Top 5 MLS Rules Violations & How to Avoid Them

nophoto e1473887260292

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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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


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.


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.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Anne Meczywor

    A well-designed MLS platform will eliminate several of these. Ours will not make a listing active without photos, for instance. The key is education and communication. We are blessed with a small but incredibly diligent, skilled staff who keep our members up to date on all requirements, and who are very tactful at corrections. It also helps that in our Realtor owned MLS there is very little anonymity. We all know each other and know we have to treat each other well because with accompanied showings one cannot get away for long being a jerk. But, when the “nice guy and word to the wise” approach doesn’t work, we DO self-police, and repeat offenders can find themselves devoid of MLS access.

  2. Julio Giron

    Great, for helping us with this information.
    I will be careful providing the right information on the right place.
    Thank you

  3. Lisa Brown

    Great reminder and information for new agents. Thank you!

  4. Henry

    I have seen properties with no photo for over 100 days and the MLS does nothing. That property is still been marketing.

    1. CRMLS

      Thanks for your comment, Henry. While this post is meant to help agents avoid some common MLS Rules violations, we have another blog post detailing the process of reporting violations and resolving citations. It will explain how to report a rules violation if you come across an offending listing, as well as how to keep track of the status of your report. Here is the link:

      If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact CRMLS Customer Care at 800-925-1525 OR online at

  5. Mike Ameel

    I thought it was against MLS rules to advertise commission rates?

    1. CRMLS

      Hi Mike, thanks for reaching out! It is not against the MLS rules to advertise commission. In fact, MLS rule 7.15 requires that there be an unconditional offer of compensation to cooperating brokers published on a listing.

      The MLS facilitates cooperation and compensation between brokers and part of this arrangement is an offer of compensation expressed in terms of a commission amount.

      The MLS, however, does not require the publishing of the full amount of commission charged by the listing broker to the homeowner.

Leave a Reply

85 + = 92

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share the Post:

Related Posts

June Adapt to Thrive

June 2024 Broker Report

Print 🖨 PDF 📄 IN THIS ISSUE MLS Stats Adapt to Thrive | Prohibition of shared compensation and new showing requirements Resources for NAR Proposed Settlement Compliance Enhancements & Products Matrix Paragon

Read More »