When it comes to real estate, some things just don’t make sense to me. I’m a follow-the-rules type of person so if there is a set standard that mandates to list a property for sale (and that includes photos, description, etc) then I am the type that would follow it (maybe it’s my military training, who knows?). That said, it astounds me how many MLS violations occur – as a consumer, not a practitioner, I’m shocked. These are fined violations that can be avoided if everyone just follows the rules.
The HAR MLS Quality Assurance Department exists to make sure the standards of the MLS are maintained and the usability of the data is of the highest value. Part of that mission means that rule enforcement must take place. HAR recently came out with its “Top 5 List of MLS Rules Violations” which means there are probably a lot of other violations taking place! Although just one MLS in a sea of thousands, this gives you a good sample of what the most common MLS violations are.
Letterman would be proud
I doubt this list will show up on late night television but in no particular order here is a list of the typical issues that HAR finds and that continue to crop up regarding MLS listings.
1) Insufficient number of photos [$100 fine]
Single-family, Townhouse/Condo, Multi-family, High Rise Condo and Residential Leases are required to maintain at least 6 unique images of each property listed in MLS. Lots and Acreage listings are required to maintain at least 1 photo of each listing.
2) Estimated closed date is in the past – (Pending fine violation) [$100 fine]
Once a contract is signed, the listing should be placed in one of the following pending statuses (PS, OP, or P); even if both parties agree to allow the seller to continue showing the property.
3) Physical property description – Public [$100 fine]
The “Property Description – Public” field is intended for property description only. Agents may not enter remarks related to the transaction such as available financing, cash back at closing, bonuses, upgrade incentives, upgrade allowances, etc
4) Failure to report sold or pending status [$100 fine]
Once a contract is signed, the listing should be placed in one of the following pending statuses (PS, OP, or P) within 3 days of the signed contract, even if there is a contingency or both parties agree to allow the seller to continue showing the property
5) Invalid public display PDF [$100 fine]
PDF’s designated as “Public” shall not include any contact information such as names, phone numbers, email addresses, website addresses, agent photographs, logos or promotion for a closing service provider or any other peripheral service, with the exception of the listing firm’s name. The focus of the PDF shall be of the subject property.
Correct your violations!
In a perfect [real estate] world, it would be great to have a clean set of data that never required monitoring or inspection. But we all know the real estate market is not perfect, and that we’re all fallible. Fortunately, most MLS violations allow for a reasonable time for corrections prior to a fine actually being issued.