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San Diego area real estate associations sue to dissolve local MLS, Sandicor

(REAL ESTATE NEWS) Three real estate boards are at war – SDAR sued NSDCAR and PSAR earlier this year, and now, the latter have sued to dissolve Sandicor which is the center of the battle.




NSDCAR, PSAR file in California against Sandicor

There has been a long-brewing, quite nasty battle in The Golden State, with regional MLS provider, Sandicor, Inc. smack dab in the middle.

Sandicor is owned by three real estate boards/associations: Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR, ~2,500 members), the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (NSDCAR, 5,300+ members) and Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR, ~12,000 members).

NSDCAR and PSAR have now filed a complaint in the San Diego Superior Court to dissolve Sandicor as a legal entity, but it’s not because they have a problem with Sandicor, rather a long-term fight with SDAR over the MLS.

We have reached out to SDAR for their position on the matter (update below).

With Sandicor gone, what will members use?

NSDCAR and PSAR said in a release that they plan for their members to access the statewide California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS), which PSAR’s 2016 President, Anthony Andaya refers to as “more robust” and implies it would be a bigger benefit to consumers, agents, and brokers.

Andaya opined, “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.”

Behind the lawsuits

In January of 2016, SDAR sued PSAR and NSDCAR for a hefty list of reasons that boil down to an anti-trust lawsuit:
antistrust SDAR lawsuit

In the filing, SDAR alleged that NSDCAR and PSAR dominate the board of Sandicor and exclude them (SDAR) by cutting off listing data access regardless of their contract. They add (among other things) that since NSDCAR and PSAR are the sole shareholders of Sandicor, Inc., that their power has been used as “an anticompetitive weapon,” and that the two “milked [Sandicor’s] resources for their own enrichment, and frustrated its purpose, all while actively preventing Plaintiff from participating in corporate decisions.”

The court has since granted motions to dismiss the claims, and Raylene Brundage, NSDCAR 2016 president said in a statement that SDAR had attempted to “block progress to improve Sandicor,” as well as blocked talks of a Sandicor merger with CRMLS, “despite our members’ requests.”

The answer to SDAR, PSAR, NSDCAR, and Sandicor's long battle? Dissolve Sandicor.Click To Tweet

California’s unique challenges

“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.”

SDAR’s full statement:

The SDAR focus and intention is to insure that nearly 13,000 real estate professionals who rely upon us as members for service and support, continue to have that service and support without distraction or interruption. Our goal is seamless resolution.

Unfortunately, the future for 19,000 MLS subscribers in our area will be greatly impacted by the actions of both Pacific Southwest AOR and the North County San Diego AOR. SDAR has for many years, worked to resolve service issues at Sandicor despite having a minority of votes, (with 12,889 members SDAR has 4 of 11 votes, PSAR has 2,201 members and 3 votes, and NSDCAR with 4,628 members has 4 votes). We know that Sandicor is a shared and valuable resource to our community of REALTORS®, and we have constantly worked to re-focus Sandicor to its core mission of serving REALTOR® members and real estate professionals, while guarding against excesses and mismanagement of our shared MLS. In the end, SDAR’s stewardship obligations necessitated formal measures, when informal measures and proposed controls were rejected.

Inexplicably, the other two shareholders seek to dissolve Sandicor. We believe their actions negatively impact the MLS and further distract and drain its limited resources. As we are advised, laws governing the agreement, and the parties’ shareholder agreement prevent a dissolution of Sandicor. It is also important to note that if those two shareholders make the unfortunate decision to leave, SDAR stands prepared to exercise the buyout provisions of the governing documents and to continue to operate Sandicor for all of the MLS’s subscribers. There will be no interruption of services.

Most unfortunate is that the other two associations, which have already merged in all but name, are using their MLS control, and now their attempt to destroy Sandicor altogether, as mere cover for a membership fight, one which is endangering our member’s primary business tool in the process. They cannot survive alone, and cannot formally merge or they give up control of Sandicor, so they are attempting to destroy our members’ most valuable business tool rather than compete on a level playing field with SDAR.

For all of those reasons, SDAR’s pending federal litigation is proceeding. Nine of SDAR’s claims are moving forward, and the court is evaluating two additional issues. As the other two shareholders disclose information regarding their roles in Sandicor’s management and the other issues in the lawsuit, and we are hopeful that this first step to transparency will aide in our continuing effort to protect the MLS for all of its members.

Story updated 3:42 cst to include SDAR’s statement.


Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The Real Daily and sister news outlet, The American Genius, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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Real Estate Associations

New webinars on preventing property abandonment and vacancies

(REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS) NAR is running a four-part series to help real estate professionals be part of the solution to prevent building abandonment and vacancies.




Starting on Aug. 11, and running through Sept. 8, NAR is offering a four-part webinar series to help real estate agents prevent building vacancies and abandonment in light of businesses and people being unable to pay their mortgage and rent.

NAR is collaborating with local government officials and the Center for Community Progress to address the impending swell of property vacancy and abandonment in the United States, as the pandemic rolls on, and businesses and people are scrambling to pay their property expenses. Evictions, business closures, and abandonments have begun, both state and federal government seem to be floundering at coming up with a single, consistent way to prevent mass evictions and related problems.

NAR has been investing in these conversations and trying to help developers and landlords become part of the solution to prevent vacant and abandoned buildings from staying empty and according to the NAR press release, “The program and webinar series are part of a collaboration with the Center for Community Progress, whose mission is to foster strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties become assets for neighbors and neighborhoods.”

