date of the contract.


Private Office Exclusive Agreement:

The new Private Office Exclusive is being introduced for the rare instance when a seller is concerned about privacy and wide exposure for this property being for sale such as a high-profile client.

The distinct difference from the Exclusive Right to Sell contract is language making clear to the seller that they are opting out of all public marketing of their property including entry into the MLS. It also outlines that the property will only be marketed within their agent’s listing brokerage (which is defined by MLS office ID.)

This form does require the authorization and signature of the broker in order to be considered a valid listing agreement. A copy of this contract must be submitted to the Heartland MLS’s online submission link within 2 calendar days of obtaining required signatures.

Will there be any MLS Status Changes?

No. New listings will still be entered as Active, Incoming or Pre-MLS.

Active Status

When should I use the Active status? 

If you have a valid listing agreement and the property will immediately be available for showings, you should enter the listing in Active status on or within one (1) business day of the effective date on the Exclusive Right to Sell.

Incoming Status

When should I use the Incoming status? 

You may use the Incoming status if you wish to pre-load a new listing (including photos and supplements) and schedule it to automatically be changed to the Active status on or within one (1) business day of the contract effective date.

Pre-MLS Status

When should I use the Pre-MLS Status?

Pre-MLS status may be used when an agent has a valid listing agreement on a property but it will not be immediately available for showings. Common scenarios include the need for home repairs, updates, staging or professional photography. A Pre-MLS listing will become Active on the MLS Active Date as indicated on the updated Exclusive Right to Sell Contract. HMLS does not require the submission of this contract, however, the property must be entered in Pre-MLS status on or within one (1) business day of the effective date on the Exclusive Right to Sell.

What if I need to extend the MLS Active Date of a Pre-MLS Listing?

You may extend the future active date by obtaining an Amendment or Modification to the Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement and keep it for your files. You must then edit your Pre- MLS listing to show the modified date.

Can I advertise a Pre-MLS Listing? 

Yes. You may advertise a Pre-MLS listing, but cannot show a Pre-MLS listing until it is in Active status in the MLS.

What if a listing is shown while in Pre-MLS status? 

A listing cannot be shown in Pre-MLS status. If a showing does occur the listing must be changed to the Active Status immediately and will result in a $1,000 penalty if not completed within 24 hours.

May an Open House be held on a Pre-MLS listing? 

No. An Open House is considered a showing and public advertising. As such, an open house may only be held on listings that are already in Active status.

Private Office Exclusive Listings

What if my client is adamantly against having their property in the MLS?

NAR Clear Cooperation Policy 8.0 states:

Section 1.3 Exempt Listings

Per the Clear Cooperation Policy, 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. 

In this rare instance that your client opts for these exclusions, the Private Office Exclusive Listing Agreement should be used beginning April 1, 2020. A copy of the contract document must be submitted using the online submission system to HMLS within two (2) calendar days of obtaining all required signatures.

What is a Private Office Exclusive Listing?

The Private Office Exclusive Listing limits the marketing of a property to only other agents within the same listing brokerage (office) as defined by MLS Office ID.

If Private Office Exclusive listings are displayed or advertised to the general public, those listings must be submitted to the MLS for cooperation within one (1) business day. This violation will also result in a $1,000 penalty.

What would warrant a Private Office Exclusive Listing? 

The Private Office Exclusive is available for the rare instance when a seller is concerned about privacy and does not want the impending sale of their property to have wide exposure or to be publicly advertised. The most common examples include high profile/celebrity clients or divorce situations.

Who am I allowed to advertise a Private Office Exclusive Listing to?

You may only advertise to agents within the same listing brokerage, defined by the MLS office ID.

May I show a Private Office Exclusive listing?

Yes. Showings may occur for a Private Office Exclusive listing. The only restriction is that you may not advertise to anyone outside of the listing brokerage. Please refer to the HMLS Rules and Regulations Section 1.1.1 for more information regarding what is considered advertising.

Can a Private Office Exclusive Listing be added to ShowingTime?

No. A private listing cannot be included in the ShowingTime system. Showings must be coordinated directly with the listing agent/broker.

Does NAR 8.0 / HMLS 1.1.1 Clear Cooperation rule require listings to be submitted to the MLS if they are advertised to a select group of brokers/agents outside the listing broker’s office?

Yes. "Private listing networks" that include brokers or licensees who are not affiliated with the same listing brokerage are considered public advertising/display. Listings shared in multi-brokerage networks by participants must be submitted to the MLS for cooperation.

Can I Co-op with agents outside of my listing brokerage?

Yes. The Clear Cooperation Policy prohibits the advertising of the listing to agents outside of your brokerage, however, it does allow PRIVATE, one-on-one communication about the property and co-ops with agents from other brokerages.

What happens if a Private Office Exclusive Listing is advertised to the public?

The listing will be required to be entered into Heartland MLS in Active status within (one) 1 business day of the advertising. The Listing agent will be assessed a $1000.00 penalty per Heartland MLS Rules & Regulations for advertising a Private Office Exclusive Listing.