The number one trigger of a Clear Cooperation policy violation is posting yard signs on properties before the listing has been entered into the MLS. In this very tight market, where property inventory is critically low, buyer’s agents are always on the lookout for new properties to show their buyers. In these conditions, a yard sign posted on a property is like having a billboard with flashing lights! When these properties are not listed in the MLS, then of course, the Clear Cooperation policy is triggered.
There is a concerning trend we are seeing as we are investigating reported Clear Cooperation complaints. In their excitement, listing agents are leaving the yard signs with sellers. Sellers who are anxious to “get the word out” about their property being for sale are putting the signs in their yard without the listing agent’s knowledge.
While listing agents may not be aware of their seller’s actions, the Clear Cooperation policy is still in force. The first sentence of the policy reads “Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public . . .” The act of marketing, regardless of who is performing the marketing activity, would trigger the Clear Cooperation policy and resulting enforcement which includes fines starting at $1,000.
It is important that listing agents have control of their yard signs at all times. A yard sign should not be left in the possession of the seller until the listing agreement is signed and a marketing plan in place.
As a reminder, the Clear Cooperation policy reads as follows: “Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other 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.”