Clear Cooperation Frequently Asked Questions

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.)

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.

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

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
  • Discussions with any person outside of the broker’s office, nor notification to other brokerage firms

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

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.

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 public and private 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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

A listing cannot be shown in Pre-MLS status. If a showing of a Pre-MLS listing occurs before the status is made active, a $1,000 penalty will be assessed.

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.

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 modified to a Public-Active status within one (1) business day of the publicly marketing violation.Failure to comply with this action will result in a $1,000 penalty being assessed.

The Private Office Exclusive Modification to the Exclusive Right to Sell Contract form 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.

Learn more about Private Office Exclusive listings.

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.