MLS Rule Reminders

Are you using NS in the Compensation Field correctly??

Posted: 8/28/17

Many listings are added into MLS with “NS” included in the Compensation to Cooperating Broker field without understanding what it means and/or what is required when using it.

This code is used only when the listing broker is disclosing that the compensation will be based on the Net Sale price.  Please see the definition in the MLS Rules and Regulations below:

If NS is added to the compensation to cooperating field, MLS Rules (Section 7.4) require that the listing broker define in the Compensation Comments field, what concessions will be considered for that listing.

Here are examples of comments that meets MLS Rules:

Compensation excludes seller-paid closing costs.”

Compensation will not be based on repairs or seller credits.”     

“Commission based on FINAL sale price NET of seller-paid closing costs, pts, prepaids, and prorations paid on buyer’s behalf.”

Why is an explanation required?   A cooperating broker has the right to know up front how his or her compensation will be calculated but listing brokers define a net sale differently.   One listing broker may deduct seller-paid closing costs while another might deduct repairs.  If a listing broker enters NS without an explanation about how the net is calculated, a cooperating broker can require the listing broker to pay on the gross not the net.

Section 1.2

“Concession/Net Sale” – a change to selling price, the amount of which is not ascertainable at the time of listing the property due to otherwise negotiated items which reduce or increase the proceeds of the sale to the seller, including, but not limited to the seller’s cost of repairing an unforeseen deficiency in the property, a credit to the buyer for an unforeseen deficiency in the property, payment of the buyer’s closing costs by the seller, and design or construction upgrades which are selected by a buyer for a new home.

Section 7.4 Concessions/Net Sales: A listing broker who plans to base a co-broke commission on the sales price excluding seller concessions shall input the listing with a Net Sales (NS) designation with the compensation in the Compensation to Cooperating Broker field.  However, if concession costs are to be deducted and a dollar amount or percentage is impossible to determine at the time of listing, then the listing broker must define the term “concession” in regards to that particular listing, in the “Compensation Comments” field and make it clear to the cooperating broker what their compensation will be based on.


Below Grade Living Area

Posted: 7/20/17

“Approximate Below Grade Living Area” field in Matrix – This field is to be used for finished areas of basements and lower levels below grade only.


Check active listings in Matrix BEFORE soliciting sellers of expired or withdrawn listings

Posted: 6/6/17

When searching expired and withdrawn listings, BEFORE you solicit the sellers, be sure to search active listings in Matrix, and cross check to avoid soliciting sellers that are currently in a listing contract with another broker.

Failure to do so could result in a violation of Code of Ethics.


Posted: 4/28/17

Please remember, properties in “Active Under Contract” status MUST be available for showing and able to receive back-up offers.   If the property is NOT available for showing, and a binding contract has been executed, report as Pending.

Active Under Contract status shall be used when a binding contract has been signed, subject to meeting certain contingency conditions and the property remains active with one of the following designations:

  • Soliciting Back-Up Offers
  • Sale of Buyer’s Property Contingency
  • Pending Short Sale Approval
  • REO/Offer Accepted
  • Inspection Period

The property shall be available for showing.

Pending – This “Under Contract” designation shall be used when a binding contract has been signed, subject to meeting certain contingency conditions. This designation signifies that the
property is neither active nor available for showing. This designation may be used for a rental property in the MLS when the listing broker is expecting a completed rental agreement or deposit, and, with the authorization of the landlord, is no longer showing the property.


Property Photos in MLS

Posted: 4/12/17

Photos submitted to MLS must be of the property and the amenities included exclusively with the purchase of property…

For example:  water views from the property, pristine trees and bushes, private beach, pool, condo amenities, etc.

Section 6.5 of the MLS Rules and Regulations – Physical Depictions Submitted to the MLS –

Physical depictions of listed property, including, but not limited to, photographs, digital images, and sketches, which are submitted to the MLS shall depict only the property for sale and its amenities and shall not include marketing or promotional messages made on behalf of the listing broker or seller.

Images not allowed per this policy include: scenes from the surrounding area, famous nearby landmarks, nightlife, etc.


