MLS data is always evolving and being updated. Inaccurate listing data can quickly deflate potential buyers’ perceptions of your clients’ home. NorthstarMLS safeguards market information so you can do your job confidently.

When you login to the MLS, you can be assured that you’re seeing the latest, most accurate information about a property. The rules we operate by, the decisions we make, the regulations we enforce: all are created through the input and guidance of agents and brokers, and from subscriber Associations.

Below is a summary of 2017 statistics pulled from the NorthstarMLS Rules & Regs Customer Service report.

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Rules Roundup — Showing Etiquette Infographic

Gearing up for a busy summer? Monday marked the official first day of Summer 2016 and it’s shaping up to be a good one for the housing market. More than 85 percent of buyers who said they plan to buy a home this year say it will be in the spring or summer of 2016. That could mean lots of showings and open houses this summer!

The infographic below illustrates some showing etiquette tips that we’ve received from agents, along with some plain common sense, to help ensure a pleasant house hunting experience for everyone involved. Don’t forget to use ShowingTime and/or the ShowingTime Mobile App to manage all of your showings — it’s a NorthstarMLS core service and part of your MLS subscription.

 

(Click here to view it in new browser window or click here if you want a printable 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 tips@northstarmls.com. 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.

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Rules Roundup – Status Change Over the Holidays

Are you working with a seller who would rather not schedule showings over the holidays? If the property is going to be unavailable for showing for more than 24 hours, the listing must be changed to TNAS (Temporary Not Available for Showing) Status. Those days won’t count toward the Days On Market and the listing can go back to Active Status when the seller wants to show it again.

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


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 tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


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

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“I’ll trade you these Vikings versus Packers tickets for a list of homes that are pending – deal?” Seems like a great offer, but did you know that you would be in violation of MLS rules (subject to a $1,000 fine) if you accepted it?

The NorthstarMLS Rules and Regs department has received complaints about a use of MLS data not allowed by MLS rules. A recent example of this was a local moving company asking an agent for a list of pending and recently sold homes to generate business. Be on guard for these and other third parties that may attempt to strike a deal with you to access your data or share your system access (if so, please inform NorthstarMLS immediately).

Remember, only authorized agents, appraisers and office staff may access the system. Do not share your access information under any circumstances with anyone, including colleagues, customers, non-member agents, assistants, friends or family. Thank you for helping ensure that MLS data is accessed and used consistent with the rules.

Questions? Our rules & regs staff is here to help! If you have questions about NorthstarMLS rules and regs, contact us at help@northstarmls.com or call 651-251-3210.


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 tips@northstarmls.com. 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.

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Tip of the Week – Past the Projected Closed Date

Have you ever received a notice for a listing that is “Past the Projected Closed Date”? It is one of the most common violations that the NorthstarMLS rules and regulations department addresses – over 14,000 violation notices could have been avoided in 2014 if agents updated their pending listings.

This video will walk you through how to create a display and a saved search that you can easily monitor in Matrix and avoid violation notices for updating the Projected Close Date all together. This can be especially useful for office administrators who manage a number of office listings. Click the play button below to watch the video.


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


Tips On Demand Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.

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Real Estate Rush Hour – “Picture Perfect”

Remember, at least one photo must be uploaded to NorthstarMLS within two business days of the listing being entered (except Lots & Land). In our next Real Estate Rush Hour adventure, Sheriff Polaris & Deputy Flicker attempt to defuse an issue with listing photos, or lack thereof, in the MLS.


Real Estate Rush Hour Comic Strips As we recently announced, we created a comic strip — Rush Hour Real Estate — to add an element of fun to the dry subject of NorthstarMLS rules & regulations education. Follow along with the adventures of our woodland characters as they navigate their own version of a world of MLS rules. See them all here.

Real Estate Rush Hour Animated Video In addition to Real Estate Rush Hour comic strips, we created an animated cartoon for your viewing pleasure. Watch the adventures of our woodland characters, Polaris and Flicker — don’t forget to turn your volume up! Watch it here.

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Rules Roundup
Measuring Video

Incorrect or incomplete data remains one of the top violations reported to the NorthstarMLS Rules and Regs Department each year. In fact, last quarter there were over 2,300 total notices on listings with incorrect or incomplete data – such as measurement of the finished square footage, foundation size or room dimensions.

Accurate measurements are critical to fellow agents, potential buyers, CMA’s, appraisals, etc. To help demonstrate how to measure a single family home, we went out on
site to watch Zoe Liston
— local appraiser, agent and MLS Instructor, as she explains the measuring process to collect the total square footage of a listed property.

Watch our Measuring Video with Zoe Liston now!

(Click the link to watch the video – duration is just over 10 minutes)

Stay tuned for more measuring videos this summer, including a prerecorded classroom/webinar session that will cover frequently asked measuring questions.

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Rules Roundup
Showing Etiquette Infographic

After a seemingly endless winter, the spring market is here and warmer weather is finally here to stay — hopefully giving way to more showings for your listings. While this is not an official or complete list — the infographic below illustrates some showing etiquette tips that we’ve received from agents, along with some plain common sense, to help ensure a pleasant house hunting experience for everyone involved.

(Click on the infographic above to view a 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 tips@northstarmls.com. 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.

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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.

Questions?
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 tips@northstarmls.com for a chance to win next month.

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