October 25, 2016 (San Diego) – A dispute between the three largest real estate trade associations in San Diego County has resulted in new legal action intended to dissolve San Diego’s regional multiple listing service (MLS) that provides information on available homes for sale to more than 19,000 local real estate professionals.
The local MLS, called Sandicor, Inc., is owned by three local real estate trade associations, including Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR), the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (NSDCAR) and Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR). PSAR has about 2,500 members, NSDCAR has more than 4,800 members and GSDAR has about 12,000 members. Members are real estate professionals who pay dues to access the MLS through their association of choice.
Attorneys for PSAR and NSDCAR recently filed a complaint in San Diego Superior Court to dissolve Sandicor as a legal entity. SDAR’s position on this filing is still unknown.
As a replacement to the local MLS, leaders with PSAR and NSDCAR aim to provide their members with access to the statewide California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS), which is used by more than 80,000 real estate professionals and lists data on properties in most of southern California and other parts of the state.
“Transitioning to a more robust Statewide MLS like CRMLS benefits all consumers, as well as agents and brokers who work in San Diego County’s real estate industry,” said Anthony Andaya, 2016 president, PSAR. “A move to an MLS that is controlled by brokers who own the data and endorsed by our state association provides our agents with an enhanced ability to serve the clients.”
In January of this year, SDAR's board approved the filing of a federal lawsuit against Sandicor, an entity it partially owns. In the complaint, SDAR alleged that Sandicor had been used as an “anticompetitive weapon” by the other two realtor associations. Since then, the court granted motions to dismiss two earlier versions of SDAR’s claim.
“SDAR has previously attempted to block progress to improve Sandicor, and to investigate the benefits of a merger between Sandicor and CRMLS, despite our members’ requests,” stated Raylene Brundage, NSDCAR 2016 president. “For the future growth and stability of our industry in San Diego, it would be best to simply dissolve Sandicor and protect our members’ best interest through an enhanced partnership with CRMLS.”
“About half of all MLS systems in California do not share data with each other, which means brokers and their agents that practice business across MLS boundary lines must pay extra fees to join multiple MLS databases,” added Andaya. “It is time to adjust and redefine how we do business so consumers will continue to have confidence in knowing their agents are the go-to, trusted resource for their real estate needs.”
“We understand that consumers sometimes get more information from Internet portals than agents using an MLS,” said Brundage. “However, the information from these sites can be incorrect or outdated. Agents deserve access to the same amount of information as consumers. When we cooperate, then we all do better business. Standardized data and a single point of access is the best way we can truly serve the consumer. Clients want to trust that their sales agent has the best resources available on their behalf. It is critical for the health and vitality of our industry.”
Questions? Come to the free San Diego County MLS Forum. Information may be found here: www.psar.org/mls
A FAQ will be kept up to date here: www.psar.org/mlsfaq
For background on SDAR's lawsuit against its MLS and sister associations, look here: www.psar.org/lawsuit
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions.