NEW YORK CITY-Meetings between warring factions of the residential real estate brokerage community in Manhattan have made significant progress and an agreement is close at hand to have the two parties establish a joint web site for residential listings, officials with the Corcoran Real Estate Group say.

While no specific details of the proposed accord are known, the proposal on the table would establish an Internet web site to accept and post listings. A multiple listing service with rules and regulations to govern the membership would be established thereafter, sources say.

Pamela Liebman, president and chief operating officer of the Corcoran Group, says of the negotiations among Manhattan brokerage firms that have been held over the past few months, “Significant progress has been made.”

The MLS Wars in Manhattan currently pit the large brokerage firms: the Corcoran Group, Douglas Elliman, Halstead Property Group and Bellmarc Realty against more than 100 other residential brokers. Each side has come out stating they were working on establishing the first MLS for Manhattan.

The group that lists more than 100 residential firms as members, made headlines when it announced on Oct. 4 it had launched its website www.nymls several months ahead of schedule. Officials with the group termed the new Internet site the Manhattan Listing Service and said that the web site would have sales and rental listings from all members and would be accessible to the general public. While in its press statements it only termed the Manhattan Listing Service as an industry-wide listing service, the site was confused by some in the media and in the industry as a multiple listing service since some used the abbreviation MLS to stand for Manhattan Listing Service.

Barbara Corcoran, chairman and founder of the Corcoran Group, speaking at an event at the Apowamis Country Club in Rye on Tuesday morning, says that negotiations to get both sides of the residential real estate brokerage community to agree on a joint web site are ongoing.

However, she cautioned, “I think if it is going to get settled it will get settled in the next few weeks, if it doesn’t, it won’t get settled for some time.”

She adds that the www.nymls site is simply a web page accepting listings and is not a true multiple listing service. “There is a lot of discord in the real estate community on the labeling of the site as an MLS. It is not an MLS,” Corcoran says.

Corcoran notes that multiple listing services across the nation are governed by rules and regulations. One such requirement is a mandate to share listings among its members. Corcoran relates that the www.nymls service has no such regulation.

Liebman and Corcoran confirmed that the Corcoran-Halstead-Elliman-Bellmarc group have developed its own web site but have not launched the site as yet. Corcoran has rights to the domain name www.nycmls, company officials say.

“We are holding back the launch because we would like to make a deal that is beneficial to our industry,” Liebman says.

While talks continue, one site, www.nymls, is operational and another, www.nycmls, may take shape if some type of deal is not reached soon. Then both the industry and the buyers and sellers of residential real estate in Manhattan will be confused as to whether either of these sites constitute a MLS, but also which faction of brokers runs which site.

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