Integrity of data is the most precious commodity that any MLS has. Protection of the integrity of the data is a challenging task, but paramount to providing our members with the best and most accurate data in order to serve the day to day needs of the consumers that are your clients.
SCRMLS Compliance Corner
While many of the following MLS rules and industry etiquette are familiar to most REALTORS®, they are the most frequently reported violations from Brokers utilizing the MLS system. In order to maintain a system that is efficient and provides its users accurate and timely information, it is necessary to maintain and enforce rules in a fair and unbiased manner. To review the full set of MLS Rules and Regulations, as well our Standards of Practice and Citation Policy look in the MLS Documents section of Paragon.
Any matter not specifically addressed in the SCRMLS Rules and Regulations shall be governed by the policies and procedures set forth by the National Association of REALTORS® as from time to time amended as well as the Policies and Procedures established by Silver City Regional MLS.
SCRMLS Invoice Due Dates:
Jan 15, April 15, July 15, Oct 15
Due in 30-days from invoice date. Suspension at 45-days. Invoices are emailed. CC authorization form is available.
MLS Clear Cooperation Policy
This policy is intended to bolster cooperation and advance the positive, procompetitive impacts that cooperation fosters for consumers.
Section 1.01 – Clear Cooperation
Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public. (Adopted 11/19)
New for 2022
National Association of REALTORS® recently updated its policy on Listing Attribution on Internet Data Exchange (IDX) displays and Virtual Office Websites (VOW), and you must display the Broker Attribution field on your IDX feed to be in compliance. If you have not done so already, update your IDX feed or contact your IDX vendor to make sure the Broker Attribution field is set to display on your site, and it is clearly visible according to the NAR® rule by September 1, 2022, or risk compliance violations. The attribution field is set in the preferences section of Paragon by the MLS Participant (Qualifying Broker Authority) of the member office.
New Statuses - Active Under Contract and Pending:
Active Under Contract: An offer has been accepted, but the listing is still on the market.
Pending: An offer has been accepted, and the listing is no longer on the market.
Active Under Contract listings still show up as ACTIVE on the IDX data feeds.
If the sellers are no longer accepting offers, then you must change the
status to PENDING, and the listing will show up as pending/under contract
in the data feeds.
New for 2023
If you fail to change the expiration date on a pending listing in Paragon, the listing will auto expire. There is no longer a grace period. Pay attention to the expiration date notices for all statuses in Paragon.
Reminder that active listings with "no showing" dates longer than 72 hours cannot be entered into the MLS. If your client requests a longer time, you must file a temporary listing waiver form, and there can be no public advertising.
SCRMLS has Rules and Regulations which include a Citation Policy. This document is easily accessed by SCRMLS members in the MLS Documents section in Paragon MLS.
Use the "Correction" Icon on the Paragon toolbar. Since SCRMLS can’t see every instance of rogue public marketing, we rely on you to let us know when other brokers are violating the rules.
SCRMLS has a two-page citation policy document on the Paragon homepage. Look in the Quick Links box! This policy outlines the fine areas and processes.
The “Public Remarks” field is intended only to describe the physical characteristics of the property and its grounds. Brokers may not enter contact information such as names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, Web site addresses, video's, etc. The public remarks are to describe the property. Information related to the transaction such as available financing, seller concessions, bonuses or incentives are prohibited as well. Brokers must also be careful not to enter confidential information such as showing instructions or security codes since this field is displayed on showing handouts and members' public Web sites. Brokers should utilize the “Broker Remarks” field for the above referenced types of information.
Listing Agreements Required for All MLS Listings:
Before a listing can be entered in MLS, the listing participant must have a signed listing agreement with the seller giving the listing participant authorization to submit the listing to MLS. It is inappropriate to enter a FSBO listing where the listing participant has not entered into an agency agreement with the seller. It is also against MLS rules to enter a listing that has been sold outside the MLS where the listing participant did not have a signed listing agreement, with the seller, or written permission from the buyer and seller prior to closing.
Timeline for entering listings or making changes:
Always 48-hours from the time the contract/form is executed.
Reporting Pending Sales:
Once a contract is signed, the listing should be placed under-contract within 48 business hours of the signed contract, even if both parties agree to allow the seller to continue showing the property. Properties that have a signed contract with a contingency and are available to show and taking back-up offers should be placed in under-contract backup or kickout status. While many sellers wish to keep the listing in “Active” status while taking back-up offers, it is important that we maintain consistent and accurate information so that agents are clear on the status of a particular listing.
Reporting Closed Sales:
All sales closed must be entered within 48 business hours of the actual closing/funding date. There are no exceptions to this rule, even if a buyer brings a contract with a provision indicating their desire to withhold the closing information from MLS. If the MLS is used to market the property, the listing participant is obligated to report the sale. Withdrawing, terminating or reporting a listing as expired to avoid reporting the sales price and closing information is prohibited.
If the owner(s) of record refuses to permit the listing to be disseminated by SCRMLS, the Participant must email either the Temporary Exclude or the Office Exclusive waiver form to the MLS. These forms must be emailed within 48-hours, excluding weekends or federally recognized holidays, upon the latter of a) the dated signature of the owner(s) of record or b) the beginning date on the Listing Agreement.
