MLS NEWS: Rules and Regulations vs. MLS Policy Violation Manual -- What’s the Difference?

As a member of Columbus REALTORS® and the Columbus and Central Ohio Regional MLS, there are a lot of rules and policies by which you must abide. The Rules and Regulations are based upon a core set of rules provided by the National Association of REALTORS®. This is the larger body of REALTORS® nationwide. The local association, Columbus REALTORS®, must adopt and comply with most of these rules in order to receive the protection and oversight of the National Association. 

The MLS Policy Violation Manual details the MLS policies created by the local MLS leadership. The MLS Committee and MLS Board of Directors have created and approved this list of policies that affect day-to-day operations and requirements of listings entered into the MLS. Local agents and brokers review change requests and policy issues that arise during the normal course of operations of the local MLS. Violations of MLS policy can incur MLS fees and fines.  Some violations provide a warning prior to fine assessment.  Other violations considered more severe or immediately impacting other agents receive an immediate fine without warning. The MLS fines procedure was created in 2006 as a deterrent to the addition of incorrect data or improper use of the MLS database.

Any agent who is a member of the MLS can submit a request to change or add an MLS policy.  All requests submitted by an agent must first be reviewed and signed by that agent’s broker. This request is then reviewed by the MLS Committee. If approved, the request is presented to the MLS Board of Directors for final approval.  If approved by the MLS Board of Directors, the policy is added to the Policy Violation Manual and agents are notified of the new policy requirement.  Any listings added to the MLS will be required to abide by the new policy.

There is a warning prior to receiving a fine for this violation. MLS Policy requires that the listing’s status be changed to “Closed” within 72 hours.

Listing is required to be marked Closed on MLS:
Sold date is Thursday = Listing must be closed on Monday
Sold date is Friday = Listing must be closed on Monday
Sold date is Saturday = Listing must be closed on Tuesday
Sold date is Sunday = Listing must be closed on Wednesday
Sold date is Monday = Listing must be closed on Thursday
Sold date is Tuesday = Listing must be closed on Friday
Sold date is Wednesday = Listing must be closed on Monday

Actual full text of the policy:
1.02.04 – Non-Reported Closing (Solds)
Fine with Warning
Warning, $100, $200, $500

All sales closed must be entered within 72 hours from the actual closing/funding date except if the 72-hour deadline falls on weekends and federal holidays whereby the closing information is to be entered the following business day except HUD listings that are to be updated within 72 hours of either (1) Asset Manager’s notice of closing or (2) the county auditor or Realist published sale information for the property.

Looking for Auction Properties?
Auction properties in MLS are included in searches for Active status properties.  The Auction Y/N field makes it very easy for an agent to search for only Auction properties or even to specifically exclude auction listings from the search results.  When a listing is entered in the MLS, the agent is required to make a selection in the Auction Y/N field.  If Yes is selected, the Auction Date field will also be required.

Additional Auction details such as type of auction can be selected in the Additional Acceptance Conditions field.

The Auction Y/N field was added to the default Residential Quick Search in March 2018 to make it even easier to filter Residential listing as “auction” or “not auction”.

If Yes is selected in the Auction Y/N field on the Quick Search screen, only properties that have been specifically been marked as “Auction: Yes” by the listing agent will appear in the search results.  If “No” is selected, then auction listings will not be returned in the search results. The Auction Y/N field can also be used for Saved Searches that are attached to Subscriptions and Client Portals.  This allows the agent to choose whether their client receives Auction listings as part of their News Feed or Portal matches.

The auction selections entered by the listing agent will appear on the MLS reports.  The Auction and Auction Date fields will appear only on the private version of the reports.

MLS News

1. Virtual Tour and Video links can now be added to incomplete listings – Feb. 15

a. Videos or Virtual Tours buttons on Change Listing screen for incomplete listings.
b. The process for adding the links remains the same as the current process for
    existing listings.

2. Withdrawn status listings now available in “My Listings Gadget” – March 8

a. The new option My Withdrawn Listings goes directly to those listings.
b. If a listing is Withdrawn and is about to expire, it will be available in the My
    Withdrawn section and in the My Listings to Expire section.
c. Just as before, the timeframe for My Listings to Expire is controlled by the My
    Listings gadget’s settings.

3. New training videos available – Feb. 21

a.  Subscription JUMPSTART – Setting up and auto-email in under 10 minutes.
b. Watermarking Photos for Not Actual Property and Virtual Staging – MacOS and
    Windows.
c. Flexmls consumers app for iOS – Navigating the Client Portal on an iPhone.
d. New Menus and Property Type Selection – choosing a Quick Search template
    default and creating favorite buttons from the new menu.
e. Access all “specific to Columbus” videos by clicking Training Videos in the MLS
    Links gadget.

4. All 88 counties in Ohio added to Realist – Feb. 27

a. Previously, only 23 counties included in Realist
b. Links to Realist from parcel number on listings goes to Realist detail page for all 88
    Ohio counties.
c. Reverse links to county auditor from Realist detail page are not yet configured for
    all new counties.  Some counties will not be able to be direct-linked due to
    limitations of the individual county auditor’s website.
d. Auto-population is not yet configured for listings entered in the additional counties. 
    This should be completed in the coming weeks.

MLS Board of Directors Report 3/19/18

  • Added “Auction Yes/No” as one of the default fields to the Residential quick search. This will provide the option for an agent to remove auction items from being sent to their client.

MLS BOD report 4/23/18 – Note that the MLS Committee did not meet in April. Following are actions taken regarding COCIE (Central Ohio Commercial Information Exchange).

  • Commercial MLS listings will be provided a required field(CIE Export: Y/N) to include their listings in the COCIE. Note that only COCIE member listings will display publicly. Current commercial listings will back populate to ‘No’. Watch for an article that explains this further.
  • Modified the COCIE Rules and Regulations.
  • Established COCIE fee structure for Economic Development organization subscribers.