Realtor® News

By Bob Rohan, Fund Regulatory Compliance Counsel

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) trade association is organized into 54 state and territorial associations and more than 1,200 local associations. These associations run approximately 600 multiple listing services (MLSs) nationwide. MLS member real estate agencies must adhere to NAR policies such as those found in NAR’s “Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy.” MLSs impose specific requirements for members’ entry of listing data about residential real properties. Sometimes, sellers want to avoid providing all the information required to market a listing through an MLS and may request marketing with a “pocket listing” outside the NAR-affiliated MLS system. A pocket listing allows a seller to customize and limit the amount of information provided affording a level of privacy not available with an NAR-affiliated MLS listing. In 2017, (PLS) launched The Pocket Listing Service, a centralized, nationwide searchable repository for pocket listings. A NAR advisory board concluded that leaving listings outside the broader marketplace offered by NAR-affiliated MLS systems excluded consumers, undermining NAR’s commitment to provide equal opportunity to all. So, NAR approved a “Clear Cooperation Policy” for inclusion in its Multiple Listing Policy handbook. The policy requires member brokers to enter a listing in the NAR-affiliated MLS within one business day of marketing a property to the public, including situations where it has listed a property with The Pocket Listing Service. Following approval of the new policy, PLS allegedly lost a significant amount of traffic to its site and filed a federal lawsuit against NAR alleging an unreasonable restraint of trade in violation of the Sher- man Act. Following dismissal of the action at the district court in 2021, PLS appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which, on April 26, 2022, reversed and remanded it where it is still pending today. For information about these and other regulatory matters, please email The Fund’s Regulatory Compliance Counsel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..