Withdrawn Listings

Posted: 3/29/17

When searching expired and withdrawn listings, BEFORE you solicit the sellers, be sure to search active listings and cross check to avoid soliciting sellers that are currently in a listing contract with another broker.


DID YOU KNOW???

Posted: 12/21/16

The cooperating broker, participating in a transaction of a limited service or entry only listing, is responsible for reporting accepted offers and all closing information to the listing broker within twenty-four hours of occurrence, and, in turn, the listing broker must report the information to the MLS within forty-eight hours after receiving notice from the cooperating broker.

Section 5.8 Reporting Sales to the Service:

Status changes, including final closing of sales and sale prices, shall be reported to the MLS by the listing broker within forty-eight hours after they have occurred.  If negotiations were carried on under Section 5.1.a. or b. hereof, the cooperating broker shall report accepted offers and prices to the listing broker within twenty-four hours after occurrence and the listing broker shall report them to the MLS within forty-eight hours after receiving notice from the cooperating broker.

Section 5.1 Showings and Negotiations:
Appointments for showings and negotiations with the seller or landlord for the purchase/rent of listed property filed with the MLS shall be conducted through the listing broker, except under the following circumstances:

  • When the listing broker and seller have entered into the type of listing that is described in section 4.13 or a Limited Service Listing Agreement which authorizes the cooperating broker to negotiate with the seller directly.
  • The listing broker gives the cooperating broker specific authority to show and/or negotiate directly, as authorized by the seller.

Properties in “Active Under Contract” status MUST be available for showing

Posted: 11/09/16

Please remember, properties in “Active Under Contract” status MUST be available for showing and able to receive back-up offers.   If the property is NOT available for showing, and a binding contract has been executed, report as Pending.

Active Under Contract status shall be used when a binding contract has been signed, subject to meeting certain contingency conditions and the property remains active with one of the following designations:

  • Soliciting Back-Up Offers
  • Sale of Buyer’s Property Contingency
  • Pending Short Sale Approval
  • REO/Offer Accepted
  • Inspection Period

The property shall be available for showing.

Pending – This “Under Contract” designation shall be used when a binding contract has been signed, subject to meeting certain contingency conditions. This designation signifies that the
property is neither active nor available for showing. This designation may be used for a rental property in the MLS when the listing broker is expecting a completed rental agreement or deposit, and, with the authorization of the landlord, is no longer showing the property.


Physical Depictions Submitted to the MLS

Posted: 7/8/16

Section 6.5 of the MLS Rules and Regulations – Physical Depictions Submitted to the MLS –

Physical depictions of listed property, including, but not limited to, photographs, digital images, and sketches, which are submitted to the MLS shall depict only the property for sale and its amenities and shall not include marketing or promotional messages made on behalf of the listing broker or seller.

Photos found in violation shall be removed from the listing.


Are you tempted to copy other members’ photos to use on your own listings???Please read how you can avoid violations of MLS Rules and copyright law…

Posted: 3/23/16

MLS Policy on using other member’s photos –
Members are prohibited from submitting photos previously entered into the Service by another agent or agency without written permission from the photos original owner/licensee. $50 per offense

Transfer of Listing Photos –
When you order photos through a photographer, they continue to hold the copyright. This means that you cannot transfer or sell the photos to another licensee without the permission of the photographer.

Copyright laws prohibit the unauthorized use of original content – ranging from photographs and drawings to software and marketing materials. For more information on copyright law, please see http://www.copyright.gov


Does the seller know how much you’re really paying a cooperating broker?

Posted: 7/6/15

All listing contracts for properties that are listed in MLS must disclose the amount of compensation that a listing broker will offer to cooperating brokers. The listing broker states on the listing agreement the dollar amount or percentage of the compensation and the seller(s) initials this particular section. But what if a listing broker offers different amounts to different real estate companies?

The MLS Rules and Regulations allow listing brokers to offer alternative compensation that is higher or lower than what is shown in MLS. Alternative compensation must be disclosed to a cooperating broker in writing before the cooperating broker produces submits an offer.

Please review these tips before considering alternative compensation.

