Rule Reminder Archives

State-Wide MLS re-implements ban on URL in Public Remarks Posted: 7/1/20
During the early stage of the COVID-19 crisis, State-Wide MLS temporarily allowed tour URLs and Open House information in the Public Remarks section of your listings.   As we enter Phase 3, we are re-implementing the prohibition against adding Open House information i.e., dates, times etc. and any URLs in the Public Remarks field.  If you would like to include a URL for a virtual tour, you may use the Showing Instructions, Virtual Tour Link, Listing Web Address, or Virtual Open House Link fields.

Please remove URLs  and Open House Information from any active listings in Matrix.   Please remember that there is a $50 fine for Remarks violations.

Rule Reminder: 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.

Rule Reminder: 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

Rule Reminder: 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 monica@riliving.com.

Rule Reminder: 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.

Rule Reminder: Appropriate Use of AO and AS Statuses Posted: 3/27/15
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”.

Rule Regarding Withdrawals – Posted: 2/13/15
Please note the last section in Bold.

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
Please note the last section in Bold.

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.

Rule Reminder: 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.

Rule Reminder: 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. 

Rule Reminder: 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.
Rule Reminder: 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”.

Rule Reminder: Listing properties in multiple categories Posted: 6/11/13
Please Note: 
Properties listed in MLS must reflect the actual category of the property.  There have been condo properties input as single family and condominiums in the MLS system.   This practice skews our inventory numbers as well as pendings and many times solds.  This also inaccurately inflates market share statistics for those who do this.There are fines in place that can accumulate for reporting duplicate properties as sold.Section 4.1 Listing Procedures: A Report shall be made of listings of real property in conformity with one of the following categories, which are listed subject to a real estate broker’s license and located within the Jurisdiction of the MLS within the time specified except as otherwise provided in this section:

(a) Single family homes including mobile homes for sale or exchange
(b) Two-family, three-family or four-family residential buildings for sale or exchange
(c) Condominiums for sale or exchange
(d) Vacant, residential land for sale or exchange

Rule Reminder: Appropriate Use of AO and AS Statuses Posted: 5/21/13
Please be sure you are using these statuses appropriately:
Status for REO/Lender Owned Listings:AO- Active / Offer Accepted Pending Fully Executed P&S –
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 listingsStatus for Short Sale Listings:

AS – Active / Pending Short Sale Approval
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.

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

Rule Reminder: IDX and the posting of properties on CraigslistPosted: 11/13/12
Please keep in mind that the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program exclusively permits the display of properties listed by other Subscribers on a Member’s website. Listings included in the IDX program (IDX=Y) can only be displayed on websites controlled by a Member and in strict compliance with the Section 14 of the MLS Rules and Regulations.

The posting of another Member’s listing on classified ad-type websites like Craiglist or in print advertising is NOT permitted by the IDX policies.

Rule Reminder: Rule on Net Sale Listings Posted: 11/1/12
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.If a gross commission established in a listing contract is subject to court approval; and that compensation
payable to cooperating brokers may be reduced if the gross commission established in the listing contract is
reduced by a court. In such instances, the fact that the gross commission is subject to court approval and
either the potential reduction in compensation payable to cooperating brokers or the method by which the
potential reduction in compensation will be calculated must be clearly communicated to potential
cooperating brokers prior to the time they produce an offer that ultimately results in a successful transaction.

However, if concession costs are to be deducted and a dollar amount or percentage is impossible todetermine 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.

Reporting Solds – Posted: 10/1/12
MLS members – 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.

To that end, please remember Section 5.8 – Closed Sales of the MLS Rules and Regulations which stipulates:  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. Not reporting in a timely manner will result in a fine of $25 for days one through five and $5 per day thereafter.  If information is incorrect, you may receive a $25 fine.

Rule Reminder: Appropriate Use of AS and AO Statuses Posted: 8/22/12
Reminder: Please be sure you are using these statuses appropriately:

AS – for Short Sale Listings and AO – for Bank Owned Properties

Status for Short Sale Listings:

AS – Active / Pending Short Sale Approval

Purchase and Sale 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.

Status for REO/Lender Owned Listings:

AO- Active / Offer Accepted Pending Fully Executed P&S

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.

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

Rule Reminder: Posted: 5/16/12
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

REMINDER: 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

Rule Reminder:Compensation Specified on Each Listing – Posted: 4/12/12
Section 7.1 Compensation Specified on Each Listing: When reporting a listing to the MLS, the Participant is making blanket unilateral offers of compensation to the other MLS Participants, and shall therefore specify on each listing filed with the Service, the compensation being offered to the other MLS Participants.

