MLS Compliance, FAQs and Things to Know

Did you know that MetroTex has nine staff dedicated to empower the MLS and serve you, our members?

MetroTex’s MLS Director, Cathy Faulkner, shares the ins and outs of the MLS, how to stay in compliance and out of trouble so you can sell more real estate.

Virtual Clarification

NAR has provided some recommendations for interpreting these terms:

Virtual Tour: Pre-recorded media (slide show, video, or other media) hosted on a URL and available on demand. PLEASE NOTE: NTREIS allows only approved URL’s with unbranded videos hosted on webservers under the control of the listing broker or photographer. Videos hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or other video hosting sites is prohibited.

Virtual Open House (Broker/Public/Office): a real-time (live) scheduled event conducted virtually via live stream (or similar delivery).

Virtual Showing: a real-time (live) scheduled property showing conducted virtually via live stream (or similar delivery) for a customer or client. Distinction: For an identified customer or client. Not an open invitation for others to attend (private showing).While these are suggested interpretations, there could be variations to these examples. We expect that these options will survive the current pandemic situation.

Coming Soon is Alive and Well!

New NTREIS Rules Expand Coming Soon Time Limit to 30 Days to Accommodate Compliance with the Clear Cooperation Policy.
Let’s clear the air about the Coming Soon Status!
It is alive and well. Below are the facts about the Coming Soon Status.
The Coming Soon status is intended to assist in compliance with the Clear Cooperation Policy.

Coming Soon Status in a Nut Shell:
Coming Soon Status: Extended from 14 to 30 days
Marketing allowed: Absolutely! Put a sign in the yard, post the listing on Facebook, create marketing fliers! Market until your heart’s content!
Coming Soon Listings sent to REALTOR.com or Zillow?: No, but other brokers/agents in the MLS can now see the property and you have complied with the Clear Cooperation Policy by entering the listing in the MLS. The Coming Soon listings are included in property searches can be sent to clients via MLS emails.
Showings? No showings: Showings during the Coming Soon status are prohibited.

Clear Cooperation Policy

MLS Statement 8.0, also known as the Clear Cooperation policy, will take effect on May 1, 2020. The policy requires listing brokers who are participants in a multiple listing service to submit their listing to the MLS within one business day of marketing the property to the public. MetroTex with the help of NTREIS has the following resources to help you better understand the policy.

Clear Cooperation Policy Q & A

Q. My seller signed a listing agreement requesting that the listing now be entered into the MLS. That agreement was signed on April 24th, 2020. I have a “For Sale” sign in the yard. Is my listing agreement grandfathered  or exempt since the agreement was signed prior to May 1st or do I have to comply with the new Clear Cooperation Policy?
A. Your listing agreement is NOT EXEMPT and YES you must comply with the Clear Cooperation Policy beginning May 1st. You can either take the “For Sale Sign” down and cease any further marketing outside your brokerage OR you can enter the listing into the MLS.

Q. I currently have a listing that is not in the MLS. I have a sign in the yard with a Coming Soon rider. The Seller is painting and replacing carpet. Plus we need to stage the property and take pictures. What should I do to comply with the new policy?
A. If you place the listing into the MLS under the Coming Soon status, you have then complied with the Clear Cooperation policy since listings in the Coming Soon Status are shared with all brokers in the MLS.

Q: Can I show my listing while it is in the Coming Soon status?
A: No, the rules have been updated to prohibit showings of listings in the Coming Soon status. If the property is ready for showings, then the listing is no longer “Coming Soon” …it has arrived! The status in the MLS should be changed to Active.

Q: If I do allow my listing that is in the Coming Soon status to be shown, will I be fined?
A: The fines outlined in the new adopted rules apply to violations of the Clear Cooperation policy. The Coming Soon status helps you to comply with the Clear Cooperation policy but they stand alone otherwise. If there is a violation by showing a property in during the Coming Soon status, the MLS committee will have determine a sanction possibly through a hearing process.