Previously Waived (y/n):
For listings that have been withheld from the MLS on an exclusive or temporary waiver. This field was created so that if/when these listings get entered into Paragon, and the listing date is sometimes 30 plus days back, brokers can see why there is a discrepancy in the dates. If marked yes, it is beyond the required 48-hours for entry. I also go back and check to make sure I have a waiver on file to double check.
Photos and Virtual Tours:
Photos and virtual tours cannot include branded signage, text or graphics, the first photo in the listing must be of the front exterior of the property, a true representation of the property, brokers must own the rights to the photos they are posting and virtually staged photos must be disclosed.
MLS Etiquette - not rules - but best-practices!
Appointments Required for All Property Showings:
Appointments for showings and negotiations shall be conducted through the listing Participant except where the listing participant gives the cooperating broker specific authority to contact the owner directly for showing. Please make sure your appointment has been scheduled and confirmed, it’s a difficult situation when a homeowner is surprised by strangers entering their house unexpectedly.
Property Showing Etiquette:
Review the Broker remarks and showing instructions prior to entering the home. This will ensure you don't let the pet out or wake up a homeowner that works nights. Remember to wipe off your feet, stay close to your clients, turn out the lights and lock the doors behind you. Do not leave a business card unless requested by the seller or listing participant. While these reminders may seem obvious and of common courtesy, MLS has received calls from angry homeowners that feel Brokers showing their home have been inconsiderate in regards to leaving the property as they found it.
No Address Lots/Land data feeds - Typically there are issues, with land, without an address feeding to online portals such as R.com and Z.com. Especially, if you have multiple lots. Many times these lots don't feed, or feed with incorrect information. This issue was discussed at the Paragon training conference. The recommendation was to approximate an address such as 42XX N. Main Street, or 3XX S. Land Lane. If you do this you have a MUCH better chance of getting your land listing to populate correctly rather than using an ? or XX.
Enforcement of Rules – MLS Disciplinary Guidelines
Associations of REALTORS® and their multiple listing services have the responsibility of fostering awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the duties and responsibilities of MLS participants and subscribers, and of receiving and resolving complaints alleging violations of the rules and regulations. The REALTOR® organization is firmly committed to vigorous, fair, and uniform enforcement. Enforcement achieves a number of goals. Where participants or subscribers are wrongly or mistakenly charged with violations, the hearing process provides personal and professional vindication. Where violations are determined, enforcement process educates participants and subscribers about their duties and obligations, and serves as a meaningful deterrent of future violations.
Allegations of conduct inconsistent with the rules are often viewed by respondents as threats to their professional and personal reputations. This can result not only in their mounting vigorous defenses but also, at times, to threats of legal challenge should a violation be determined and discipline imposed. Given that MLS participation can have significant economic value, associations and their MLSs need to strictly adhere to their established procedures when considering potential violations. This caution ensures that the rights of the parties will be observed, and legal exposure of associations and their MLSs will be minimized.
At the same time, well-founded caution should not be confused with reservation, reluctance, or hesitancy. Rules become aspirations at best, and potentially meaningless, if not enforced with vigor and determination.
Fundamental to fair and consistent enforcement is reasonable and judicious use of discipline, as both an educational device and as punishment. Associations and their MLSs have a wide variety of sanctions available to them that may be imposed for violations. These range from simple letters of warning to termination of MLS rights and privileges. Between these extremes are mandatory attendance at remedial education sessions, financial penalties, probation, and suspension.
The National Association does not recommend specific penalties for certain offenses or for violations of particular rules. This is in deference to the wisdom and autonomy of the hearing panel privy to the details of complaints coming before them; in recognition of the fact that no two complaints are identical; and in view of the facts that the details of each hearing, including the experience of respondents, their history of prior violations, and mitigating or extenuating circumstances, may all come into play in determining an appropriate penalty. At the same time, there are key points to be considered with respect to imposition of discipline:
Discipline that can be imposed is strictly limited to those forms authorized in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual and to any additional form authorized by the National Association’s board of directors.
Discipline should be commensurate with the offense. Unintentional or inadvertent violations should result in penalties designed to educate respondents about the conduct expected of them. Only authorized forms of discipline may be utilized.
Discipline should be progressive. The disciplinary emphasis on violations by new members or by long-standing members with no history of prior violations should be primarily educational. Repeated or subsequent violations should be addressed with more serious forms of discipline, including substantial fines, suspension, and termination of MLS rights and privileges.
A gray area can exist with respect to “first time violations” that are clearly not the result of ignorance or mistake but rather demonstrate flagrant disregard for the rules. While the educational aspect of enforcement cannot be disregarded, the fact that the rules exist to protect clients and customers, the public, and to ensure effective, efficient functioning of the MLS, must also be considered in determining commensurate discipline.
Mitigating or extenuating circumstances should be considered in determining appropriate discipline. The fact that a respondent recognizes or acknowledges inappropriate conduct or took steps to remediate or minimize harm or injury, should be considered in determining appropriate discipline.
Respondent’s records of earlier violations or, conversely, the fact that they have not violated the rules in the past, can be considered in determining appropriate discipline. Hearing panels cannot consider past violations in deciding whether the conduct currently complained of violates the rules.
Crafting appropriate, meaningful discipline can challenge panels that have concluded the rules have been violated. This discussion is offered as guidance, rather than as a hard and fast template, to assist panels in meeting their responsibility in ensuring the rules’ viability and vitality through vigorous and evenhanded enforcement.