Top 5 MLS Rules Violations & How to Avoid Them

As you know from so diligently following our blog posts, the MLS Rules & Regulations exist to protect your rights as a real estate professional and preserve the accuracy of MLS data.

Receiving a citation for an MLS Rules violation is never fun. It can cost you money, and potentially hurt your standing with your association or board. However, most rules violations are unintentional and can be easily avoided.

Follow these tips to steer clear of the most common violations!

nophoto

1) NO PHOTO – Section 11.5

For each property you list in the MLS, you must upload AT LEAST ONE exterior photo. Failure to do so will result in a citation.

TIP TO AVOID:

When you finish inputting your listing information and click “Submit Listing” you will immediately be taken to a page confirming your listing submission. On that page, below the confirmation, you will see a button labeled “Add/Edit Photos”. Add your exterior photo RIGHT AWAY! Don’t let it wait. Even if you don’t have time to upload all your photos, or you are waiting for professional images, adding just one exterior will save you from receiving a citation. Snap a few exterior images of your listed property with your smartphone to ensure you can easily upload when you enter your listing into the MLS.

 

2) AGENT BRANDING IN PHOTO – Section 11.5

Agent branding is NOT allowed to appear in MLS listing photos. That means agent headshots, phone numbers, email addresses, For Sale signs with that information, or any other reference to the listing agent or brokerage. MLS listing photos are to be used ONLY for advertising the property itself, never the listing agent.

TIP TO AVOID:

Double check all your photos BEFORE uploading. A violation for agent branding in listing photos ALWAYS results in a citation, without a warning.

 

3) LATE ENTRY OF LISTING (Mandatory Submission) – Section 7.8

As a member of the MLS, you are obligated to enter a listing into the MLS within 2 business days of the seller signing the listing contract, or submit a seller-signed exclusion (SEL) in accordance with Section 7.9.

TIP TO AVOID:

DON’T WAIT to enter listings into the MLS. There is no exception for not entering your listing into the MLS or submitting an exclusion* within 2 business days.

*Exclusions must be submitted to the appropriate entity – either CRMLS or your association/board.

 

4) MISUSE OF PROPERTY DESCRIPTION – Section 12.5

Verbal descriptions in MLS listings, like listing photos, are to be used for the sole purpose of marketing and describing the property itself, not the listing agent. Property descriptions must also be devoid of showing information like lockbox or security codes for the safety of property owners.

TIP TO AVOID:

Proofread your property descriptions and ask yourself this question: Does this text do anything OTHER than describe or market the property itself?

 

5) INACCURATE INFORMATION – Section 8.3

When you submit your listing to the MLS, you are confirming that you have used good faith efforts to determine the accuracy of all information included in the listing. Inaccurate information such as a false Assessor’s Parcel Number, incorrect square footage, or bad bedroom count will result in a citation, as will an incorrect listing status, such as showing a listing as active when it is in escrow.

TIP TO AVOID:

Creating a new listing and entering all required fields can be a long process, but don’t forget to PROOFREAD when you finish. And remember, you are not done with the listing once it’s submitted. You are obligated to change the listing status in the MLS as soon as a change occurs.

Now you should have no problem avoiding some of the most common MLS Rules violations!

But, remember…

We all make mistakes! If you do slip up, revisit our blog so you know just what to do with that citation.

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