Bright MLS, serving the mid Atlantic region, announces $5000 fines for agents keeping listings off MLS, in advance of a national crackdown on pocket listings by the National Association of Realtors.

The move comes as NAR considers a policy that would require agents to post “coming soon” listings to the MLS within 24 hours if the listing is publicly advertised. NAR proposal could potentially head off a possible anti-trust allegation from the federal government.

The move by Bright MLS is similar to the proposed NAR policy. Bright MLS serves 95,000 agents in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.

The fines go into effect December 1st.

“A healthy MLS with full participation ensures that the consumer selling a property has the largest possible marketplace, and the consumer looking to buy has the widest possible selection to choose from,” said Jon Coile, Chairman of Bright MLS. “Bright MLS is launching this policy to make sure that consumers’ needs for transparency and access to information are being met, both today and tomorrow.”

According to the Bright MLS: “The Bright MLS Off-MLS policy does not eliminate the Coming Soon status for a property, which is available within the Bright system for listings that are not being shown, and is considered to be a pre-marketed designation. The policy also allows for Office Exclusives, or private listings, on the condition that they are not marketed to the public. This would be used, for example, for private sales and other situations where the seller has requested that their property not be listed in the MLS for privacy reasons.”