Tag: Rules

Each week the NorthstarMLS Rules & Regulations Department receives reports of potential issues with listings in the Matrix System. You’ve probably run across these at some point. Anything from inaccurate data – wrong square footage measurements or photo issues – such as a company sign in the photo, to name a couple examples.

What’s the Need for Rules in the MLS? 
In quarter one of 2016, the Rules & Regs Department addressed 5,134 listing violations (a record high for a first quarter) – 98% of them were waived or no fine was given. But the notices are an important part of ensuring the most accurate and up-to-date data for NorthstarMLS subscribers.

Watch our Q1 Summary Video (under 2 mins!) and see what the Top 5 Listing Violations and Top 5 Incorrect Data Issues were for NorthstarMLS subscribers this past quarter.


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. In 2015, there has already been over 9,900 violation notices that could have been avoided if agents or an office member had 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.


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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Rules Roundup
Keeping our MLS Data Accurate

accuracy

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!

DAinfographic

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.

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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.

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SQI Survey Results: Rules and Regulations

Ask any agent/appraiser and they will say there is nothing more frustrating to their clients and themselves than realizing they’ve relied on incorrect MLS information. In order to ensure every NorthstarMLS customer has the most current, accurate and complete property data, MLS rules and regulations have been created and will be enforced on an as needed basis. These guidelines ensure professional data sharing and warrant cooperative behaviors between all MLS users. By doing so, users can maximize their value to their customers and help keep the MLS an effective real estate business tool.

“Our staff works hard at maintaining a reliable database and to prevent listing infractions. But the success of these efforts depend greatly everyone’s cooperation,” said Michael Bisping, Director of Customer Service, who oversees the Rules Department which consists of three technicians that respond to nearly 500 notices from other agents every week. “Everyone in the NorthstarMLS community is in this together. If we all do our part to cooperate, it will reduce inaccurate information and surely make it easier on everyone to reach their real estate goals more efficiently and effectively.”

SQI Survey results revealed that 74% of respondents have an “excellent” or “good” understanding of the current MLS rules that are in place. Even the most adept agent can make an innocent mistake every now and then. But if agents comply with these four simple rules, nearly half of NorthstarMLS Compliance Notices and Fines would disappear:

1. Enter a listing within 2 business days of the listing contract effective date;
2. Enter a photo within 2 business days of entering the listing;
3. Ensure all public fields and supplements are free from agent and 3rd party promotion;
4. Update pending listings after the closing or when the closing is postponed.

“Ninety five percent of all notices to correct a listing or cure a violation result in no fine, or I waive it,” Bisping said. NorthstarMLS President and CEO, John Mosey, is frequently quoted as saying that someone has to be “bound and determined” to get fined by the MLS. These numbers show that most of our service’s users want to do what is right.

If you have any questions about MLS rules, please contact the NorthstarMLS Rules Department at 651-251-3210, 8-5 PM (Monday-Friday). You can also check the NorthstarMLS “Rules Roundup” page. A new feature where we will periodically spotlight an MLS Rules topic to educate users on some of the most commonly misunderstood issues of the NorthstarMLS system. Are you on Facebook? The “Rules Roundup” page can also be accessed through the NorthstarMLS Facebook page.

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Property Photo Required 

Property photos enhance the value of your listing to potential buyers, other agents and the abundance of websites that will display your listing. Photos are required for ALL listings except: Lots and Land, Under Construction, To Built/Floor Plan and Models. Ideally a photo will be added at the time of entry, but NorthstarMLS rules allow two business days in the event that is not possible. Photos are required regardless of the listing status (even if the listing is cancelled, goes pending, or the status is TNAS).

Reminders about your photos:

  • No text (regardless of message) allowed.
  • Do not copy photos from the listing of another participant without permission.
  • The photo may not be digitally altered so that it no longer accurately reflects the property.
  • The photo must be appropriate — nothing of obscene nature. Nothing that you wouldn’t post on your own professional real estate website.
  • No broker/agent/builder signs or promotion allowed.
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When can I enter a Comp Sold Listing?

If you represent the buyer in a transaction and the seller has not signed a listing contract with a NorthstarMLS participant, you may (with the buyer’s signature on an Input form) record the sale on NorthstarMLS as a Comp Sold. A Comp Sold is a property sold by an MLS participant when the property was never available for sale on NorthstarMLS. A Comp Sold will not have a listing agent as there was no listing contract under NorthstarMLS.

A Comp Sold cannot be entered as an actual listing and then changed to sold because it never has active status, so it should not show MLS Market Time.

Comp Sold listings do count towards broker market share, and will be available to other agents and appraisers for CMAs and appraisals. There are fewer required fields on a Comp Sold listing, but we encourage you to enter all fields as they are valuable for those CMAs and appraisals.

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What Is a Withhold and Why Would I Use It?

We all know the best way to display a listing is to post it on the MLS. But what if your seller has signed a listing contract and decides it’s time to do an overhaul on the property before listing it on the MLS? For example, the seller decides a new roof is in order, or a new deck in the backyard would add style, new carpet in the basement is needed or any other improvement project a homeowner might consider.

As an agent, you just need to have the seller sign the Certification to Withhold Property Listing form from NorthstarMLS. Rules require Brokers and Agents to enter the listing into the MLS within two business days of the contract’s effective date. If you’re sending NorthstarMLS the signed withhold form, it allows you to postpone entry on the MLS until the project is completed. Then, once the listing is ready to be published, the List Date field can be populated with the date the listing is entered because the withhold form was filed with NorthstarMLS.

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

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