  • What impact will offering alternative compensation have on our company’s relationship with cooperating brokers?
  • Will offering alternative compensation hurt or help our seller clients?
  • Has my principal broker agreed to offer alternative compensation?
  • How will I explain our company’s reasons for offering alternative compensation to the seller?
  • How will I explain our company’s decision to a cooperating broker?
  • Has the company made an independent decision to offer alternative compensation?

Never discuss with a competitor that your company offers – or plans to offer – specific alternative compensation to another real estate company. This means no discussions in association meetings, franchise meetings, networking gatherings, social events, etc. Antitrust laws have serious civil and criminal penalties. It doesn’t cost the victim of price fixing or a group boycott a penny to call the U.S. Justice Department.

  • Does the listing agreement disclose all compensation that our company is offering to cooperating brokers?

Questions? Please contact Monica Staaf, RIAR/MLS Legal Counsel, at 401-785-3650 ext. 5 or email [email protected].


Rules For Listing Submission & “Coming Soon” Requirements

Posted: 5/20/15

Did you know…

The rule for listing submission or posting a sign on the property??

Rules and Regulations – Section 4.4 Submissions: A Report of any listing taken in accordance with the above Section shall be made to the Service by the Participant, within twenty four hours, excluding state and federal holidays, following its effective date or the placement of a sign on the property; However, if Participant advertises a property, excluding the placement of a sign, the property must be reported either as an MLS listing or a non- MLS listing at the time the advertisement appears.

“Coming Soon” Requirements

What does it mean when a property is advertised as “coming soon?”

“Coming soon” means that the owner of a property wants to generate interest in a property, but the property is not yet available for showing or sale. The owner may still be building, remodeling, or cleaning the property or trying to resolve title issues.

Designated client representatives must act in their client’s best interest. A listing broker and seller should determine whether and when to market a property as “coming soon.” Early exposure can generate a positive buzz or cause other brokers and potential buyers to wonder why it’s taking so long for a property to finally become available for showing.

State-Wide MLS Rules require that an exclusive listing must be reported as an MLS or non-MLS listing by the time that “coming soon” appears in print, on a web site, etc. or within 24 hours after a “coming soon” sign is installed.

State law requires all listing agreements to be in writing. A real estate licensee must obtain the written authorization of the seller to advertise a property whether it’s “coming soon” or officially on the market.

Rhode Island state law prohibits misleading advertising. When a property is promoted as “coming soon,” it must actually be “coming soon” and the listing broker must have written authorization from the seller to market the property.

Have you ever seen some stores that advertise a “going out of business sale” for years but the store never actually seems to go out of business? Avoid the real estate equivalent of this type of advertising.

Questions? Contact the RIAR Legal Department at 401-785-3650 ext. 5.


 

Appropriate Use of AO and AS Statuses

Posted: 3/27/15

AO- Active / Offer Accepted Pending Fully Executed P&S –
(Status for REO/Lender Owned Listings)

Offer has been submitted and accepted by Lender (seller) – waiting for signed Purchase and Sale agreement. This status is only to be used when the property is still being shown and back-up offers are being accepted. This status can only be used for REO/Lender Owned listing

AS – Active / Pending Short Sale Approval
(Status for Short Sale Listings)

Binding agreement has been signed by buyer and seller, and has been submitted to Lender for approval. This status is only to be used when the property is still being shown and back-up offers are being accepted.

Active Pending Statuses

The new language change to Section 5.7 of the MLS Rules and Regulations replaces “Purchase and Sale Agreement” to any “Binding Contract” (including, but not limited to, an offer to purchase or purchase and sales agreement).

The approved change requires that a listing is reported Pending or one of the Active/Pending statuses when a “binding contract” is fully executed.

