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Code of Ethics Case Studies

Case #3-1: Rules of MLS May Not Circumvent

REALTOR® A complained to his Board of REALTORS® that procedures in the Board's Multiple Listing Service permitted REALTORS® participating in the Service to evade their obligations under Article 3 of the Code of Ethics. His specific complaint was that, as exclusive agent of Client B, he had filed the client's property in the Multiple Listing Service. Other REALTORS® participating in the Multiple Listing Service had contacted Client B directly to make appointments to show the property and to transmit offers to purchase it, without REALTOR® A's knowledge or consent. When REALTOR® A objected to this conduct, the officers of the Multiple Listing Service had cited the MLS rule that held that placing property in the Service had the effect of listing the property with the MLS, and authorized the MLS to refer it to other Participants as subagents, who were then free to transmit offers directly to the client. REALTOR® A's complaint emphasized that his objection was primarily to the rule of the Multiple Listing Service.

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