Rules Roundup: Basics of Measuring Video

Have you ever struggled measuring a split level house, or wondered how to best measure a one and a half story property? Accurate measurements are critical to fellow agents, potential buyers, CMA’s, appraisals, etc.

Zoe Liston, an appraiser, agent and member of our Agent Advisory Committee, will lead you through the nuances of measuring square footage and cover frequently asked measuring questions in this recorded webinar video.

Click here to watch “The Basics of Measuring” video

NorthstarMLS Measuring Videos To help demonstrate how to measure a single family home, we went out on site earlier this summer with Zoe Liston — local appraiser, agent and MLS Instructor, as she explained the measuring process to collect the total square footage of a listed property.

Stay tuned in the next few weeks for another on site measuring video with Zoe, as she demonstrates the fundamentals of measuring a 4-level split.

Tagged with: , ,

Rules Roundup
2014 Q1 Rules and Regs Summary

Are your listings up-to-date and accurate? This infographic highlights the top 5 most common data errors and other issues reported by our rules & regs staff during the first quarter. Questions? Our rules & regs staff is here to help! Contact us at or 651-251-3210.

(Click here to see larger version)

Submit Your Own Rules Roundup Question or Topic! Do you have a question or topic that you would like to see featured as a Rules Roundup article? We’ll supply the answers. Just send your idea to We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!

Rules Roundup On Demand Want to check out older Rules Roundup topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Rules Roundup entries.

Tagged with: , ,

Rules Roundup
What Constitutes a Legal Bedroom in the MLS?

Does it depend on a particular city? Does there have to be a closet to make it a legal bedroom? Must there be at least an egress window in it? What is the minimum square footage that a room can have to be considered a bedroom?

Because real estate is locally regulated, the legal definition of a bedroom varies across locales.  Here are a few things to consider before determining, for example, if your listing is a 3-bedroom, or actually a 2-bedroom with a large walk-in closet.

Up to Code is Key
NorthstarMLS rules state that the bedroom must be up to code (local or municipality?). That can mean different things in different places — a bedroom might be grandfathered in from an old code. However, if a bedroom is up to code but it’s not what most would consider a bedroom, the listing agent should state that. For example: “4th bedroom does not have a closet” or “basement bedroom has low ceiling height”. If the bedroom doesn’t meet code, then of course it shouldn’t be listed.

Selling or Renting?
If it’s a rental, check the rental license and follow the guidelines pertaining to it. If the property is for sale, NorthstarMLS rules require you to go by the tax record or laws of the local municipality.

Basement Dwelling
Basement bedrooms always require an egress window. That’s the law, so there is no flexibility there.

Contact the NorthstarMLS Rules & Regs Department at 651-251-3210.

Thanks to Jenna Potter from Oaks Realty LLP (Annandale, Minn.) for submitting her question – ‘what constitutes a legal bedroom’. She’ll be receiving a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card! Submit your own question at for a chance to win next month.

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Rules Roundup
Keeping our MLS Data Accurate


Having the most accurate and reliable real estate data makes it easier for you to assist your clients and attain your professional goals. Ensuring the most accurate and clean data for our customers is challenging and an ongoing process. If everyone using the MLS takes the responsibility to ensure their listings are as accurate as possible, everyone benefits. Remember: We’re all in this together!

This infographic summarizes how you can help maintain a reliable MLS database for everyone!


Data Accuracy Video
This past summer we hosted a Data Accuracy webinar taught by our own Luciano Patino (Customer Outreach Rep) & Zoe Liston (appraiser, agent, MLS trainer). They discussed data accuracy related issues such as: accurate square footage measuring; styles, bedrooms, bathrooms & basements; commonly broken MLS rules; how to improve the quality of your listings. After the webinar, we answered your data accuracy questions.

Click here to watch our Data Accuracy Webinar
(For HD quality resolution, click the cog wheel icon on the video too bar (bottom right) and select the 720pHD option.)

If you have any questions about MLS rules, please contact the NorthstarMLS Rules Department at 651-251-3210.

Tagged with: ,

Keep Status Updates, Updated – In a Timely Fashion

Inaccurate listing statuses and untimely listing updates in the NorthstarMLS database continues to be the most common complaints to our Rules Department. It has an adverse effect on your sellers, buyers and the entire NorthstarMLS community who rely heavily on this information to be reliable and accurate.

As a buyer’s agent, if you have to back track and tell an interested buyer that a property listed as ‘Active’ is actually ‘Sold,’ it is sure to:
• Anger your client who now has to disregard this dream home & wait to find another
• Waste your time and their time
• Frustrate everyone involved
• And could even lead your client to find another agent

Here’s a common scenario of a frustrated agent:

I booked a showing earlier today with clients who are ecstatic and can’t wait to see the home. Although the property showed as Active (with no contingencies). The showing was denied with the comment: Showing denied by seller directly. On Book A Showing, the showing comments state the home is Sold, but on the MLS it still shows as Active. It is a real hassle when showings are denied without appropriate reason. It forces the buyer’s agent to rearrange the other showings for the day. If the property has an offer on it, the listing agent should be required to state so on the MLS.

NorthstarMLS rules require that you update listing status within 2 business days. Anytime the property is unavailable for show for 24 hours or longer, you must have it moved to the TNAS status. As a member of the MLS community, it falls on each member to take responsibility to completely and accurately enter and maintain listings. This small but important act helps to maintain a reliable and resourceful MLS database, which is critical to you, your clients and your business.

We appreciate your help in keeping listing information accurate, timely and cooperative.

Tagged with: , ,

A few weeks ago we introduced a new webinar — MLS Data Accuracy, a topic of great importance to us all. In two separate sessions, we had over 400 NorthstarMLS users attend the free online webinar and have received some great feedback.

If you missed out on the webinar or just want to view it again, we’ve posted a new and improved (fixed sound issues) version of it on the NorthstarMLS YouTube channel.

Instructors Luciano Patino (NorthstarMLS Customer Outreach Rep.) and Zoe Liston (appraiser, agent, MLS trainer) discuss these topics: accurate square footage measuring; styles, bedrooms, bathrooms & basements; commonly broken MLS rules; how to improve the quality of your listings.

Click here to watch the updated Data Accuracy Webinar
(For HD quality resolution, click the cog wheel icon on the video too bar (bottom right) and select the 720pHD option.)

More Data Accuracy Content
Data Accuracy Q&A — Click here to view user submitted questions that were submitted during the webinar.

Check out our data accuracy handout, rules quick guide and square footage measuring examples (below), which were discussed in the webinar.

Measuring Example 1, Measuring Example 2, Measuring Example 3, Measuring Example 4 and Measuring Example 5.

Tagged with: ,