As of May 1, 2020, NAR’s Clear Cooperation Policy must be implemented by MLSs nationwide. NAR established the policy to benefit consumers and promote cooperation between REALTORS® by addressing “office exclusives,” sometimes referred to as “pocket listings.” REALTORS® have long recognized that sellers benefit most by marketing their property to as many buyers as possible through the MLS and other public-facing websites. However, some sellers have a real need to maintain their privacy while selling a property (e.g., sports or music celebrities, politicians, divorce situations, etc). In such situations, the seller may want to list their property with a REALTOR® (to benefit from his or her expertise) but waive public marketing opportunities.
In response to the Clear Cooperation rule, the Tennessee REALTORS® Residential Forms Committee has amended form RF 707 to address “office exclusive listings.” (Look for the form on May 1.)
If your seller chooses to waive public marketing of a property, you should insert the new “office exclusive listing” paragraph in your listing agreement. You will find the provision in paragraph 20, beginning on line 261 of RF 707. The seller and listing agent need to understand and agree that there will be no public marketing of the property via the internet or otherwise. Thereafter, any public marketing efforts by the listing agent would trigger an obligation to submit the listing to the MLS for distribution to participants. “Public marketing” includes, but is not limited to, signage, mailings, social media posts, etc.
Other resources on this important topic include:
NAR Window to the Laws: Understanding the MLS Clear Cooperation Policy