Imporant KAAR Announcement Regarding Showingtime

The announcement of Zillow purchasing Showingtime has unsurprisingly generated a lot of talk online and on social media platforms. KAAR certainly wants to encourage discussion and engagement, but we want to protect our members of the REALTOR family by reminding them they must refrain from making comments that are inconsistent with federal antitrust law. Antitrust lawsuits are typically high dollar and notoriously difficult to defend, not to mention that the Department of Justice has a microscope on the real estate industry right now. Just as REALTORS would never enter into conversations on commission fixing, it's imperative that members do not enter and start conversations that would limit or discourage the free, open marketplace for all businesses and business models.  

The NAR Antitrust MLS policy is at *** below.

Here are a few important things to keep in mind:

Zillow is a REALTOR member. The Code of Ethics every member agrees to uphold when joining the association is very clear about how we speak of competitors and peers. 

Listing data and data decisions are made at your broker level, not at KAAR.  If a member has any questions about where your sellers' listings appear, please discuss this with your broker.  Similarly, the use of any showing/appointment platform is a broker level decision.

Without question, the real estate industry is in a constant state of change. It always has been. Traditional brokerages' business models are changing too. Any large industry change causes unrest and insecurity.  Now more than ever professionalism must be front and center for your personal business.

Your board of directors and leadership team at the Knoxville Area Association of REALTORS, in cooperation with the Tennessee REALTORS association and NAR is committed to remaining awake at the wheel as our industry (locally and nationally) changes, bringing you options to be prepared for this ever-evolving industry and how to compete in this marketplace.

Sincerely, 

Lyle Irish, CEO

 

***NAR Antitrust MLS policy

The purpose of multiple listing is the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information to participants so they may better serve the buying and selling public. The Knoxville Area Association REALTORS® and its multiple listing service cannot enact or enforce any rule which restricts, limits, or interferes with participants in their relations with each other, in their broker/client relationships, or in the conduct of their business in the following areas.

To avoid violating federal antitrust laws, associations of REALTORS® and their MLSs can not:

  • Fix, control, recommend, or suggest the commissions or fees charged for real estate brokerage services.
  • Fix, control, recommend, or suggest the cooperative compensation offered by listing brokers to potential cooperating brokers.
  • Base dues, fees, or charges on commissions, listed prices, or sales prices. Initial participation fees and charges should directly relate to the costs incurred in bringing services to new participants.
  • Modify, or attempt to modify, the terms of any listing agreement; this does not prohibit administrative corrections of property information necessary to ensure accuracy or consistency in MLS compilations.
  • Refuse to include any listing in an MLS compilation solely on the basis of the listed price.
  • Prohibit or discourage participants from taking exclusive agency listings or refusing to include any listing in an MLS compilation solely on the basis that the property is listed on an exclusive agency basis.
  • Prohibit or discourage participants from taking “office exclusive” listings; certification may be required from the seller or listing broker that the listing is being withheld from the MLS at the direction of the seller.
  • Give participants or subscribers blanket authority to deal with or negotiate with buyers or sellers exclusively represented by other participants.
  • Establish, or permit establishment of, any representational or contractual relationship between an MLS and sellers, buyers, landlords, or tenants.
  • Prohibit or discourage cooperation between participants and brokers that do not participate in the MLS.
  • Prohibit or discourage participants or subscribers from participating in political activities.
  • Interfere in or restrict participants in their relationships with their affiliated licensees.

These policy prohibitions are subject to and limited by applicable statutes, ordinances, and governmental regulations, to agreements entered into by an MLS or association of REALTORS® and an agency of government, and to final decrees of courts or administrative agencies.

This policy does not prohibit associations of REALTORS® or their MLSs from adopting rules or policies establishing the legitimate uses of MLS information, from prohibiting unauthorized uses of MLS information, or from establishing rules or policies necessary to prevent illegal collective action, including price-fixing and boycotts.

It is the duty and responsibility of associations of REALTORS® and MLSs owned by or controlled by associations of REALTORS® to ensure that all bylaws, rules, regulations, and other governance provisions comply with all mandatory multiple listing policies of the National Association of REALTORS®. Associations of REALTORS® failing to conform with these policies will be required to show cause why their charters should not be revoked.