The MLS is your most powerful tool for listing and finding properties for your customers. The effectiveness, however, depends on how clearly you and your fellow Realtors® input listing data. When necessary, we will inform you of discrepancies through our iCheck MLS courtesy notices. Meanwhile, please take a moment to review your MLS Rules, Regulations & Compliance Guidelines below, which have been created to mirror NAR professional standards.
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Q. What is Variable Dual Rate really intended for?
A. The Variable Dual rate field is defined by the National Association of REALTORS® as a form of compensation in which the seller agrees to pay a specified commission if the property is sold or leased by the listing broker without assistance and a different commission if the sale or lease results through the efforts of a cooperating broker. It is not meant for when the listing broker is receiving a different amount than the selling broker. If the listing broker is taking a higher commission rate than the selling broker they’re entitled to. The MLS does not require that this be disclosed in the listing. It is the listing agent’s responsibility to disclose the amount of compensation offered to other agents however they are not obligated to disclose the commission amount they will receive. There is also no obligation to disclose that they will be receiving a different amount than the other agent. Per NAR and anti-trust laws the only thing we can do as an MLS is require that commission is offered to our Participants. If there is a dispute regarding the commission then the parties would be required to arbitrate. This is covered in the rules Article VII Division of Commissions which states: Section 7 Cooperative Compensation Specified on Each Listing. The listing Participant shall specify, on each listing filed with MLS, the compensation offered to other Participants for their services in the sale of such listing… MLS shall not have a rule requiring the listing Participant to disclose the amount of total negotiated commission in his listing contract, and RAPB + GFLR shall not publish the total negotiated commission on a listing which has been submitted to RAPB + GFLR by a Participant. MLS shall not disclose in any way the total commission negotiated between the seller and the listing Participant.
Q. What is Any Broker Advertise?
A. When a listing is marked ‘yes’ on the Any Broker Advertise field, it means that the broker is giving you permission to advertise their listing. However, there are still some guidelines that you must follow. You cannot portray the listing as your own or alter the listing content in any way. For example, you must paint a true picture of the property, and you also cannot advertise a different list price than what is stated in the MLS. You must also reference the listing brokerage with the words “Courtesy of” in a readily visible font and typeface. Note that readily visible means it cannot be hidden within a disclaimer or on a link that has to be clicked on to expand. Lastly, agents can change this field at any time so remember to check it often and keep a copy of the listings marked ‘yes.’ Failure to follow any of these guidelines will result in an unauthorized advertising violation. Source: RAPB + GFLR Rules and Regulations (Section 4.7)
Q. What are Conduct Violations? Why do they receive automatic fines?
A. Conduct violations refer to how an agent conducts their business; such as advertising another agent’s listing without their permission. Most of these are situational rather than data related and reported by other agents. The violating agent and broker then receive a notice with an automatic fine and are given the opportunity to request a hearing to dispute the violation. Requesting a hearing is new, this opportunity was not previously available.