Directly from the Nation association of Realtors Website:
“Article 3 of the Code of Ethics requires that “REALTORS® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation isn’t in the client’s best interest.” The Code goes on to say “the obligation to cooperate doesn’t include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker.” REALTORS® must cooperate with other brokers regardless of whether or not compensation is offered. This “cooperation” may include sharing information about listings and allowing others to show a listing.
Taking cooperation a step further, an MLS is defined, in part, in NAR’s Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy as a means by which participants make offers of compensation to other MLS participants. Policy Statement 7.23 of the handbook clearly provides that “in filing a property with the multiple listing service of a Board of REALTORS®, the participant makes a blanket, unilateral offer of compensation to the other MLS participants and shall therefore specify on each listing filed with the service the compensation being offered by the listing broker to the other MLS participants.”
A listing filed with the MLS must specify some amount of compensation (the amount of which is wholly at the discretion of the listing broker) to other participants in the MLS, including buyer’s agents, subagents, or transaction brokers. Otherwise no contract can be formed between the participants. Yet, it’s critical to remember that cooperation and compensation are not interdependent. Brokers who choose to participate in an MLS must abide by its rules. But the Code of Ethics is clear that cooperation doesn’t require compensation.”