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. We do not set out to fine our subscribers. Quite the contrary. We would love to have a clean set of data that never required monitoring or inspection. However, most MLS violations allow for a reasonable time to correct whatever problem there is prior to a fine actually being issued.
The following are the five most frequent rules violations so that you may try to avoid them in the future.
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. The required photo(s) must be added to the listing within 10 days of the list date unless written documentation, a No Photo Submission Form (HAR Form 324) requesting a photo not be submitted, is signed by the Seller and submitted to MLS via fax at 713-335-4222. Also the No Photo Form can be used for NEW construction properties. It allows the listing agent to supply 3 photos, instead of a minimum of 6 photos. Entering 1, 2, 4, or 5 photos on listings that are not Lots or Acreage is expressly prohibited and subject to a fine of $100. In addition to the requirements listed above, all property classes must include at least one photo of the actual property as is.
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. Properties that have a signed contract but have contingencies or are available to show and accept back-up offers should be placed in “PS” (Pending Continuing to Show) status. Make sure to enter an “Estimated Closed Date”. As the “Estimated Closed Date” approaches and it appears the sale is not going to close before the initial “Estimated Closed Date”, the listing agent must adjust the “Estimated Closed Date” to the new expected closing date.
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. Agents may not enter contact information such as names, phone numbers, email addresses, website addresses, service provider information, the words FSBO or For Sale by Owner. Agents may not enter any other confidential information such as showing instructions or security codes. Please use the “Agent Remarks” field for the above referenced types of information.
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. Properties that have a signed contract but have a contingency or are available to show and take back-up offers should be placed in “PS” (Pending Continuing to Show) status.
All sales closed must be entered within 3 days of the actual closing/funding date. There are no exceptions to this rule, even if a buyer brings a contract with a provision indicating their desire to withhold the closing information. If the MLS is used to market the property, the sale must be reported.
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. Any links embedded in the PDF must link only to web pages related to the listed property and shall not contain any contact information mentioned above. Public PDF files shall not contain seller’s disclosure documents, contracts or any other personal or confidential information. Agents may include floor plans, amenities of listed property and further property description details. Agents may not enter remarks related to the transaction such as available financing, cash back at closing, bonuses, upgrade incentives, upgrade allowances, etc.