Note:  MLS Participant is the Designate Broker of the office. Compensation is paid to the Selling Broker (Participant), not the selling agent.

Please remember, when offering Bonuses with compensation in MLS, you must specify that the bonus is being paid to the Selling Broker, not Selling Agent.

Rule Reminder: Update Tax Info on Lisitngs – Posted: 1/19/11
Please be advisedBE SURE YOUR LISTINGS REFLECT THE CURRENT REAL ESTATE ASSESSMENT AND TAX INFORMATION!!!

As the towns update their housing valuations, your listings should be updated as well.

Even though there is a field that reflects the year of the assessment and tax info, it is more important now than ever, that we provide updated Real Estate Tax and Assessment information on our listings.

Rule Reminder: The correct use of AP and AH status – Posted: 11/12/2010
Please be sure you are using the proper status when you obtain a Purchase and Sales Agreement.   If the listing is displayed as AP (active pending) or AH (active hubbard), the property MUST be available for showing and back up offers. Please refer to the Rules and Regs on reporting pending sales…

Section 5.7 Reporting Pending Sales: When a purchase and sales agreement has been executed by all parties, a Report of the pending sale shall be made to the Service within forty-eight hours, excluding state and federal holidays and shall include pending date, cooperating licensee and cooperating office.

(a) Active/Pending with Back-up Listings (AP)
This designation shall be used when a purchase and sale agreement has been signed, subject to meeting certain contingency conditions, i.e. mortgage contingency, inspection contingency, the property is active, and the seller wishes to solicit back-up offers due to the uncertainty of the transaction. The property shall be available for showing.

(b) Active/Hubbard (AH)
This designation shall be used when a purchase and sale agreement has been signed, subject to a condition precedent of the buyer first closing on another property, which he has listed for sale, from which sale the proceeds would be used for financing the current sale, the property is active, available for showing, and the seller wishes to solicit back-up offers. An example of this type is a “Kick-out/Hubbard Clause” listing, whereby a buyer is given a specified amount of time to remove the contingency upon the seller’s receipt of an acceptable offer from another potential buyer. The property shall be available for showing.

Rule Reminder: “Concession/Net Sale” – Posted: 4/27/2010
“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.

If a gross commission established in a listing contract is subject to court approval; and that compensation payable to cooperating brokers may be reduced if the gross commission established in the listing contract is reduced by a court. In such instances, the fact that the gross commission is subject to court approval and either the potential reduction in compensation payable to cooperating brokers or the method by which the potential reduction in compensation will be calculated must be clearly communicated to potential cooperating brokers prior to the time they produce an offer that ultimately results in a successful transaction. 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.

Rule Reminder: Responding to Cooperating Brokers – Posted: 3/23/2010
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.

Failure to comply could result in accumulating fines.

Rule Reminder: Reporting Duplicate Solds- Posted: 1/14/2010
Please review your listing sales to be sure there are no duplicate solds reported for the same property. For example…. If a property was listed in two different categories, only one can be reported as sold. The other must be withdrawn or reported as “sold lease”. The status “sold lease” is not included in the compilation of statistics. Please remember …there is a fine for reporting more than one of the same property sold.
Rule Reminder: New Status’ for Short Sales and REO – Posted: 10/7/2009
New Status for Short Sale listings:

AS – Active / Pending Short Sale Approval – Purchase and Sales Agreement has been signed by buyer and seller, and has been submitted to Lender for approval.

New Status for REO/Lender Owned listings:

AO – Active / Offer Accepted Pending Fully Executed P&S – Offer has been submitted and accepted by Lender (seller) – waiting for signed purchase and sales agreement.

Rule Reminder: Clarification On Compensation to Cooperating Brokers For A Short Sale Subject To Lender Approval – Posted: 9/4/2009
Are you listing a short sale that is subject to lender approval?   Are you concerned that the lender will try to reduce the total commission?   If so, make sure to warn cooperating brokers properly or else you could owe the full compensation to cooperating broker that you originally offered in MLS.

The National Association of REALTORS has informed State-Wide MLS, in response to our request for further clarification that displaying  “X% subject to lender approval” is not adequate to warn a cooperating broker in a short sale transaction that his/her compensation could be reduced.  Although 50% (or whatever apportion) may intend to relay that the co-broke will receive half of the total commission, a cooperating broker should be able to see the intended compensation (% or dollar amt of gross sale price).

[REMINDER:   If the short sale involves a Fannie Mae servicer, the lender cannot force the listing broker to reduce the gross commission as long as it is not more than 6%.]

