CRMLS - Clear Cooperation Policy

The Clear Cooperation Policy

The Clear Cooperation Policy ensures equal access to property listings 

Here’s a refresher on what it is and how it helps you 

This May marks the two-year anniversary of CRMLS implementing the NAR-mandated Clear Cooperation Policy.

Clear Cooperation (or CCP) is one of our most important rules. The consequences for violating it can be severe, including citation penalties of at least $500 per offense. Even so, many agents and brokers have informed us that they feel like they don’t fully understand the policy. If you feel like you don’t have a complete grasp of CCP, don’t worry – you’re not alone!

We’re here to help you feel confident that you understand not just how our rules function, but why they exist. Here’s a brief refresher on the Clear Cooperation Policy.

What is the Clear Cooperation Policy?

The Clear Cooperation Policy is a NAR-mandated policy that nearly every MLS in the country follows and enforces. To paraphrase, it says that every listing that brokers and agents market to the public must go into the MLS no more than one business day after the first day they market it.

We include CCP in the CRMLS Rules and Regulations as Rule 7.9. Click here if you want the full, legal definition.

CCP is, on paper, as simple as an MLS policy can be. (You can find the full text in our Rules and Regulations under Rule 7.9 here.) We know that the real world is much more complicated! How do we define “marketing,” or “the public,” or a “business day?” Are there exceptions? What if my seller says no?

We have answers to all these questions. Let’s start by communicating the spirit of the rule.

Why do we have the Clear Cooperation Policy?

Two words: Fair Housing.

The MLS facilitates cooperation between real estate brokers. We’re here to make sure of two things:

  1. Your buyers can see all the properties in a market, and
  2. Your sellers get the attention of all potential buyers on their property.

This country has a long history of discriminatory housing policies. The U.S. government has made it clear that the best way to prevent housing discrimination is with an open, transparent market – not one full of “pocket listings” and other methods of selling homes only within specific, off-market groups. When a broker excludes qualified buyers from the opportunity to compete for a home, the market becomes less transparent regardless of intentions.

CCP encourages equal access to housing. If you meet the requirements to buy a home, but the fact that you don’t belong to the “right group” means you can’t see it, it doesn’t matter why the “right group” excludes you. What matters is that you lose an opportunity that you should have had.

We all benefit when people who break the rules face opposition. The Clear Cooperation Policy exists so brokers can hold each other accountable. The MLS is the best way to enforce this accountability.

What if my seller doesn’t want to promote through the MLS?

As much as we value a fair and open market, we don’t intend to override the wishes of the sellers who have important reasons for keeping their listings out of the MLS. Ultimately, sellers decide what to do with their property, including keeping it out of the MLS for a short time or for the entire period of the listing agreement.

CRMLS has mechanisms in place to accommodate these sellers.

  • If your seller does not want to market the listing to the public, we accommodate them through the Registered Listings service in your Listing Toolbox. Learn how to exclude listings from the MLS via the Registered process with this CRMLS Registered Listings guide.
  • If your seller wants you to pursue limited public marketing, you can use the Coming Soon status in all MLS systems. Learn more with our guide to Coming Soon.

Where can I learn more?

We can’t answer every question about CCP in one email. That’s why we built this resource library:

We also have a dedicated Clear Cooperation Policy page for answers to FAQs, detailed explanations, and a method to report violations of the rules.

We’re proud to enable an open, transparent real estate market as your MLS. Please contact us with any questions – we’re here to help!

Thank you for your continued support.

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