NorthstarMLS has extended the maximum allowable time in Coming Soon Status from 21 days to 60 days.

This is an extraordinary measure during extraordinary times that we hope will not be necessary for long; however, we will consider further extension of the number of days permitted while in Coming Soon as circumstances may dictate.

The rule of no showings allowed while in Coming Soon status has not changed—only the amount of time you may leave a listing in that status. If you want to accept showing appointments, the listing still must be in Active status by the time of the first showing.

All listings currently in Coming Soon status will retain the current Availability Date you set when you entered the listing. You may go in and edit that date if you would like to take advantage of this extension.

Please note: For your existing Coming Soon listings, if you choose to take advantage of the extension, be sure to notify the showing agents (for any already approved showings during that period) that those showings are canceled.

Also, a reminder that earlier this week, we temporarily waived the requirement to allow showings for Active status listings as long as you disclose it in Public Remarks.

We hope you are all staying safe and healthy. NorthstarMLS is operating business as usual to support you and your clients.

Effective immediately, we are temporarily suspending NorthstarMLS’s rule requiring availability for showings in Active status. If your seller is not comfortable scheduling showings for their property because of the COVID-19 threat, you may decline showings but leave the property in Active status. However, we do require that you disclose in Public Remarks that you are not accepting showings at this time. We also ask that you revise the showings calendar in ShowingTime to block scheduling for the property and notify any already confirmed appointments if you wish to cancel them. This rule suspension will remain in effect indefinitely. We will post here when the situation improves and the rule is put back into effect.

Update: If you continue to allow showings, you may want to consider not allowing overlapping appointments on your listings so that agents and their clients may show homes without concern that others will be there. When setting up your listings, you can choose “No” for “Allow Overlapping Showings” in the Appointment Restrictions. The Set Up Listings in ShowingTime user guide can help you with this.

NorthstarMLS is monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, as you no doubt all are for your businesses and clients. During this uncertain time, we want you to know that you can depend on NorthstarMLS business as usual.

We are equipped to provide our usual 24/7 availability for all our MLS systems that you depend upon to do business. Help Desk and Rules/Reg support hours remain 8:00 to 5:00 M-F, with on-call support available off-hours for any MLS access issues.

There are no doubt changes to how you are all doing business. Showings availability is no longer required on listings in Active status as long as disclosed in Public Remarks. While there are no immediate further updates to our MLS rules, our rules staff (same as always) will work with you on any issues where there are extenuating circumstances to agree upon a reasonable solution.

We are also very mindful of our responsibility to our staff’s health and safety, and also those with whom we come into contact. We are taking advantage of technology to allow our staff to continue to perform their duties both from our office and from home as needed.

Our leadership will continue to monitor the situation and notify you of any changes. We hope you all stay safe and healthy. Thank you for your support.

John Mosey, President & CEO

NorthstarMLS Clear Cooperation Policy effective March 1st

Last November, the National Associations of REALTORS® Board passed Policy 8.0, also known as the Clear Cooperation Policy (91% of its 800 Directors voted in favor). As a result, there are some changes to NorthstarMLS policy, effective March 1, 2020.

NorthstarMLS Policy
In response to NAR’s Clear Cooperation Policy, effective 3/1/2020, our Board of Directors has adopted the following:

In the event a Withheld (i.e. Office Exclusive) listing is publicly marketed during the term of the listing, then:

  • Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must enter and submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS Participants (Active, TNAS or Coming Soon status if not yet Pending/Sold).
  • Examples of public marketing include but are not limited to: Broker and other public websites, any digital marketing (such as email blasts), yard signs, fliers displayed in windows, private listing networks.
  • All Withhelds are now considered “Office Exclusives” that may not be publicly marketed (unless entered into the MLS for cooperation within one business day of marketing).
  • All listings still must be entered into the NorthstarMLS Add/Edit system within two business days of the Listing Agreement Date (or within one business day if public marketing starts on the Listing Agreement Date). Withhelds (office exclusives) still must be entered into the Add/Edit system in Withheld status within two business days of the Listing Agreement Date.
  • Fine for violation: $1,000 for first violation. Fines escalate for additional violations.
  • Exempt from this Policy: Commercial, Rental, and new construction developments with multiple properties (single family homes, condos, etc.).