When listing a property that is or could be a short sale subject to lender approval, a listing broker may wish to protect his/her office and the cooperating broker in case the lender reduces the commission.   If the listing broker intends to reduce the compensation to cooperating broker if the seller’s lender reduces the total commission, then the listing broker needs to select one of the following options in order to comply with NAR policy.

OPTION #1:   
Make an offer of cooperating compensation as either a percentage of the gross sale price or as a flat dollar amount….
Example:  Compensation to Cooperating Broker =  “X% or $XX.”

State how the compensation to cooperating brokers would be changed if the seller’s lender  reduces the total commission…..

Example #1:  Compensation Comments = “Any reduction in the gross commission required by the seller’s lender as a condition of approving the short sale will be apportioned 50/50” (or 60/40 or 90/10 or whatever percentage the listing Participant chooses).

Example #2:  Compensation Comments = “If total commission is reduced by Lender, listing Participant will pay 50% (or 40% or 30%, etc.) of what Participant receives”

NOTE:  Abbreviating or similar language will be necessary to properly adjust to the field length, but is intended to give an example of appropriate language. 

OPTION #2: 
Make an offer of cooperating compensation only in an amount that the listing office could afford to pay even if the seller’s lender reduces the total commission.

Even if a listing broker does not select one of these options, the listing broker can try to convince the cooperating broker to agree voluntarily in writing to a lower commission if the seller’s lender plans to reduce the gross commission as a condition of a short sale.

QUESTIONS?  Contact MLS Customer Service at 401-785-9898 ext. 2 or the MLS Legal Department at 401-785-3650 ext. 5

Rule Reminder: New Fines – Posted: 7/20/2009
The fines for the following violations have increased due to the serious nature and the impact the related actions have on the quality of the MLS data. Please review so you can avoid these violations.

  • For reporting a listing to MLS without the seller(s) signatures. Section 4.1 Listing Procedures Fine Increase to: $1,000 and report licensee to the Dept. of Business Regulations.
  • For advertising another broker’s listings without inclusion of the listing company name and without permission of the listing broker. Section 6.6 Advertising of listing filed with the Service. Fine Increase to: $100 per incident
  • Late Solds – The Designate REALTOR of the licensee will be fined $25.00 in addition to the fine assessed to the licensee for reporting late sold information. The timely reporting of sales is critical to our statistics and PR efforts.
Rule Reminder: Types of listing agreements accepted by MLS – Posted: 5/11/2009
Please remember that MLS only accepts listings that meet the definition of an Exclusive Right to Sell or an Exclusive Right to Brokerage Agreement.

Non- MLS Exempt listings are for properties whereby the seller refuses to permit the listing to be disseminated by the service, but still enters into a contract with the broker for the sale of their property.

Open Listings are not required and are not accepted in MLS (in MLXchange or Non-MLS).

Rule Reminder: Current Real Estate Assessments & Tax Info – Posted: 4/20/2009
Please be advised: BE SURE YOUR LISTINGS REFLECT THE CURRENT REAL ESTATE ASSESSMENT AND TAX INFORMATION!!!

As the towns update their housing valuations, your listings should be updated as well.

Even though there is a field that reflects the year of the assessment and tax info, it is more important now than ever, that we provide updated Real Estate Tax and Assessment information on our listings.

Rule Reminder: Reporting Sold Listings- Posted: 4/2009
Please be sure to complete the information accurately when reporting a listing SOLD.  We need to preserve the integrity of the MLS data to ensure it is reliable for our members and our statistics.

When reporting a listing sold, don’t forget:

  • Correct Sale Price
  • Sold date
  • Financing
  • Type of Sale – be sure to indicate if it is a Short Sale or Bank Owned.
  • Seller gives second mortgage – Yes or No
  • Seller pays any closing costs – Yes or No
  • Pertinent Sale Data = This field is to report the amount of Closing Costs and Concessions
  • Seller Relocation

Again… it is imperative that we provide the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Rule Reminder: Deductions – Posted: 1/2009
Deductions from Compensation on non-service related fees or expenses are not allowed.
Only fees which are payable to a third party such as MLS Photographer, Home Warranty plan, sharing of a referral fee, etc., are allowed.
The amount or percentage that is to be deducted, must specify and describe the deduction.Lender information and requirements in Remarks
If there are requirements for pre-qualification by the Lender that owns the property, the name of the seller/lender cannot appear in the public remarks section.
Suggested language for this :   “Buyer must be approved for pre-qualification by seller. Buyer may use own lender to purchase.”Advertising free products offered by the lender IS NOT ALLOWED in the public remarks section, but can be placed in Showing instructions.
Rule Reminder: Compensation- Posted: 12/8/08
DID YOU KNOW … The compensation offered in MLS is intended for MLS Participants only???

