The MLS Rules exist to protect your rights as a real estate professional and to protect the accuracy of MLS data. Receiving a citation for an MLS Rules violation is . A citation can cost you money and potentially hurt your standing with your association/board. Most rules violations are unintentional and can be easily avoided. Follow these tips to steer clear of the most common violations!
Mandatory Submission of Photographs and Renderings – MLS Rule 11.7.1
Description of Violation: Within seventy-two (72) hours of entry, listings input into the MLS are required to have at least one photograph accurately depicting a substantial portion of the exterior of the property.
How to avoid the violation: To help avoid this violation, you must add at least one photo or rendering of the exterior structure of the listed property within seventy-two (72) hours of entering a listing into the MLS, regardless of the listing status. If a property is sold within five calendar days of entering the listing into the MLS, it is important that you add at least one exterior structural photo prior to closing the listing.
This photo requirement applies to the following property types/styles: Residential Detached, Twinhome, Townhome, Rowhome, All Other Attached, Manufactured Home, Modular Home, Mobile Home, Residential Income 2-4 Units, and Residential Rental.
Branded Photos/Media and Copyright Issues – MLS Rule 11.7
Description of Violation: Photos, virtual tours, and any media submitted to the MLS must not contain any branding or promotional information related to the listing broker or agent. The listing broker must also possess the proper authorization to use media obtained from third parties.
How to avoid the violation: Photos and media uploaded onto the MLS must not contain any of the items below.
- Agent, Broker, or Brokerage names or photos or logos
- Phone Numbers
- Website addresses
- Email addresses
- For sale or for lease signs, billboards, open house signs, promotion signs, or any other advertising material with identifiable information
- Messages or solicitations
- People that are not incidental and/or are identifiable
- Example: A scene that features people can be identified or a photograph of only a person.
- Photographs of children will be pulled immediately by CRMLS Staff.
- Animals with no relation to the property being listed
- Example: A photograph of only a horse, dog, chicken, etc.
- Items not directly related to the listing
Copyright and use of media from third parties:
If Photographs and media are obtained from third parties, such as photographers, the submitting agent and broker must ensure that they have obtained the proper authorization to use the media before submitting to the MLS.
Note that CRMLS reserves the right to remove any media found in violation or inappropriate.
Consequently, if a photograph is removed for violation of copyright or branding Rules, and that photograph is the only photograph that fulfills the requirements of Rule 11.7.1, an additional citation may be issued on that basis if the issue is not timely corrected. Refer to section 1 for more details regarding this violation.
Mandatory Submission & Listing Exclusions – MLS Rule 7.5
Description of Violation: This violation occurs when a listing is not entered into the MLS in a timely manner and the listing broker did not file an MLS Exclusion Form with the MLS.
How to avoid the violation: To help avoid this violation, you must enter a listing into the MLS within forty eight (48) hours of the effective date of the listing, which is defined as either: (1) the beginning date of the listing period, or, (2) the date on which all necessary signatures were obtained, whichever is later.
If the seller wants their property listed on the MLS, but the property is not ready for marketing or showings, an exclusion form must be filed with CRMLS within forty eight (48) hours of the effective list date online at the following web page: https://go.crmls.org/sd-paragon-user-exclusion-form/. Click here to access the San Diego Paragon User Exclusion Form.
Misuse of Public Remarks – MLS Rule 12.5
Description of Violation: A Misuse of Public Remarks violation occurs when prohibited information or verbiage is placed in any public remarks field.
How to avoid the violation: To help avoid a Misuse of Public Remarks violation, it is important that the remarks in the Remarks field are limited to the physical and aesthetic characteristics of the property.
The Remarks field and other public facing fields may not include:
- Gate codes
- Showing Instructions
- Compensation Information
- Lockbox information
- Occupancy status of the property such as “vacant”
- Email addresses
- Website addresses
- Phone numbers
- Agent or brokerage information
- Open house information
- Language that violates applicable fair housing laws and guidelines
CRMLS reserves the right to remove any remarks within any field that are found to be inappropriate.
Inaccurate Information – MLS Rule 8.3
Description of Violation: All fields within the MLS are to disclose accurate information to the best of the listing agent’s and listing broker’s knowledge.
How to avoid the violation: Make all necessary changes to the listing within of being advised of an inaccuracy and watch for the multiple email and pop-up reminders that the MLS sends you regarding any upcoming status change deadlines. These notices can be found in the Message Center on your Paragon Home page.