We have updated our MLS rules to reflect policy changes adopted by the National Association of REALTORS®.
Watch this four-minute video for an overview of the latest changes to our rules, addressing what NAR calls “MLS of Choice.”
Where did the change come from? What does the rule change mean? What is the impact on HIS members? And how does this relate to the “MLS of Choice” service that HIS offers? Our video covers what you need to know!
Prefer reading to watching? See below for more details!
Summary of Changes:
These latest rule revisions were required to comply with changes to MLS Policy Statement 7.42, Jurisdiction of Association Multiple Listing Services, and MLS Policy Statement 7.43, Waivers of MLS Fees, Dues and Changes.
Previously, an MLS could require an agent under a subscribing broker to also subscribe to the MLS, regardless of whether the agent needed to use that specific MLS. This was a problem for agents who were under brokers who were members of more than one MLS, as they would have to subscribe to all of the MLSs to which his or her broker subscribed.
With these latest policy changes, an agent under a broker who is a member of multiple MLSs has the option to sign up with only one of those MLSs and not have to sign up with all of them.
To support this change, MLSs are required to provide no-cost waivers to agents if the agents can demonstrate that they have a subscription to another MLS. Our rules now include a new section (13.05) that explains the eligibility for such waivers, the processes involved in obtaining waivers, and the conditions that apply to agents while they are on waiver.
What Changes at HIS?
We have revised our waiver application form to accommodate agents who are members of another MLS, as well agents who work in a specialized field of real estate that does not involve the sale or appraisal of real estate such as property managers. This updated Waiver Application form is available in REsearch.
Waiver applications are subject to review and approval by the HIS Board of Directors. All waivers are good for one year and must be renewed by June 30 each year for the following fiscal year.
Should you have any questions about the revisions to the rules, please contact Membership Director, Diana Haraguchi, by email to Diana@hiinfo.com or by calling 1-800-621-3121, ext. 172.
Frequently Asked Questions (Video Transcript)
Q: Where did this rule change come from?
A: This change, passed by NAR in November and adopted into our rules by our Board of Directors at their last meeting, addresses problems that arise in regions where multiple MLSs have adjacent service areas or service areas that overlap. Prior to this change, when a broker chose to participate in many different MLSs, his or her affiliated agents were ALSO required to sign up for EVERY MLS in which their broker participated.
Q: What does this rule change mean?
A: With this change, agents can choose to sign up for only one of the MLSs in which their broker participates. They can also participate in some, or again all of those MLSs, choosing those MLSs that best serve their clients and business.
Q: What impact does this have on OUR members?
A: Hawaii is fortunate to not have overlapping service areas for its three MLSs. Because our MLSs serve clear and distinct territories – that is, counties or islands – it is very uncommon for an agent to be required to sign up for an MLS outside their area of business.
Q: What about brokerages that operate across several islands?
A: In those cases, yes, brokers might participate in two or three Hawaii MLSs, but their agents now only need to sign up for one of them – most likely the one serving the island where they do business.
Q: If an agent wants to OPT OUT of HIS, or any MLS, used by their broker, what do they need to do?
A: HIS, like most MLSs, already has a waiver process in place. Our waiver application form has been updated to accommodate agents who are already members of another MLS. You can find our waiver form, along with all other subscriber forms, linked on the login page of our website at HawaiiInformation.com.
Q: As we mentioned, NAR has called this new POLICY “MLS of Choice.” How is this related to the SERVICE that HIS has offered for years, which is also called “MLS of Choice”?
A: They’re not related, and the confusion is unfortunate. The “MLS of Choice” POLICY allows brokers and agents more flexibility in working with different MLSs, but is aimed primarily at regions where service areas overlap. The “MLS of Choice” PRODUCT that we offer is a MLS service for Oahu and Maui agents who can subscribe to it as a secondary service. It provides them with access to Hawaii Island and Kauai listing data, but not our TMK public record data.
Q: If anyone has more questions about this rule change, who can they contact?
A: We’ll be happy to help. You can send me an email to email@example.com, or call toll free from the neighbor islands at (800) 628-3121, extension 172. If calling from Oahu, the number is 599-4224, extension 172.