MLS Standards of Practice and Fines

MLS Standards of Practice and Fines

Approved by the Board of Directors April 13, 2017

Re-affirmed September 21, 2017

Last Updated April 15, 2021

Inputting Listings

All Non- Residential Properties to be listed in MLS must be delivered within seven (7) business days of the start of the listing period as stated in the Listing Term section of your listing agreement. A $100 fine will be assessed to the agent, per listing, per day. The fine is capped at $500.00 for the agent only.

(BOD Amended March 18, 2020) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)

All agents included on the listing agreement must be members of the MLS. Non-members of the MLS are not allowed to list or co-list. There is a $500 fine to the agent member for each non-member who is on the listing agreement. (BOD Amended Sept 26, 2019) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)

Preconstruction

If the property type is incorrect, within one (1) business day after notification, a $100 fine will be assessed to the agent, per listing, per day. The fine is capped at $500.00 for the agent only.

(BOD Amended Sept 26, 2019) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)


Status Changes

Status changes must occur in MLS within three (3) business days. There is a $100 fine to the agent per listing per day. The fine is capped at $500.00 for the agent only.

(BOD Amended Sept 26, 2019) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)

Sold before Listed properties need to follow regular status changes. (BOD added 11/19/2020)


Remarks and Directions

Remarks and Directions fields shall not include firm names, agent names, telephone numbers, bonus/commission statements, rental company name, rental company phone number, any and all URL’s, or any references to owner condition (i.e. divorce, estate, out of state). These types of information must be entered in the designated data field or in the Addendum. The agent will have three (3) business days to correct before a $100 fine to the agent per listing per day will be assessed. The fine is capped at $500.00 for agent only.

(BOD Amended Sept 26, 2019) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)


Photos

Over use of Photoshop is prohibited. There is a three (3) business day warning to correct, $250 fine to agent only, per photo, per day and mandated MLS and Ethics orientation attendance within 90 days of first offense. The second offense is a $500 automatic fine to agent, and the third offense is a $1,000 automatic fine to the agent only. (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)

When drone photography is used, label EACH picture “drone picture” as well as saying same in public remarks. Further, agent has three (3) business days to respond; otherwise listing will be deactivated for misrepresentation. Second offense, agent will be suspended from MLS privileges for 30 days.

(Added 11/17/17 from BOD Minutes) (Amended BOD Minutes 04/18/19) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)

Anything done prior to May 1, 2019 is grandfathered. (Added 04/18/19 BOD Minutes)

Drone photography may be used as a primary picture only with multiple dwellings and tracts of land. (Added 03/08/18 from MLS Committee)

Agents cannot remove photos once the listing has been closed/sold. (Added 1/25/18 from BOD Minutes).

First offense three (3) business days’ notice to correct, 2nd offense $150 fine, 3rd offense loss of editing privileges for one (1) year, fines to agent only.

(added 2/25/18 from BOD Minutes) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)

There will be no branding on signs or virtual tours for the agent or company in the MLS. The first violation will be a warning; if not corrected in two (2) business cays there will be a One Hundred ($100.00) Dollar fine to the agent only. If still not corrected in one (1) business day, the staff will remove the branded portion of the listing. (BOD added June 18, 2020)

The primary picture of a listing must be a ground level exterior view of the home or business. In the case of lots it may be an aerial view with the addition of at least two (2) street shots

(BOD Amended May 21,2020).

Use of a collage (one photo with multiple images) as a primary photo is prohibited. Tax maps or plot images are not allowed to be used as a primary photo. The agent will have three (3) business days to correct before listing will be withdrawn. Collage photos, tax and plot maps used as primary photos and listed before 10/7/2019 will be grandfathered in.

(BOD Amended Sept 26, 2019) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)

It is not necessary to label drone photography but mention that drone photography is being used in the remarks. (BOD Added April 15, 2021)

Sold before listed or any listing entered regardless of status requires a primary photo. (BOD Added April 15, 2021)

NOTE: Use of another agent’s photos without permission is a copyright violation.


