Do you have to join another association to participate in its MLS?

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11/19/2014 | Author: Editorial Staff

My market area is mostly in one local REALTOR® association, but part of it falls under another association. Do I have to have a secondary membership in that association to use its services?

No. While secondary membership in a neighboring association is encouraged so you can receive their communications, network with other Texas REALTORS® in your market, and participate in their consumer-outreach activities, membership is not required to participate in another association’s MLS or to purchase any other services through that association.

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Categories: Legal, Members
Tags: mls, membership, legal, legal faq


Terry Socia on 11/20/2014

Shawn Gray.  I am a Texas Realtor. I will sell any Texas property on the market.  Zillow wants my sales price every time I sell a property. It is ‘classified information’, in my book. I DO NOT SHARE my buyers or sellers purchase price with anyone but my current MLS.  I do not work, or pay, for Zillow, Trulia or any other site. Let them all ‘grasp at straws’! As far as signing a “waiver” not to “sell” in your jurisdiction… I did my job and I expect to be paid. Any MLS, in my opinion,  that makes you sign any waiver has gone outside the canons of ethics.

Shawn Gray on 11/20/2014

I am a broker in a rural area and am located in a small town that lies between two larger towns.  I strongly believe in being a Realtor (there are quite a few out here who are NOT members of any board) and so I have joined BOTH the boards AND the MLS’s of both of these towns. 
However, I do not feel that my agents should have to join both.  They are free to choose between the two.  We are all quite familiar with the nuances of the area, the taxing districts, etc. and can effectively represent both buyers and sellers in the entire geographic area.  We do not ask the listing agents to do any extra work and we carry our part of the load.  I just think it’s tacky to try to either A) force these agents to pay MLS dues or B) cut their commissions if they don’t belong to that MLS. 
I’m also disturbed by these waivers that MLS’s want my agents who do not belong to their board to sign stating they will not list or sell properties within the jurisdiction of that Board.  Some seem to think that the only way information about a property is disseminated is through the MLS but in rural areas and the farm and ranch market that is not the case.

Walter Stewart on 11/20/2014

Wow this is really a complicated issue in many metropolitan areas there is not much difference in markets between neighboring areas while in my area agents from many outside areas don’t have a clue what regulations and market influences they are dealing with in my area.  I have seen agents prepare contracts that could cost their Buyers thousands of dollars for not advising their clients of complicated issues that all local agents know exist.  Should I say “no"you don’t want me to present this contract.  I have spent hours answering questions from other agents clients, opening properties for friends and family to view the new purchase over and over again without the Buyer’s agent present because he is too far away or has other commitments.  In my area many agents want to fully participate in the commission and they live as far as 300 miles away.  What should I do?  “Say no”. I have an obligation to the seller to market the property even to people that choose to use agents from anywhere in Texas.  I don’t feel that I’m wrong in reducing the amount I share with distant agents when I have to do most of their work and this doesn’t address the responsibility of assisting their clients.  How do you answer the Seller’ s question when they ask you “Why wouldn’t you advise that buyer about my property, that is what I retained you to do?”  Seller’s are not interested in “Laws of Agency” they are only interested in selling their property.

Like I said this is a difficult problem and I will continue to try serving my clients and receive fair compensation.

Jeanne Butterfield on 11/20/2014

If you are a Salesperson licensee and want to join another MLS, your Broker must join the secondary MLS first and pay dues before you can.

Keep in mind that other MLS areas may use different lockbox and MLS data systems so you may need training and may be required to get other Supra type services.

gerald waldon on 11/19/2014

The separation of the MLS associations causes alot of grief if you work an area that borders the other, like I do. More than once, I have had a realtor who would reduce the commission because I paid dues in the bordering MLS association. Needless to say those realtors go to the top of my list…not the good list. While the majority of the realtors work together and work with you, there are always a few looking out for that maximum commission. I will probably join the other MLS soon . What’s a few thousand dollars anyway!

Shawn Gray on 11/19/2014

i think what this means is that you don’t have to be a MEMBER but you do still have to join their MLS.  It’s very unfair for those of us who practice in multiple areas.  They say that you’re not to list or sell properties in their area if you’re not an MLS member.  Commissions to non MLS PARTICIPANTS ARE LESS.  Paying the board dues is usually the cheap part.

D Clark on 11/19/2014

But the problem is, you don’t know any of the showing instructions, so it is very difficult to show the house unless you call the listing agent.  MLS’s are little fiefdoms.

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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