SFAR's Board of Directors has reviewed and adopted the mandatory changes to rules and business procedures around offers of compensation and discussed and approved at the 2021 NAR Annual Conference in San Diego. MLS Policy Statement 7.13 mandates that Broker Participants should disclose the offer of compensation on sites, pages, and displays intended for consumers.
In light of this requirement, several changes are coming MLS systems across the country who are all adopting this change. These system changes satisfy the required "public disclosure" of compensation. In addition, SFAR has recently published an update to the SFARMLS Rules & Regulations that includes changes for 7.13 (other NAR mandated changes, and a host of general improvements and clarifications).
The changes for SFAR members are summarized as follows:
- Public facing pages of the SFARMLS system, including Client Portals and any "public IDX links" will be modified to show the compensation.
- The values for compensation are included in data feeds to IDX websites, Brokerage systems and integrated Vendor products so that public displays can be modified to display the provided data.
- The standard disclaimer text inside the SFARMLS system has been appended to reflect that offers of compensation are made only to other MLS Broker Participants, as follows:
“The offer of compensation is made only to participants of the MLS where the listing is filed or where the listing is shared with other MLSs as part of a data-share agreement that extends the offer of compensation.”
As a Broker Participant, you may display the offer of compensation to the buyer’s broker on your public facing websites if you choose to. In such a case, we highly recommend that you also include a similar disclaimer that the offer is made only to other Brokers of SFARMLS and by extension of the NORCAL MLS Alliance, the broker community across our regional data-share (as described above). Policy Statement 7.13 is reflected in our SFARMLS Rules & Regulations with a number of key deletions of clauses that restricted the display and transmission of these data points.
Closely related to Policy Statement 7.13, the new MLS Policy Statement 8.4, Services Advertised as “Free”
addition mandates that MLS participants and subscribers must not represent that their brokerage services to a client or customer are free or available at no cost to their clients, unless the participant or subscriber will receive no financial compensation from any source for those services.
This does not limit you from providing a consultation or courtesy evaluation when working with potential new clients as long as this is prior to signing a service agreement. Policy Statement 8.4 resulted in a change to the model rules, which appears in our SFARMLS Rules & Regulations in Section 12.10 (e).