A real estate agent looks at an MLS listings database

Bright MLS to offer expanded concessions field 

Starting in June, the field will include an option for payment of buyer agent fees, and updates coming in August will give sellers more flexibility.

May 30, 2024
4 minutes

Key points:

  • Bright will remove its offer of compensation field shortly before NAR rule changes go into effect.
  • A new concessions field will give sellers the option of saying whether they are open to concessions, and if so, the amount and type.
  • Changes coming in August include relaxing timelines on submissions and “coming soon” listings as well as clarifying whether a home will be listed publicly.

One of the largest multiple listing services in the U.S. has announced updates to its platform ahead of the upcoming commissions rule changes, including some new additions intended to make life easier for sellers.

Bright MLS, with more than 100,000 subscribers across several Eastern states, plans to roll out a new concessions field on June 11. The update will give sellers the option of saying whether they are open to concessions and what amount they are willing to offer. 

The new field is similar to the "Concessions in Price" field introduced by the California Regional MLS on May 29, which allows agents to offer a concession as a percentage or dollar amount, and indicate if their seller will consider concessions in an offer. 

Among Bright's updates are four new field options allowing members to specify the types of concessions their seller will offer, including payment of buyer broker fees.

The current offer of compensation field on the Bright MLS site will remain in place until Aug. 14, just three days before the new National Association of Realtors rules are due to take effect.

Maintaining transparency 'a win'

As it considered adjustments to its platform, Bright MLS was hyper-focused on maintaining an orderly and transparent marketplace, said Rene Galicia, executive vice president for customer advocacy.

The decision to keep a concessions field was based on data indicating that a substantial number of home sales involved some form of concession, Galicia said.

"The more information that we can make available on a listing that helps someone get to an offer faster, that's only a win," Galicia said. 

"To put this information in the hands of potential buyers, that's certainly an area that we're focused on."

Other changes at Bright MLS aim to help sellers

The organization, which covers a large portion of the Mid-Atlantic market, announced some other new changes coming in August, based on conversations with subscribers, that will impact listing submission deadlines, distribution and "coming soon" listings.

Under current rules, a listing agent must add the home to the MLS within two days of signing an agreement with the seller. Bright MLS is relaxing the submission deadline rule, saying that starting Aug. 14, the seller will have the flexibility to decide when their listing details will be entered into the MLS.

Updates to Bright's listing distribution format will also give sellers a better understanding of where their listing can be seen. Notably, a seller will be able to more easily opt out of having their listing distributed on the internet or through home search portals. While sellers have always had the option of not publicly listing their home for sale outside the MLS, Bright is bringing more visibility to this option by updating its disclosure form.

Bright is also making changes to its "coming soon" listings. Currently, a house can only carry the "coming soon" designation for 21 days. Starting Aug. 14, that time limit will be removed.

All of these changes are designed to provide more flexibility for sellers and listing agents, Galicia said, acknowledging that currently it can be tricky for a seller to sign with an agent and then quickly get the listing details in order.

"There's a need for better clarity on how subscribers can better respond to each of those unique scenarios," Galicia said. 

Rule-change pushback

The changes announced by CRMLS and Bright MLS come at a time when MLSs across the country are considering how to comply with new rules before the Aug. 17 deadline. 

But not all organizations are on board with the terms of NAR's agreement. Northwest MLS, the predominant player in the Pacific Northwest, announced earlier this week that it will not join the NAR settlement. The MLS said it will make adjustments to its compensation field — but it does not intend to remove offers of compensation.

Other MLSs not covered by the NAR deal — about 30 organizations in total — have until June 18 to decide whether they will opt in to the settlement.

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