MLS Rules and Regulations -Section 7.8 Compensation for Non-MLS Participants:
The compensation offered in the MLS is intended for Participants only. Therefore, a listing broker has the sole ability to determine the amount of compensation, if any, which he will offer to a non-Participant. MLS shall make no rule on the division of commissions between Participants and non-Participants.

Rule Reminder: Posted: 10/2008
Effective November 1, 2008, State-Wide MLS cannot permit any deductions relating to a cooperating licensee’s performance and/or participation in the transaction.  An example of this type of deduction that will no longer be allowed is:  “1% deducted if broker is not at all showings.”

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) has notified us that only non-service related fees and expenses can be deducted.  In other words, those fees which are payable to a third party (for example – MLS, MLS photographer, home warranty, etc. are allowed.)  A work Group at NAR had considered deductions based on services provided and concluded that “compensation based on levels or types of services…could substantially increase the level of dispute resolution local associations of REALTORS would be called on to provide” and rejected this concept.

Because State-Wide MLS is a REALTOR MLS, it is necessary to conform and comply with NAR policy.  However, this does not mean that contracts which included such deductions were not lawful.  THIS IS POLICY COMPLIANCE AND NOT A LEGAL ISSUE. See FAQ’s

Rule Reminder: Remarks Section – Posted: 09/5/08
The remarks section is for promotional information of the property only, not the agent or the company.  There is a $50 fine for entering names, telephone numbers, bonus information, open houses, websites or email addresses.  Any of this information may be entered in the showing instruction field or compensation comments field.

Rules and Regs – Section 4.6  Detail on Listings Filed with MLS –
…..Public remarks shall describe only the physical traits of the property for sale and its vicinity and shall comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, fair housing laws.

Rule Reminder: Advertising Sold Properties – Posted: 06/12/08
When licensees advertise properties they’ve sold with prior companies, the following disclaimer must be present: “These properties may have been sold by different real estate companies where licensee was affiliated.”
Rule Reminder: Please remember Article IV of the MLS Bylaws, prohibiting misuse of MLS data under a RE License or Appraisal certification. – Posted: 11/13/07
Participation: 1a. “Participants” – Participation in the Service is available to any firm, partnership, or corporation of any REALTOR principal who is an active member of a board of REALTORS or any REALTOR Association without further qualification except payment of required dues and fees and agreement to abide by these by-laws and the rules and regulations of the Service and completion of an orientation program of no more than three (3) classroom hours devoted to the MLS rules and regulations. However, under no circumstances is any individual or firm, regardless of membership status, entitled to Multiple Listing Service “Membership” or “Participation” unless they hold a current, valid real estate broker’s license and are capable of accepting and offering compensation to and from other Participants or are licensed or certified by an appropriate state regulatory agency to engage in the appraisal of real property. Use of information developed by or published by the Service is strictly limited to the activities authorized under a Participant’s licensure(s) or certification and unauthorized uses are prohibited. Further, none of the foregoing is intended to convey “Participation” or “Membership” or any right of access to information developed by or published by the Service where access to such information is prohibited by law. A REALTOR principal of any firm, partnership, or corporation, or the branch office manager who serves as designated broker or licensed or certified appraiser and who is designated by said firm, partnership, or corporation shall be termed the “Participant” in the Service and shall have all rights, benefits, and privileges of the Service, and shall accept all obligations to the Service for the Participant’s firm, partnership, or corporation, and for compliance with the by-laws and rules and regulations of the Service by all persons affiliated with Participant who utilize the Service.
Rule Reminder: Changes and Withdrawals must be reported within 48 hours – Posted: 11/7/07
Section 4.9 Change of Status of Listing: Participants shall notify the Service of any change in the property status, i.e: pending sale contract, cancellation of pending sale, closed sale, change in price or terms or withdrawal from the market. A Report of any such change shall be made to the Service within 48 hours, excluding state and federal holidays, after the change is received by the Participant. The seller’s signature must be obtained to Report a change in price, withdrawal, extension, and back on market (after expiration). In the event of a dispute involving a status change, the Service reserves the right to contact the seller directly in order to clarify any and all status changes.
Rule Reminder: Remarks Section of Listing Display – Posted: 5/18/07
The remarks section is for promotional information of the property only, not the agent or the company. There is a $50 fine for entering names, telephone numbers, bonus information, open houses, websites or email addresses. Any of this information may be entered in the showing instruction field.
Rule Reminder: Reporting Pending Sales – Posted: 5/4/07
Section 5.6 Reporting Pending Sales (including Active Pending, Active Hubbard): “When a purchase and sales agreement has been executed by all parties, a Report of the pending sales shall be made to the Service within 48 hours, excluding state and federal holidays and shall include pending date, cooperating agent and cooperating office.”

