BrightMLS’s New Pocket Listing Rule – Who is benefiting from this?

I have had a long list of "WHY's" for Real Estate Industry and this one is a new one to add to it. 

Why do Broker's allow BrightMLS to sell the listings to power houses like Zillow and Realtor while agreeing to NOT show the Listing Agent? Instead they show other agents for lead generation and charge thousands of dollars for the "bait and switch".   This has changed a bit the last couple of years where the "Listing Agent" is now shown and at minimum the broker info is shown ( but where and how small is another story) 

Oct 2019- A New RULE by BRIGHTMLS ! 

In the midst of Pocket or Off-Market Listings and sales, Bright is trying to CONTROL the process by imposing a new rule!  The new rule will require agents to put any listing they're publicly advertising into the MLS within 1 day or face STEEP FINES starting at $5K!

The marketing includes : 

  1. Yard Signs
  2. Flyers
  3. Emails
  4. Websites  - including Zillow 
  5. Any other public marketing medium = "consumer marketing of any kind"

Policy goes into effect December 1, 2019!  After that time, the penalty for breaking the rule starts at  $5,000!

So what does that mean?

  • You can no longer PRE-MARKET a listing to generate demand even if the Listing Client wants you to! 
  • You can also no longer try to sell it off the MLS - even if your client wants you try to do !
  • BrightMLS is now in the business of making Real Estate Industry Rules and control the Processes! 

Inman news stated that "Bright MLS’s new policy still allows for office exclusives and private listings, they just have to actually remain private." So now the definition will be an interesting one

Decision Makers


Bright MLS president & CEO
 Brian Donnellan


Donnellan said that Bright MLS has technology that scans for off-market listings with public marketing, but also will rely on word of mouth from members of the industry to identify violations of the new rule. The next 45 days — before fines start kicking in — will be used to educate members of the MLS, but Donnellan ultimately expressed optimism that the policy will actually benefit everyone.

“We believe this is totally a pro-consumer direction to go,” he said. “And it also happens to be pro-real estate, pro-broker and pro-agent. We feel like this is a total win win.”- According to Inman News aricle here

Chairman of Bright MLS’s BOD
Jon Coile

How is this GOOD  for  EVERYONE? - Definitely not for the Client or the Agents!

BrightMLS is stating that they are following NAR's new policy called "The Clear Cooperation Policy", that is "still under Consideration!" which would  require agents to share their listings with other members of their multiple listing services (MLSs) and ban ALL off-market listings in many instances except for a few that are up for debate such as  “coming soon” & office exclusive listings that are only shared internally at a brokerage. 

- Why are they so concerned about Coming Soon and Pocket Listings? If this is what the client wants - how can this be a new rule? How can this be in the best interest of the client

It is really a shame that the real estate industry is coming to this. It needs to be reformed. Again the company that holds the data seems to be controlling the rules now! When will Brokers' wake up and demand changes? 

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About the author

Ayda Walsh

My passion is sharing my knowledge, skills and experience with those who may benefit from them. My website is always a work in progress...