MLSs rethink rules and develop new policies in the face of upcoming changes to their ability to post compensation information.

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Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: MLSs rethink rules and develop new policies in the face of upcoming changes to their ability to post compensation information.

Most of the buzz since the announcement of NAR’s commission lawsuits settlement has been around how individual agents and brokerages will implement the proposed changes, which go into effect in mid-August.

To that end, we’ve been talking buyer agreements, client conversations and strategies of all kinds, mostly from the agent-client perspective. However, the past week has seen a lot of new movement from the MLSs, which are looking for ways to continue to provide service and transparency without posting offers of compensation.

EXTRA: Bright MLS will allow sellers to offer concessions upon listing

At NAR’s MLS Forum, held during its midyear legislative conference, MLS executives seemed uncomfortable (and even left the room) during discussions of how agent-client conversations should be handled. Now, however, MLSs seem to be finding their feet and making decisions about how to serve their constituencies under the new paradigm.

On Tuesday, May 28, Northwest MLS announced it would not be taking advantage of a provision that would have allowed the MLS to opt into NAR’s deal and thereby be released from potential antitrust claims that could be lodged against the MLS for its commission rules.

The proposed settlement, which has received preliminary but not final approval from the court, would have required NWMLS to ban offers of compensation from listing brokers to buyer brokers through the MLS but not outside of the MLS. That rule appeared to be the main sticking point for NWMLS in choosing not to opt in to the deal.

Asked whether NWMLS is concerned that not settling will leave the MLS vulnerable to such litigation, NWMLS President and CEO Justin Haag told Inman, “NWMLS has been directly addressing opportunities to better serve consumers with industry-leading changes since 2019. The proposed settlement agreement largely duplicates rules and practices that have been in place in NWMLS’s service area for years.

EXTRA: Nation’s largest MLS now allows listings to show seller concessions

We’re staying with this story in the months ahead, as more MLSs make adjustments to get in front of the settlement implementation and final approval. Have a news tip about the way your company or local MLS is changing? Submit it to our newsroom.

In the meantime, our goal is always to help you work smarter. While everyone else is figuring out what to do next, our Inman contributors are sharing their insights and advice so you can make your own decisions about the way you’ll run your business. Here are some of their best strategies to meet the moment.

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