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Bright MLS, the leading multiple listing service (MLS) representing 95,000 real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic U.S., has announced that it will be instituting a new policy regarding properties marketed prior to being listed on the MLS, known as Off-MLS Listings. This measure is being enacted to ensure transparency and access to information in the real estate marketplace for all consumers. The full language is below:

Within one business day of marketing a property to the public, the Participant must submit the listing to Bright MLS for cooperation with other Bright MLS Participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.
“A healthy MLS with full participation ensures that the consumer selling a property has the largest possible marketplace, and the consumer looking to buy has the widest possible selection to choose from,” says Jon Coile, chairman of Bright MLS. “Bright MLS is launching this policy to make sure that consumers’ needs for transparency and access to information are being met, both today and tomorrow.”

The primary requirement of this new policy is that a property must be listed on Bright MLS within one business day following consumer marketing of any kind, with marketing being defined in the policy. The policy is active as of Oct. 16, 2019; however, fines will not be levied for non-compliance until Dec. 1, 2019.

“The MLS system encourages competition in the marketplace while also ensuring cooperation and compensation among real estate professionals,” says Brian Donnellan, president and CEO of Bright MLS. “The new Bright MLS policy reinforces a system that greatly benefits consumers as well as brokers and agents. This is a win-win for all involved.”

The Bright MLS Off-MLS policy does not eliminate the Coming Soon status for a property, which is available within the Bright system for listings that are not being shown, and is considered to be a pre-marketed designation. The policy also allows for Office Exclusives, or private listings, on the condition that they are not marketed to the public. This would be used, for example, for private sales and other situations where the seller has requested that their property not be listed in the MLS for privacy reasons.

A full toolkit containing an in-depth explanation of the policy, reporting guidelines, penalties, and other frequently asked questions can be found at Any questions or concerns about the policy can be addressed to your local Bright MLS stakeholder Association or