I am the first to complain when certain areas have their own “local” MLS without any real reason. A prime example is Odessa, TX. Currently, Odessa and Midland have two separate MLS systems, despite both areas using the exact same Navica program. To participate in both systems, you must join and pay both associations. Why do they do this? Local brokers in Odessa don’t want to compete with Midland brokerages. (and vice versa) Why would they? The system is set up currently so that the only way to compete in both markets is to join both associations. I have a problem with this because it hurts the homeowner. If these two systems were to merge, homeowners would have twice the exposure AND local brokerages would face increased competition amongst each other.
In what situation does it not make sense for two systems to merge? (those close in proximity) While it may make geographical sense, the problem with the MLS merger is the power that the new system now has. While brokerages have to compete with each other, the MLS can now instill stiffer fines, require orientation, increase the cost of lockboxes, etc… A great example of this is the GLVAR. The Las Vegas association has total control over all of Southern Nevada. If you want to do business in residential real estate, you must play by their rules and pay their fees. You have no other option. I would be interested to see how a local Boulder City or Henderson Association of Realtors(R) would take away from the power of the GLVAR. Currently, the GLVAR gets away with things such as issuing fines in excess of $1,000 for late status updates, automatic fines of $100 for not uploading a picture within 5 days of the listing, and so forth…… I can’t imagine the funds that the GLVAR brings in annually from fines alone.