A Multiple Listing Service is a means by which authorized Participants (a principal, partner or corporate officer who is a REALTOR® Member designated to represent the office in its relationships with the Association and who chooses to participate in the activities of the Multiple Listing Service) make blanket unilateral offers of compensation to other Participants (acting either as subagents, buyer agents, or in other agency or non-agency capacities defined by law); by which cooperation among Participants is enhanced; by which information is accumulated and disseminated to enable authorized Participants to prepare appraisals, analyses, and other valuations of real property for bona fide clients and customers; by which Participants engaging in real estate appraisal contribute to common databases; entitlement to compensation is determined by the cooperating broker’s performance as procuring cause of the sale (or lease).
While offers of compensation made by listing brokers to cooperating brokers through MLS are unconditional,* a listing broker’s obligation to compensate a cooperating broker who was the procuring cause of sale (or lease) may be excused if it is determined through arbitration that, through no fault of the listing broker and in the exercise of good faith and reasonable care, it was impossible or financially unfeasible for the listing broker to collect a commission pursuant to the listing agreement. In such instances, entitlement to cooperative compensation offered through MLS would be a question to be determined by an arbitration hearing panel based on all relevant facts and circumstances including, but not limited to, why it was impossible or financially unfeasible for the listing broker to collect some or all of the commission established in the listing agreement; at what point in the transaction did the listing broker know (or should have known) that some or all of the commission established in the listing agreement might not be paid; and how promptly had the listing broker communicated to cooperating brokers that the commission established in the listing agreement might not be paid.
For purposes of the Multiple Listing Service the Broker in Charge is specified as the person in the firm who is authorized to offer cooperation and compensation to other firms and therefore identified also as the Participant in the Multiple Listing Service. All other licensees in the firm have use of the MLS through their association with the Participant but are not themselves Participants in the MLS.