N.J. MLS Loses Members in Dispute with Rival

September 1, 1997

WAYNE, N.J.--About half the members of the Passaic County MLS have dropped out of the organization in a dispute involving a larger, privately owned MLS.

The 800 members who left July 1 belong to three large companies who normally have a combined total of about 40 percent of the Passaic County listings. The brokers are Weichert, REALTORS®, of Morris Plains; Coldwell Banker–Schlott, of Short Hills; and Murphy-Better Homes and Gardens, of Fair Lawn.

Chuck Forbes, executive officer of the Passaic County Board of REALTORS®, which owns the Passaic MLS, said the organization had prepared for the possibility of the membership loss. He said the MLS was confident that it could continue to operate independently.

The brokers who left belong to a group of five big brokers who own a rival, regional MLS known as the Garden State MLS.Passaic offices of these brokers formerly belonged to two MLSs, the Garden State and Passaic. Garden State offered to take over the Passaic MLS, but Passaic members voted against it, Forbes said.

The members who left the Passaic MLS said the move was based on financial considerations--they no longer wanted to pay for two MLSs.

Smaller Passaic brokers weren't happy with the proposed financial arrangements with Garden State, and they were also reluctant to hand over control of their listings to an MLS owned by competitors, Forbes said.

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