Article 1.1: Name

Section 1: Name

The name of this organization shall be Stellar Multiple Listing Service. (Stellar MLS). All the shares of stock are solely and wholly-owned by:

  • Bartow Board of REALTORS®
  • East Polk County Association of REALTORS®
  • Englewood Area Board of REALTORS®
  • Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS®
  • Lakeland Association of REALTORS®
  • Orlando Regional REALTOR®Association
  • Osceola County Association of REALTORS®
  • Pinellas REALTOR®Organization
  • Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-Northport Association of REALTORS®
  • REALTORS® Association of Lake and Sumter Counties
  • REALTORS® Association of Sarasota and Manatee County
  • Venice Area Board of REALTORS®
  • West Pasco Board of REALTORS®
  • and West Volusia Association of REALTORS®. 
    (“Shareholder”)

Article 1.2: Purpose

Section 2: Purpose

Stellar MLS is formed to promote, establish, foster, develop and preserve the highest standards of the real estate profession in Florida, through the operation of the Stellar MLS. A Multiple Listing Service is a means by which authorized Participants make blanket unilateral offers of compensation to other Participants (acting as single agents formerly buyer agents) or in other agency or non agency capacities defined by law); by which cooperation among participants is enhanced; by which information is accumulated and disseminated to enable authorized Participants to prepare appraisals, analyses, and other valuations of real property for bona fide clients and customers; by which Participants engaging in real estate appraisal contribute to common databases; and is a facility for the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information so participants may better serve their clients and the public. Entitlement to compensation is determined by the cooperating broker’s performance as a procuring cause of the sale (or lease).

Article 1.3: Definition of MLS Participant

Section 3: Definition of MLS Participant

Any REALTOR® of a Shareholder Association/Board, any other Association/Board or any non-Realtor who is a principal, partner, corporate officer, or branch office manager acting on behalf of a principal, without further qualification, except as otherwise stipulated in these rules, shall be eligible to participate in Stellar MLS upon agreeing in writing to conform to the rules and regulations thereof and to pay the costs incidental thereto.* However, under no circumstances is any individual or firm, regardless of membership status, entitled to Multiple Listing Service “membership” or “participation” unless they hold a current, valid real estate broker’s license and offer or accept cooperation and compensation to and from other Participants or are licensed or certified by an appropriate state regulatory agency to engage in the appraisal of real property.

There can be only one designated Participant per company. The MLS Participant is responsible for ensuring that all affiliated Subscribers, including registered staff, broker or agent assistants, comply with the rules, regulations and policies of the Service.

** Use of information developed by or published by Stellar MLS is strictly limited to the activities authorized under a Participant’s licensure(s) or certification and unauthorized uses are prohibited. Further, none of the foregoing is intended to convey “participation” or “membership” or any right of access to information developed by or published by a Board Multiple Listing Service where access to such information is prohibited by law.

Note: Mere possession of a broker’s license is not sufficient to qualify for MLS participation. Rather, the requirement that an individual or firm ‘offers or accepts cooperation and compensation’ means that the Participant actively endeavors during the operation of its real estate business to list real property of the type listed on the MLS and/or to accept offers of cooperation and compensation made by listing brokers or agents in the MLS. “Actively” means on a continual and on-going basis during the operation of the Participant’s real estate business. The ‘actively” requirement is not intended to preclude MLS participation by a Participant or potential Participant that operates a real estate business on a part time, seasonal, or similarly time-limited basis or that has its business interrupted by periods of relative inactivity occasioned by market conditions. Similarly, the requirement is not intended to deny MLS participation to a Participant or potential Participant who has not achieved a minimum number of transactions despite good faith efforts. Nor is it intended to permit an MLS to deny participation based on the level of service provided by the Participant or potential Participant as long as the level of service satisfies state law.

The key is that the Participant or potential Participant actively endeavors to make or accept offers of cooperation and compensation with respect to properties of the type that are listed on the MLS in which participation is sought. This requirement does not permit an MLS to deny participation to a Participant or potential Participant that operates a Virtual Office Website (“VOW”) (including a VOW that the Participant uses to refer customers to other Participants) if the Participant or potential Participant actively endeavors to make or accept offers of cooperation and compensation. An MLS may evaluate whether a Participant or potential Participant “actively endeavors during the operation of its real estate business” to “offer or accept cooperation and compensation” only if the MLS has a reasonable basis to believe that the Participant or potential Participant is in fact not doing so. The membership requirement shall be applied on a nondiscriminatory manner to all Participants and potential Participants. (Adopted by NAR 11/2008).

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