Please note – when reporting listings as Active Pending and Active Hubbard, the listings will remain in active in MLXchange and RI Living.

Open Houses – Please be sure to advise sellers’ to remove valuables and prescription drugs during open houses. There was a suspicion of prescription drugs being stolen at an open house in the East Providence area.

Rule Reminder: Living Area Totals Should Only Include Heated Areas – Posted: 2/22/07
Finished Living Area – The keywords – ALV and BLV on the listing data forms are to be used for approximate finished living square feet only.

ALV – Above Grade Living Area:  Heated living area on any level, which is at or above grade.  This area SHOULD NOT include the finished areas of a Raised Ranch, unfinished rooms on any level or additional finished areas outside the main dwelling such as a carriage house.

BLV – Below Grade Living Area:  Finished, heated living area which is below grade, and/or extraneous (separate) to the main living area can be included in this field; such as finished basements, the finished portion of the lower level of a raised ranch, finished attics, carriage houses, etc.

Rule Reminder: Status Changes Require Signatures – Posted: 2/1/07
It is important to remember that the following status changes require the seller(s) signatures:

  • Price Change
  • Extension
  • Back on Market
  • Withdrawals

Caution: Changing the price or the expiration date in the system without the Seller(s) written authorization is a violation of State Law. Be aware of the consequences and fines.

Photo Policy Reminder – Posted: 1/19/07
All photos must be submitted within 7 days and at least one photo must be an exterior photo of the property.

Please remember, when ordering a virtual tour that includes an exterior photo, the photo is still required within 7 days to avoid a $50.00 fine.

Remarks Rule Reminder – Posted: 1/11/07
The remarks section is for promotional information of the property only, not the agent or the company. There is a $50 fine for entering names, telephone numbers, bonus information, open houses, websites or email addresses. Any of this information may be entered in the showing instruction field.

  • If the website pertains to just the property description and no contact information of the listing agent/company/seller is visible OR accessible through other links on the site, then it may be displayed in the remarks section.
  • An exception would be if the website is used as the vehicle to submit bids/offers or obtain additional information on the process.
  • Please note that if any contact information is accessible from the web address, the office will be fined $50.00 per offense
Re-Listing a Property as NEW requires new contract – Posted: 8/29/06
When a listing expires and is now being re-listed as NEW, and a new listing number is being assigned, a NEW listing contract MUST be completed and signed by the sellers. All the paperwork of a new listing is required, such as, a listing contract and the data input form. If the photo is not being transferred to the new listing, a new photo must be submitted.

If the property is to be withdrawn, the sellers’ are required to sign the withdrawal form.

Remember … MLS conducts random documentation requests, and will be increasing the amount of requests to insure compliance.

MLS Photo Policies Reminder – Posted: 8/29/06
1. For all property categories except vacant land, at minimum, one (1) photo of the property must be an exterior view of the structure. A $25.00 fine will be assessed for failure to comply.2. 7-Day Photos – All Realtor-Submit photos must be submitted to MLS within 7 days. A $50.00 fine will be assessed for failure to comply.

3. Inappropriate Images – Any image(s), including virtual tours, submitted to the Service of an inappropriate or indecent nature will be cause for severe fines up to $2500 and/or expulsion from the Service.

4. When submitting photos to MLS – PLEASE BE SURE there are no signs or logos in your photos. MLS Rules and Regulations – Section 6.4 … “Physical depictions of listed property, including, but not limited to, photographs, digital images, virtual tours, and sketches, which are submitted to the Service shall depict the property for sale and shall not include marketing or promotional messages made on behalf of the listing broker or seller…

We have received numerous complaints regarding this. Please check your inventory and replace any photos that may contain any agent/office promotional information to avoid the fine of $50.00 per offense.

Filing Sold Non-MLS Listings with MLS – Posted: 6/7/06
Any Non-MLS listings that have sold during the year may be filed with the Service by inputting the listing data into MLXchange – include in the “remarks” section:

“Non-MLS Listing – entered for sold purposes only”.

Once the listing number is assigned, report as pending and sold.

Submitting these properties into the system is beneficial to the agent and office for awards credit, while also being very valuable to MLS and its Members for market research and statistics.