Summary of Changes

What is this FAQ page about?

Data integrity is very important at MetroTex. MLS compliance is an essential focus of our services, since compliance with MLS rules ensures that data is current and accurate.  To this end, we offer training, phone assistance during office hours and after hours/weekends through our partners Supra and Matrix MLS. Our broker participants rely on us to alert members when data violations occur or if we receive a report that an agent has violated an MLS rule.

How does MetroTex staff monitor data integrity?

Data integrity is monitored in three essential ways:

  1. The Listing Data Checker (LDC) system runs all new listings through their system. The LDC uses public records to check the address, county, city, tax ID to make sure all information matches up with the information provided on the listing. The LDC also screens remarks for fair housing violations and other violations of business rules, such as web addresses in the Property Description.
  2. Reported by Members. MetroTex members may report suspected violations of MLS rules via email to mls@dfwre.com.
  3. Pending Listings. We proactively monitor listings that have been in the Pending status over 6 months. We also check sales prices to make sure proper information is reported for the sale of the property.
  4. Accurate Sales Price. We also check sales prices to ensure that proper information is reported for the sale of the property.

What are MetroTex’s MLS rules and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for data integrity?

There’s a process with ample time for members to correct their listings and avoid being fined. The Listing Data Checker (LDC) sends 3 emails to the listing agent and either the broker or manager of the firm. After three email attempts, if the problem is not corrected or explained, we call the listing agent two times. After the two calls, the violation is handed over to the MLS Director for the imposition of fines, which start at $250.00 per violation.

In some cases, such as reports of showing violations, the MLS Director will send the written complaint to the showing agent and their broker. If no resolution is reached, the showing agent will have to appear before a hearing panel of the MLS Committee.

What are the top 10 MLS “violations” members made in 2019?

Wow, that’s a great question! MetroTex members can really learn from these mistakes and avoid violations like these:

  1. Failing to make showing appointments
  2. Photos with contact information
  3. Failure to report the sale of a property
  4. Failure to report an accepted contract (status change)
  5. Failure to provide the correct city for a listing
  6. Trying to report a sales price of a property as $1.00
  7. Including contact information in the property description
  8. Failing to provide actual directions to a property
  9. Duplication of listings
  10. Restricting Showings

Which learning opportunities are available for members to enhance their MLS compliance and overall MLS competency?

I love communicating to our members about “unlearning” bad habits and getting on the right path. At MetroTex, we offer MLS training in a wide variety of formats and times per month.

  • New member orientation (required)
  • Managing Your Listings course
  • 8 to 10 hands-on classes each week for members and MLS subscribers as well as for their office administrators. Each class takes about 2-3 hours
  • On-site classes at brokerages
  • Live webinars
  • YouTube videos and blog articles
  • The MLS Academy for Professional Success (MAPS) (advanced)
  • Check out our online calendar

Should I consider MLS Academy for Professional Success (MAPS)?

By attaining the MAP certification, you become an expert on how to navigate the MLS system and stay in compliance so that you can focus your attention on your clients. But there’s a catch. The classes that qualify for MAPS credit typically fill up, so register early!

Are any courses required for a member to stay in compliance?

No. Here’s the deal. Be proactive about your education. Invest in yourself and your MLS training.

Is MetroTex offering anything new in 2020 to support compliance?

With the Clear Cooperation Policy, we will be creating written documentation and hosting webinars.

How is MetroTex’s telephone support for MLS-related issues?

We handle over 100 calls a day. Members can take advantage of a 90% live answer rate during normal business hours.

If real-time help is not available, they can contact after hours support at Supra eKEY at 877.699.6787 Monday through Sunday 7am to 9pm CT. Or ZipForm Plus at 800.383.9805 24 hours a day.

Where can members turn to for customer service and help?

Email mls@dfwre.com or call 214-540-2755. At MetroTex, we empower the MLS.