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Should MLSs allow FSBO listings?

Oct 26, 2010 Michael Wurzer

According to Inman News (both articles now behind their pay wall), the Canadian government appears to have forced CREA to allow MLS-only (essentially, for-sale-by-owner) listings and there is litigation in Alaska and Nebraska over the same issue. Is the writing on the wall here? Should MLSs figure out a way to allow FSBO listings into the MLS?

Some time ago, I wrote that the distinction between agents and consumers in terms of being a “member” in the MLS is sometimes dubious at best. There are plenty of MLS members who are inactive but maintain their membership so they have access to the MLS. Accordingly, the question is one of paying for access and agreeing to the terms of use. Can terms of use be crafted to allow sellers to access the MLS directly? Could this benefit everyone?