This may not seem like a big deal to most people but it is a very big deal to small businesses in the Real Estate industry. The Multiple Listing Service is a very valuable tool to most realtors. A realtor that doesn’t have access to the MLS is at a great disadvantage compared to realtors with access to MLS, and will lose money.
The recent merger between Greater Hudson Valley Multiple Listing Service with the Empire Access Multiple Listing Service, effective May 10, 2012, was welcomed by most members. One of the first orders of business for the new board was to restructure the MLS fee schedule. Now this new merger has become a nightmare and very unfair to all independent brokers of the system.
Last year independent brokers paid approximately $480.00 in MLS dues. Fees were based on the number of salespeople in the brokerage. This year all brokers will be required to pay $2,100.00 in MLS dues, regardless of how many salespeople a particular office retains. The large chain Real Estate Brokers pass the cost along to their realtors. Independents don’t have that luxury. Most independent brokers work alone or with one or two sales agents. They must absorb this huge rate increase themselves or drop out of the MLS system. This is hugely unfair and highly discriminatory against independent brokers. It also sends the message that Mom & Pop businesses don’t matter as much as big, impersonal chains. It forces the little guy out of MLS, which means loss of business!
I am appealing to any attorney out there that would like to help me start a class action lawsuit against the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS MLS service on behalf of all the independent Real Estate Brokers who have been harmed by this rate increase and are being forced out of the MLS service in favor of larger chain brokerages. I also implore buyers and sellers to boycott the large brokers in favor of the independents as a show of support and to boycott the MLS system altogether until fairness can be restored to the independent broker. Thank you.