I posted previously with things I suggested that MLSs do in order to implement the new VOW policy. Unfortunately, time is so short that many MLSs will find it difficult to do all, or even many, of the things we advise.

Consequently, I’m revising my approach. In this post, I’ll provide a summary of things that MLSs really must get done before the NAR-imposed deadline of February 15, 2009. In the next day or so, I’ll ID things MLSs must do, but could postpone for a couple weeks after February 15. In a later post, I’ll discuss things that we advise MLSs to do if they want to be strategic about the VOW policy.

What’s on the triage list?

MLSs affiliated with NAR are required to provide NAR a written certification by February 15, 2009, that they have completed a small set of steps. NAR has provided a form for this purpose on the page where it has provided its implementation materials for MLSs. These then are the things MLSs must get done by February 15.

  1. Rescind the 2003 VOW policy, if your MLS is one of the couple hundred that adopted it. If your MLS adopted the 2005 ILD policy, it must rescind that, too. (I know of no MLS that adopted it, because it only existed for a couple weeks before the DOJ lawsuit and NAR suspended its application.) You can accomplish these tasks with a resolution of your MLS committee or board of directors, whichever is authorized to make MLS policies, unless you have provisions in your bylaws that require a membership, shareholder, or other confirmatory meeting.
  2. Adopt the new VOW policy verbatim. You can accomplish this task with a resolution of your MLS committee or board of directors, whichever is authorized to make MLS policies, unless you have provisions in your bylaws that require a membership, shareholder, or other confirmatory meeting.
  3. Adopt the model VOW rules that NAR has provided. We recommend tidying some of the language in the model rules to clarify it; but if your MLS does not have time, it can adopt all the sections through 19.14 verbatim and do the cleanup later. You can accomplish this task with a resolution of your MLS committee or board of directors, whichever is authorized to make MLS policies, unless you have provisions in your bylaws that require a membership, shareholder, or other confirmatory meeting.
  4. Identify optional rules that your MLS has adopted. Rules 19.15 through 19.25 in the NAR model VOW rules are optional. If your MLS adopts any of them before it provides the certification form to NAR, however, it must indicate on the certification form which of these optional requirements it adopted. Your MLS does not need to adopt any of these provisions, and it may chose to adopt some or all of them later, after the February 15, 2009, implementation deadline. If your group is short of time, skip the options and give your leaders time to consider them strategically. Note that if your MLS adopts any of the Sections 19.15 through 19.19, you will need to draft rules applicable to other delivery media to appear in your general rules; NAR has not provided model language for this.

If your MLS performs these four tasks by February 15, 2009, it can in good faith provide to NAR the certification of compliance. Next, we’ll look at things your MLS will have to do but may be able to put off until after February 15.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. I’m an AE who has already met with my local MLS Committee to dialogue about mandatory vs optional portions of the VOW policy. I believe that your membership will be better-served if the Association leadership reviews and adopts all materials for mandatory as well as optional portions at the same time, prior to Feb 15th. If you fail to do so, members will contract to develop VOW’s with vendors

  2. Brian, I have a question about the seller opt out for display: Is that only for VOWs or, if they opt out, does that restrict them from being displayed elsewhere on the Internet as well? On a related note, I’ve looked for the form the seller is to sign and can’t seem to locate it.

  3. @Mike,
    The seller has four options:
    1. Withhold listing display on Internet. This affects IDX, and MLS transmissions of the listing to Realtor.com, aggregators, syndicators, etc. Some MLSs refer to this simply as “internet yes/no”.

    2. Withhold address display on listing on Internet. This also affects all the forms of display indicated in (1).

    3. Refuse to permit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *