The CRMLS Compliance Department’s job is to enforce the MLS Rules established by REALTORS® for REALTORS®. We do this work not only to ensure the integrity of the listing data inside of the MLS, but also to further broker cooperation. Although our Compliance Analysts experience a heavy case load, we sometimes come across violations that we can’t help but chuckle at. Branded photos and photos with inappropriate content on listings continue to be among the most commonly reported MLS rules violations we receive.
We’ve done this once before, but now we’re resurrecting a user-favorite feature in this week’s edition of the CRMLS blog. See if you can spot what’s wrong with these pictures that CRMLS Compliance removed from listings in the CRMLS database:
Q: What’s wrong – the amount of tree cover, or the toddler?
A: The toddler. According to the CRMLS Rules and Regulations Reference Guide (PDF), MLS photos may not contain “images of people, animals, or other items not directly related to the listing.” That means that, no matter how cute the youngster or puppy is who wandered into the frame, photos like this one won’t fly.
Q: What’s wrong – the broker’s name, or the text on the image?
A: Both. This one is especially egregious, managing to break not one, not two, but three separate rules! First, the rules forbid “Agent, Broker, or Brokerage names and/or photos,” so including the broker’s name is a no-go. The MLS doesn’t allow “phone numbers” either – there’s rule #2. Finally, the rules prohibit “messages or solicitations,” meaning that placing text soliciting phone calls onto the image is disallowed. You’d think someone who’s been practicing real estate for so long would know this by now!
Q: What’s wrong – the black curtain, or the framed photos?
A: The framed photos. While this room’s resident might have questionable taste in drapes, the thing that takes this image across the line into an MLS violation is the clothing-optional photography. This image violates the rule on images of people. There are additional questions on taking a photograph of another copyrighted photograph. (Our rules dictate that you must have clearance for all the images you publish on the MLS.) In addition, the nudity pictured compromises the widespread accessibility of the MLS. When in doubt, bear in mind: “CRMLS reserves the right to remove any photo from the MLS that is not in compliance with [CRMLS rules].”
What’s wrong – the inclusion of people, or those purple pants?
A: The people. The rules violation on this one is clear – we just thought the picture was funny.
There you have it. While the CRMLS Compliance Department takes its job seriously, we thought we’d introduce a little bit of levity into an important lesson. Make sure your photos comply with the CRMLS Rules and Regulations before uploading them into the MLS. Thanks for reading!