** Fines are assessed for “reporting incorrect selling and/or off market information” and “reporting incorrect status”.


 

Rule Regarding Withdrawals

Posted: 2/13/15

Did you know – When you place a listing in WY – Early Termination/Exclusive Right to Re-List:

  • If the expiration date is extended on the Withdrawal Form in the WY section, the expiration date must be extended in FUSION when changing the status to WY.
  • The listing expires on the expiration date in Fusion and the status changes to WD – WITHDRAWN.
  • The withdrawal form must be signed and initialed by the seller
  • The withdrawal form must be signed by the Listing Broker or Authorized Representative
  • Random requests for paperwork of Withdrawn (WY) properties are made by MLS

 

Rule on Net Sale

Posted: 10/7/14

Section 1.2 Other Terms Defined

“Concession/Net Sale” – a change to selling price, the amount of which is not ascertainable at the time of listing the property due to otherwise negotiated items which reduce or increase the proceeds of the sale to the seller, including, but not limited to the seller’s cost of repairing an unforeseen deficiency in the property, a credit to the buyer for an unforeseen deficiency in the property, payment of the buyer’s closing costs by the seller, and design or construction upgrades which are selected by a buyer for a new home.

Section 7.4 Concessions/Net Sales: A listing broker who plans to base a co-broke commission on the sales price excluding seller concessions shall input the listing with a Net Sales (NS) designation in the compensation fields.

However, if concession costs are to be deducted and a dollar amount or percentage is impossible to determine at the time of listing, then the listing broker must define the term “concession” in regards to that particular listing, in the “showing instructions” field and make it clear to the cooperating broker what their compensation will be based on.


Signs on Properties

Posted: 6/10/14

If you display a sign on a property, the listing must be reported to MLS within 24 hours….. This includes “For Sale” or “Coming Soon”

Section 4.4 Submissions: A Report of any listing taken in accordance with the above Section shall be made to the Service by the Participant, within twenty four hours, excluding state and federal holidays, following its effective date or the placement of a sign on the property;

However, if Participant advertises a property, excluding the placement of a sign, the property must be reported either as an MLS listing or a non-MLS listing at the time the advertisement appears.


Reporting Solds Promptly!

Posted: 5/12/14

Please be sure to complete the information accurately when reporting a listing SOLD. State-Wide MLS needs to preserve the integrity of its data to ensure that it remains reliable and relevant for our members and the public. MLS is also reliant on our members’ commitment to reporting the information in a timely manner as required by the MLS Rules and Regulations in order to accurately report sales to the media.

Section 5.8 – Closed Sales of the MLS Rules and Regulations: When the sale of a listed property has closed, a report shall be made to the service with closing sale price and terms within forty-eight hours, excluding state and federal holidays. Late reported solds will result in a fine of $25 for days one through five and $5 per day thereafter.


Responding to a Member Inquiry

Posted: 3/26/14

Section 5.2 With all listings other than those described in section 4.13 – LSL – Limited Service listings, listing broker shall respond to cooperating brokers within twenty-four hours excluding state and federal holidays, after receipt of a written or verbal inquiry or request from a cooperating broker.
Fine – $50 Failure to comply could result in accumulating fines.

Please remember, this is simply professional courtesy. Be respectful of your fellow members and respond to their inquiries, whether it is for a showing appointment, information on your listing, status of an offer, etc.


Appropriate Use of AO and AS Statuses

Posted: 9/17/13

Please be sure you are using these statuses appropriately:

AO – Active / Offer Accepted Pending Fully Executed P&S – (Status for REO/Lender Owned Listings)

Offer has been submitted and accepted by Lender (seller) – waiting for signed Purchase and Sale agreement. This status is only to be used when the property is still being shown and back-up offers are being accepted. This status can only be used for REO/Lender Owned listings

AS – Active / Pending Short Sale Approval – (Status for Short Sale Listings)

Binding agreement has been signed by buyer and seller, and has been submitted to Lender for approval. This status is only to be used when the property is still being shown and back-up offers are being accepted.

Active Pending Statuses

The new language change to Section 5.7 of the MLS Rules and Regulations replaces “Purchase and Sale Agreement” to any “Binding Contract” (including, but not limited to, an offer to purchase or purchase and sales agreement).

The approved change requires that a listing is reported Pending or one of the Active/Pending statuses when a “binding contract” is fully executed.

** Fines are assessed for “reporting incorrect selling and/or off market information” and “reporting incorrect status”.