Bright MLS Unveils System Changes for the Post-NAR Settlement Industry

Beyond the policy changes required by the NAR settlement, Bright MLS has announced a set of system changes to ease subscriber use to help them navigate through the upcoming new normal.

Similar to CRMLS’ newly announced system field changes referring to Concessions in Price, Bright has announced that they will be including seller concessions in their system as well. This change, going into effect on June 12, will give brokers the ability to specify that they’re willing to entertain seller concessions, with users even being able to input a percentage or dollar amount to start negotiations with. 

Rene Galicia—who runs Bright’s policy and education divisions and serves as EVP of their customer advocacy group—shares with RISMedia that, “(t)he idea here is just to make sure that in all the settlement changes…what’s not lost is the transparency, and the flexibility by a seller to properly market their home through concessions or other offers of payment of costs towards the buy side.”

With concerns of buyer affordability in the air ever since NAR was found liable in the Burnett case, especially for buyers with a low down payment and for first-time buyers, Bright hopes that this system change will help alleviate those concerns.

Bright will also be releasing a new form on June 12 to help subscribers have clarity in their conversations with clients about how the industry works moving forward.

“This is a Bright specific form that will help our subscribers have those conversations with their clients about listing a property on the MLS, some of the related disclosures that we need to provide as part of the settlement, but also ensure that we continue to focus on market transparency,” says Galicia.

Another change includes removing the time limit on coming soon listings (they are now unlimited, when previously they were allowed for 21 days), just for more ease of use for listing agents and brokers.

Galicia states that while the NAR settlement certainly brought forward the conversation of change, Bright has had some of these changes in the idea workshop for a while.

“It’s certainly been part of our strategic pillars to look at all of our rules, and we’ve been doing that for quite some time. So several of these things that we’ve had an eye on predate the settlement,” he explained. “We want to focus on what works, what furthers market transparency and what benefits consumers. So we have been looking at a number of our policies, and we will continue to look at policies to make sure we’re modernizing the rules of the road and how folks interact with our system.”

There are no other imminent changes to announce, but as Galicia said, more change is always on the table as the industry continues to shift and grow. Since Bright has an in-house listing management platform, Galicia adds that their ability to implement change is a lot more flexible than other MLSs.

Bright said they do not foresee a lot of challenges when it comes to subscribers adjusting, but they stated that their well-planned education campaign will handle any confusion.

“Our subscribers will not be able to hide from the education campaign all summer about this. We’ll be talking to them—we’ll have webinars, recordings. They can always, of course, pick up the phone and talk to one of our reps, live chat or send an email,” Galicia says. “There’ll be a lot of listening and educating all summer so that we can gather feedback and make sure that our subscribers are in good shape ahead of the August deadlines.”

More MLSs are expected to soon be rolling out policy and system changes, both to keep in line with rule changes from the NAR settlement and to adjust to the incoming industry shifts.

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