Columbia SC Real Estate Listing Service Settles Lawsuit
The Consolidated Multiple Listing Service, which controls the database of homes for sale in the Columbia, SC real estate market, has reached a settlement in itâ€™s ongoing lawsuit with the US Justice Department. Listing service officials expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the suit. Their primary concern was that the settlement permits the service to continue to protect the interests of consumers. The settlement preserves the right of the listing service to require criminal background checks on all agents and to also require companies that do not have Errors & Omissions Insurance to fully disclose that fact on all documents released to the public. The settlement terms will enable more low-price and innovative brokers to better compete in the Columbia, SC real estate market according to the US Justice Department.
Since the suit began in 2006, the Consolidated Multiple Listing Service has made several rule changes to conform with the areas challenged by the US Department of Justice. Among those changes are opening the membership to any broker holding a SC real estate license. Changes were also made to allow for sale by owner contracts on property listed with the service (under certain types of contracts). The membership fee for the listing service was slashed from $5000 to $2500. Additionally, the rule requiring a company occupy commercial office space was changed and companies now are only required to â€śestablish and maintain a specific office locationâ€ť that is â€śaccessible to the public during reasonable business hoursâ€ť which conforms to SC State Law. The state law does not define whether accessibility can be via phone or internet; or even if the office has to be located in SC.
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