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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At NorthstarMLS, we are frequently asked about “Coming Soon” Listings. As long as a seller-approved Withhold is entered into Add/Edit within the required two business days of the Listing Contract Date, that property may be marketed, including as “Coming Soon.” There are, however, many other issues and considerations that you need to be aware of when marketing an off-MLS listing as Coming Soon. These include fiduciary duties, informed consent and antitrust/fair housing laws. The Minnesota Association of REALTORS published an excellent article on this topic last year. If you market or are considering marketing a listing as Coming Soon, it is well worth the read to ensure you are in compliance with the rules and laws outside the purview of NorthstarMLS. Open and read/print MAR’s Coming Soon article here.
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If your seller signs a Certification to Withhold from MLS form, the current process is to fax that signed form to NorthstarMLS within two business days of the contract effective date.  Starting Monday, August 25, NorthstarMLS is changing this process.

Instead of faxing the form to us, you must enter the Withhold into the Add/Edit system and upload the seller-signed Withhold form as a supplement.  The timing requirement is still within two days of the contract effective date.

We have enhanced the Add/Edit system to allow entry of Withholds that makes them available for your view only (and your office) without going to the MLS, data feeds or being visible to any other NorthstarMLS subscriber.  This will be available for you to start using on Thursday, August 21, though you are not required to use it until Monday the 25th.

For a quick 3-minute demonstration of this process, please watch this video.

The process to enter your Withholds is quick, as only basic address, date and PID number fields are required.  Please note that if you are using Internet Explorer, do not run it in Compatibility mode or you will not be able to upload the Withhold form.

For more details about the how’s and why’s of this process change, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions.  If you still need help, contact our Help Desk at or 651-251-5456 (toll free 1-877-251-5455), M-F, 8:00 – 5:00.

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