Login

Sharing login information to the MLS system is prohibited, first offense $500, second offense $1,000, and third offense is a 30-day suspension from MLS and mandated Ethics and MLS education.

Cooperation

MLS participants and subscribers, who allow expired listings still active in MLS without seller’s permission, will be assessed a $100 fine per listing, per day. The fine is capped at $500.00 for the agent only. Board will use the last legitimate list date as starting point in assessing fines. (BOD Amended Sept. 26, 2019) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)

Misrepresentation

MLS misrepresentation errors, after a three (3) business day warning, a $250 fine will be assessed to agent only. The second offense is $500 fine to the agent only, and the agent must attend MLS and Ethics orientation. Listings may not be input in the MLS as pending, all listings must be input as active. Association may/will review all listing agreements. Agent will be assessed a $250 fine for the first offense with NO warning. (BOD Amended April 16 2020)

One-party listings are entered in the MLS as Sold before Listed after closing. (Added April 11, 2019)

Miscellaneous

GSMAR can request signed paperwork from agents, i.e., listing contracts, etc., to ensure compliance with Multiple Listing Service. (Added 12/21/17 from BOD Minutes). All requested documents must be sent to the association within one (1) business day of request. (Added March 21, 2019 from BOD Minutes) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020) If the staff requests documentation and does not receive it in the required time frame (one business day) the listing will be withdrawn from MLS (BOD added May 21, 2020).

Listing agent must send any listing documents to the Association where the seller has opted out of the MLS within one (1) business day of signed agreement. If the seller opts out, the seller must stay out. The listing cannot be added for comp purposes. (Added April 11, 2019 from the MLS Committee) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020) Statistics for company reporting may not be placed into MLS unless originally placed there. (BOD added 11/19/2020)

If a house has been renovated, the original build date must be used in MLS. (Added 11/19/2020 from BOD Minutes)

Put names and numbers or email addresses regarding HOA’s in MLS within three (3) business days of notification. Fine to be $100/day with a $500 cap. (BOD Added April 15, 2021)

First Right of Refusal

Listing may remain active but must be disclosed in Addendum. (Added 2/25/18 from BOD Minutes).

Bedroom Definition

Bedrooms are defined as no pass-through rooms, 2 egresses, lofts allowed if disclosed. (Added 2/8/18 from MLS Committee).

Availability

Overnight rentals are shown based on availability; otherwise, properties should be available to be shown within reason and according to seller instructions. Repeated requests of unable to show will come before the MLS Committee for possible sanctions. (Added 03/08/18 from MLS Committee). Virtual showings only are not enough to be considered “available to show.” (BOD Amended August 20, 2020)

Fines

On any fine levied, if the fine is not paid in thirty (30) days, an additional One Hundred ($100) Dollars will be assessed. If the balance is unpaid after sixty (60) days, access to MLS will be removed. (Added January 17, 2019)

Owner’s Name

The full owner’s name of record must be in the owner’s name field. Use of “withheld” or “Owner of Record” may not be used. Agent will have three (3) business days to correct before listing will be withdrawn. (Added 04/11/19 from the MLS Committee) (BOD Amended Sept 26, 2019) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)

Associated Documents

All residential listings are required to have Confirmation of Agency and either Property Disclosure or Exemption uploaded to Associated Docs at the time the listing is created. Agent will have three (3) business days to correct from the date notified of the violation. There is a $100 fine to the agent per listing per day. Fine is capped at $500.00 for the agent only.

(BOD Approved Dec 19, 2019) (BOD Amended April 16, 2020)

An unsigned confirmation of agency status and an unsigned property condition exemption must be attached to residential foreclosure listings. (Added by BOD 11/19/2020)

Acreage

Acreage is to be a required field. Otherwise, there must a statement in the addendum (BOD Added May 21, 2020) The agent will have three (3) business days to correct before a $100 fine to the agent per listing per day will be assessed. The fine is capped at $500 for agent only. (BOD Added September 17, 2020)

Long-Term Rentals

When a long-term rental has been leased, the broker will withdraw the listing within two (2) business days to avoid interference with comps. If the listing is not withdrawn by the broker, the staff will withdraw the listing from MLS (BOD added May 21, 2020).