More Information
While the above covers most of the basics, we have also created a Web page resource with more information, including answers to frequently asked questions. We recommend taking time to review this information.

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Over the past couple of months, a group of six Iowa Associations have joined the NorthstarMLS Common Data Platform (CDP) whereby they enter their listings into our database (via our Add/Edit system) but continue to maintain their own separate front-end MLS system. Their listings (mostly in Iowa) are also available to you for search and view in NorthstarMLS Matrix.

As a result of this expansion, searches on City names that exist in both MN and IA can bring back listing results from both states.  Below is a list of the affected cities. If you search any of these cities (or have auto-emails saved using any of these cities), you can ensure that Iowa listings are excluded. On the Search screen, simply select “Minnesota” in the State field. We are working with our vendor on a long-term solution that will not require you to take this extra step.

Affected Cities:
Clear Lake
Coon Rapids
Forest City
Lake City
Mount Pleasant
New London
Pilot Mound

As we look back on 2019, we are very thankful for our MLS subscribers and partners, and the opportunity to support your efforts to serve your clients’ dreams of home ownership.

Again this season, we are donating to Second Harvest Heartland on behalf of NorthstarMLS subscribers and our Board of Directors. Second Harvest is the upper midwest’s largest hunger relief organization, collecting and distributing tens of millions of pounds of food every year to those in need. We’re proud to support the important work they do for our communities.

We wish you a joyous holiday season, and a happy and prosperous 2020!

The NorthstarMLS Team

As you may have heard, earlier this week the Board of the National Association of Realtors passed the Clear Cooperation Policy (aka MLS Policy 8.0) by a vote of 729 (91.24%) to 70 (8.76%). The Policy requires that listings be submitted as Active to the MLS within one business day of being marketed to the public. NAR's intent is to strengthen cooperation and address concerns surrounding off-market listings, particularly pocket listings and private listing networks that exclude many consumers.

What does this mean for you? NorthstarMLS is required to implement the Clear Cooperation policy by 5/1/2020. Staff will take time to look at how the Policy builds upon our already existing procedures, such as Coming Soon Status. We will recommend to our Board any adjustments needed to ensure brokers and agents have all the available options to serve their clients in compliance with the Policy and MLS participation.

The Clear Cooperation Policy allows for:

  • Coming Soon status (like we have at Northstar) so that you can still take time to get the property ready for market;
  • Privacy: if a seller needs to keep their listing/transaction private, there will be procedures to accommodate this as long as the listing is not publicly marketed;
  • Brokerage office listings: The policy does not prohibit sharing within the brokerage office before the listing is made public.
  • Sellers may still opt out of IDX display on agent/broker websites.

We will give updates as we prepare to comply with the Clear Cooperation Policy. For more information, we recommend these resources from NAR:

Our annual customer satisfaction survey just closed and the results are being tabulated and categorized.

Over 6,000 of you took the time to tell us how we are doing. That is a response rate of more than 30%! More importantly, over 4,500 of the respondents rated us either 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale.

320 of you said we have a lot of room for improvement, rating us between 0 and 6. The survey and your comments telling us what works, and what could be better, is our primary management tool and what we use to guide our improvement as your MLS.

FINAL CHANCE: 1-MINUTE of your time could win you a $100 Target Store Shopping Spree!

So far, over 5,200 of you have completed our annual survey. THANK YOU! That is amazing–our highest response rate in the 13 years we have been surveying. We are so appreciative of your willingness to share your thoughts and trust in our leadership to act.

But we're not quite done. If you have not yet completed the survey, there is still time for your to join your colleagues in making your voice heard. The survey closes at end of day Tuesday, October 29.

Click this link now to answer our quick two questions and automatically be entered into a drawing for one of 4 $100 Target Gift Cards.

Welcome to the annual NorthstarMLS subscriber survey! This very quick, 2-question survey gives you the opportunity to tell us how we are doing, and what NorthstarMLS can do better to make you and your clients more successful. Because NorthstarMLS staff and Board leadership read all your comments and use them to help plan improvements for the coming year, your feedback is critical!

Get started by rating our service on the scale. After clicking “Continue,” you will have the opportunity to enter your comments. Then click the “Finish” button and you are entered to win one of four $100 Target Gift Cards! Thank you for time and feedback!