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MLS Rules and Regulations: What’s All the Fuss?

Have you ever received a warning or a fine from the MLS?  It’s not fun! However, issuing warnings and fines for rule violations is essential to maintain an accurate database.

Real Estate professionals succeed the most when we work together. And to do that, we need to agree on a set of reasonable ground rules.

From the time you became a member of the Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association you have heard a lot of talk about the importance of keeping the data in the MLS thorough and accurate.  There are very good reasons for that.  The MLS’s ability to collect and maintain real estate data with a large degree of accuracy and timeliness is what differentiates it from other data collectors and constitutes the value we offer you, our participants and subscribers, and by extension your customers.

How important is accurate listing information to you when you’re showing properties to eager prospects? Some would say that information is the most valuable asset you have as a real estate professional. From running comps to conducting fair transactions, clean data is vital to the success of your business. Do you think it’s important to preserve your business's most valuable asset?

The rules also protect your rights.  What if you brought a buyer to a listed property, but the listing agent decided after the contract is signed that they don’t want to pay you the full commission that is listed in the MLS? The rules act as the contract for you to enforce and protect your rights.

The integrity of the data is of such importance that our system is designed to automatically flag all changes made to listings that do not fall within the FGCMLS Rules and Regulations.  Our goal is not to collect fines, but rather to educate you on how to maintain your listings and avoid being penalized.

Of course, you took an MLS Compliance course during your New Member Orientation. How long ago was that?  Did you know that the rules and regulations change? Effective January 1, 2021, several changes became effective, and more changes are coming. These changes are a result of changes in the market, practices, and technology. That is why we encourage you to complete the new MLS Compliance Course. You’ll learn about updates along with some important reminders and the most common violations.

Along with the market, we are evolving. Updating you on changes that impact how you share or use data in the MLS is a job we take very seriously. For this reason, in addition to the MLS Compliance Course, we are offering two additional courses: Listing Management and Adding and Editing Listings in the MLS.


Listing Management covers how correctly implementing the rules, combined with a strategic plan will maximize your listings exposure. It covers best practices and common mistakes to avoid that can be costly to your business and reputation.

Adding and Editing Listings will help ensure you stay in compliance with the Rules and Regulations with tips on topics from collecting listing data to activating the listing and adding photos and supplements.  Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned pro, this class will help take the worry out of your listing entry.

We want to hear from you!


What Does Bad Data Look Like? Here are a few examples of what NOT to do!

Example #1 – “Buyer to verify…”

It is the responsibility of the listing Participant/Subscriber to report accurate information on the listing.   In addition, FGCMLS already includes a statement on the footer of all listings that states, " The foregoing information including, but not limited to, any information about the size or area of lots, structures, or living space, such as room dimensions, square footage calculations, or acreage is believed to be accurate, but is not warranted or guaranteed. This information should be independently verified before any person enters into a transaction based upon it.".  This standard footer is the designated location that FGCMLS has deemed to include these types of statements.

Please make every effort to remove these comments from any listings you currently have in the MLS to avoid a fine.


Example #2 - Photos

This listing was not taken from FGCMLS, however, we do see listings with inappropriate photos.


Broker Sign in Photo


“Doctored images”

Photos can enhance or diminish the appeal of a property. Review the rules for photos in either the MLS Compliance Course or the Listing Management Course.

Photo Best Practice Tips:

  • A photo is worth a thousand words. The first image is your “hello.”
  • The first photo should be the front exterior of the home/building/property – ground level (front elevation).
  • If you choose a water view as the first photo, the second photo should be of the front exterior as described above.
  • Night shots might be great for glasshouses with glowing interiors visible at twilight, but for others, daytime shots are best.
  • Remember, no broker signs in photos or other contact information leading to the listing broker/agent.
  • Never alter the appearance of the property in any way.

Accurate Data Contest

Review a sample listing Realtor Report and identify the errors.  You must:

  1. Identify ALL errors correctly.
  2. Explain how to correct the errors according to the rules and regulations.
  3. Report can be found here
  4. Contest ends on July 5, 2021

The first 5 agents to submit the correct answers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will win a gift card.

 


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