This webinar series is a continuation of the Transforming Neighborhoods initiative. In this initiative, NAR Realtors are working with community partners to explore and address the underlying reasons properties are abandoned and remain vacant. They want to help prevent this scenario, while supporting community transformation, by putting a plan to rehabilitate buildings and create assets for the communities they are in, thereby helping the neighborhoods become or remain healthier and more vibrant.

NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA., elaborates on the role Realtors® play in rebuilding communities in the aftermath of the pandemic.

“As the nation grapples with the economic fallout of this pandemic alongside a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address inequity and injustice in our society, Realtors® have been instrumental in helping our neighborhoods move forward while emphasizing that a better future begins with stable communities and equal access to housing for all Americans.”

While the first part of the four-part series has aired Tuesday, here is the remaining schedule:

Code Enforcement – A Tool for Preventing Vacancy and Abandonment
August 25, 2020; 2 p.m. EDT


  • Lessons from 2008 Great Recession and assumptions for the future
  • What is strategic code enforcement
  • How can strategic code enforcement prevent property decline caused by the COVID-19 crisis
  • Using neighborhood conditions to inform effective, efficient and equitable code enforcement strategies
  • REALTORS® as partners in preventing vacancy and abandonment

Transferring Vacant and Abandoned Properties
September 1, 2020; 2 p.m. EDT


  • Making the connections between property tax enforcement, vacancy, and neighborhood stabilization
  • Efficient, effective, and equitable delinquent property tax enforcement systems
  • Innovative uses of code lien systems
  • REALTORS® working with local government

Land Banking – Returning Properties to Productive Use
September 8, 2020; 2 p.m. EDT


  • Land banking – what is it?
  • How land banks can be most effective in community revitalization
  • Land banking as a tool neighborhood stabilization during economic crisis
  • Successful partnerships between REALTORS® and land banks

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Real Estate Associations

NAR urges HUD to withdraw misguided proposal on equal housing

(REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS) NAR calls on HUD to reconsider their position concerning who can submit claims, there may be too many faulty claims and slow the help to those in need.



NAR housing

The NAR requests that The HUD withdraw its amended proposal of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard as deeply rooted systemic discrimination has the potential to result in tons of unintentional inequity claims.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) received a request yesterday from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) asking them to withdraw its recent proposal amending the “Disparate Impact” rule.

NAR believes that while the proposal is a needed and welcomed change, written in August 2019 to amend the HUD’s interpretation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standards meant to close a segregational gap, (highly-segregated neighborhoods, unfair treatment for people of color, credit inequality, etc.), the proposal creates separation instead of unity between U.S citizens and the NAR, it’s businesses and Realtors, by implementing rules that allow for an overwhelming amount of disparate impact claims.

In support of the August proposal, HUD’s secretary Ben Carson stated, “There is a lack of affordable housing in America today. This proposed rule is intended to increase legal clarity and promote the production and availability of housing in all areas while making sure every person is treated fairly under the law.”

The change to the Disparate Act opens the door for more claims reporting unequal treatment and/or discrimination intentionally. The theory here is not that deeply rooted systemic oppression can be stopped, but that maybe the easier accessibility to submit a claim will force Realtors to make lawfully supported decisions based on industry standards instead of opinions, ultimately holding Realtors who ignore ethical guidelines accountable.

Without the organization receiving the necessary tools and education required to make an impactful change, it will likely result in an overwhelming amount of unintentional discrimination claims. It is also important that the NAR holds the ability to protect its Realtors, their liberty, and rights to a free real estate market.

While it might seem ridiculous of them to ask the HUD to work collaboratively on the Disparate Act in order to provide equal housing, and fair treatment and support of both the NAR and U.S citizens, it’s a necessary business move on behalf of the NAR.

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Real Estate Associations

NAR supports economic inclusion for equal housing opportunities

(REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS) The NAR is pushing to insure anyone who wants a home can get one through a combination of economic inclusion, and eliminating implicit bias.



economic inclusion

The National Association of Realtors® is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Equality of Opportunity that addresses accessibility to housing based on economic inclusion. NAR CEO Bob Goldberg said,

“We believe that building a better future in America begins with equal access to housing and opportunity. With ongoing residential segregation contributing to many problems in our society, NAR recognizes that this nation cannot achieve true economic equality without first achieving true equality in housing. Our commitment to this cause and to Fair Housing has only strengthened in response to recent tragedies in America.”

What is economic inclusion?

According to the FDIC, economic inclusion describes the efforts to bring underserved communities into the financial mainstream. This could include things like making sure consumers have access to bank accounts and financial services; protections against discriminatory lending practices; and other types of consumer protections. Although the FDIC’s efforts seem to focus on unbanked and underbanked consumers, economic inclusion reaches around to all financial transactions, including housing.

Research from the Brookings Institution cites barriers to economic inclusion as slowing economic growth in local communities. Giving underserved communities access to financial products and opportunities actually spurs the local economy. The government bears the weight of services for the underserved. For example, childhood poverty costs the U.S. economy about 4% of the GDP annually. Nationwide, that is about $500 billion a year. Economic inclusion gives people a way out. It’s not a hand-out, but education and opportunities to change the future.

The NAR is making real change for the underserved

Last week, it was announced that the NAR introduced tools that would reduce implicit bias. Goldberg said, “NAR has spent recent years reexamining how our 1.4 million members can best lead the fight against discrimination, bigotry, and injustice.” The NAR isn’t just talking about it. They’re putting their money behind inclusion, and preventing unfair housing practices. These kind of changes matter for everyone.

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