Signage

The sign must be removed from “Temporarily off Market” properties to comply with the Clear Cooperation Policy or a rider that says “Temporarily off Market” must be attached to the sign. (BOD added August 20, 2020)

NAR’s Clear Cooperation Policy

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), multibrokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general

public. (Adopted 11/19)

Note: Exclusive listing information for required property types must be filed and distributed to other MLS Participants for cooperation under the Clear Cooperation Policy. This applies to listings filed under Section 1 and listings exempt from distribution under Section 1.3 of the NAR model MLS rules if it is being publicly marketed, and any other situation where the listing broker is publicly marketing an exclusive listing that is required to be filed with the service and is not currently available to other MLS Participants.

Section 1.3 Exempt Listings

If the seller refuses to permit the listing to be disseminated by the service, the participant may then take the listing (office exclusive) and such listing shall be filed with the service but not disseminated to the participants. Filing of the listing should be accompanied by certification signed by the seller that he does not desire the listing to be disseminated by the service.

Note 1: Section 1.3 is not required if the service does not require all (indicate type[s] of listing[s] accepted by the service) listings to be submitted by a participant to the service.

Note 2: MLS Participants must distribute exempt listings within (1) one business day once the listing is publicly marketed. See Section 1.01, Clear Cooperation.

GSMAR has added the following to this policy:

a. Implementation to begin March 20, 2020

b. Fines begin May 1, 2020

c. 1st Offense – warning

d. 2nd Offense - $100 to agent only

e. 3rd Offense - $250 to agent only

f. 4th Offense – 30-day suspension to the agent

g. The Clear Cooperation Policy applies to Residential listings only

h. Residential listings must be entered into the system within one (1) business day (BOD Amended March 24, 2020)

i. If a seller refuses to permit a listing to be disseminated by the MLS service, the participant may then take an “Officer Exclusive Listing” and such listing shall be filed with the MLS but not

disseminated to the Participants. Filing of the listing should be accompanied by certification signed by the seller that he does desire the listing to be disseminated by the MLS service. Office

Exclusive listings may no longer be entered into the MLS after the listing has closed (BOD Added May 21, 2020).

On April 16, 2020 The GSMAR Board of Directors voted the following into effect through July 1, 2020:

1. All fines will have a first-time waiver.

2. Second offenders will receive an educational call from one of the GSMAR staff.

3. Third offenders will be fined according to the schedule set forth April 16, 2020.

NOTE: All broker fines are removed unless the broker is the agent. This is now a permanent Rule.

NOTE: All time frames are now business days. This is also a permanent rule.

As of July 2, 2020, fines will be reinstituted as previously done. (BOD Added June 18, 2020)

Virtual Staging

Virtual staging will be allowed in vacant or new construction homes only and will include only furniture, rugs and wall art (appliances are NOT furniture). Each photo must be identified as virtually staged. (BOD Added September 17, 2020).

Bereavement Policy

Upon the death of an immediate family member (defined as spouse, parent, parents-in-law, grandparents or children) the member will receive passes on MLS violations two weeks before to

four weeks after the date of death. If it was discovered fraudulent information is given to the Association, the member could be subject to suspension or termination. Documentation via

email or letter to the Association Executive must list the deceased person’s name, relationship to member, date of death, MLS#’s and the action requested for each MLS# within the time frames mentioned above. (BOD Added September 17, 2020)

Fine Update

All MLS fines will be waived beginning January 1 through March 1, 2021. (BOD Added January 21, 2021)

All MLS fines will be waived continuing through April 1, 2021. (BOD Added February 18, 2021)

Fines will be reinstated April 1, 2021 with a temporary moratorium on fines for labeling primary photos and any listings using drone photos. (BOD Added March 18, 2021)