SmartMLS Compliance Department

Learn more about SmartMLS Rules and Regulations below.

Compliance Keys to Success
The goal of Compliance is not to punish the membership but to educate as to properly follow the rules and create the most accurate data possible.
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Please review the following videos

 Traditional ListingComing SoonDelayed ListingExempt/Withhold
When is listing entered on MLS?Within 48 hours of
signed contract
Within 48 hours of
signed contract
On Go Active dateNever
When is public
marketing allowed?
As soon as the
listing is Active on
As soon as it is
entered on MLS as
Coming Soon
Not until Go Active
When can showings be scheduled?As soon as the
listing is Active on
As soon as it is
entered on MLS as
Coming Soon (but
only for the Go
Active date or later)
Not until Go Active
Not through MLS
When can it be shown?As soon as the
listing is Active on
Not until Go Active
date or later
Not until Go Active
date or later
Not through MLS
Can Go Active date be moved up?n/aNoYesn/a
Paperwork required?
Coming Soon
Addendum has to be loaded to
Withhold from MLS
form has to be sent
to SmartMLS within
48 hours of


*** A listing that the seller elects to withhold from the MLS cannot be publicly marketed ***

For purposes of this Rule, public marketing shall include any of the following activities:

1. holding a public or broker open house.
2. displaying the listing on any internet site.
3. advertising the listing in any written publication.
4. placement of a “For Sale” sign on the property.
5. sharing the listing on social media or in any restricted group created on any social media platform.


The listing broker shall inform the seller of these restrictions at the time the decision is made to withhold the listing from the MLS.


We anticipate some listings will start out as Delayed Listings until they are ready for marketing, at which point they will be entered into the MLS as Coming Soon for the remainder of their “pre-MLS” period. This is perfectly acceptable as long as the rules for each stage are followed (ex: no marketing/showing during Delayed period, no showing during Coming Soon period) and the proper forms are executed.


Have you ever received a violation from the SmartMLS Compliance Team?

It’s never fun but issuing compliance inquires for rule violations is essential to maintain an accurate MLS database.

Here’s a quick breakdown of MLS compliance, where the rules come from, and why they’re important for everyone’s business.


WHY do we need MLS compliance?

As Connecticut real estate professionals, we succeed the most when we work together. And to do that, we need to agree on a set of reasonable ground rules.


Rules? What rules?

When you’re a SmartMLS subscriber, you are subject to the SmartMLS Rules and Regulations.


Okay…so who makes these rules?

The SmartMLS Rules and Regs are based on the Handbook of Multiple Listing Policy developed by the National Association of Realtors. Additional recommendations must be approved by the SmartMLS Board of Directors before being put into effect.


Why do these rules matter for agents and brokers? 

Access to accurate, up-to-date listing data is essential to the success of your business.

Imagine you are trying to help a client come up with the right price to list their home for sale, but none of the MLS homes sales data in the surrounding area is accurate. Without reliable information on comparable home sales in the market, establishing price and advising on a marketing strategy becomes a LOT harder.


Reliable data is essential in maintaining an accurate MLS database. See the short video linked below for information on how to keep track of your data compliance concerns.  

Compliance Data Reporting video

Top MLS Compliance Tips = (also known as) How to Avoid a Compliance Email

Please remember to check back regularly, the top issues listed here may change, other tips may be added… 


1. All Active listings must be available to show within 48 hours of entering the listing

2. Paperwork will be required for New Listings where the status has been changed to Cancelled, Show, Deposit or Closed within a short period of time.

3. All listings excluding Land, Business For Sale and New/Under Construction must have at least one exterior photo

4. If a listing is Cancelled and the same property is re-entered as Active, you will be required to send the MLS a copy of the listing cancellation form and the new listing agreement

5. A listing status change must be entered into the MLS within 48 hours of obtaining the signed listing documentation

6. When entering your listing into the MLS, it is important to use the Unique Property Identification Number found within the Matrix Tax system. Please do not use numbers from town field cards, Vision Appraisals etc.

7. Any agent contact information, lender names or marketing information is not allowed in any public displaying fields like the Remarks field.

8. The word “Vacant” when not used to describe land is only allowed in the Secure ShowingTime Instructions field

9. Virtual tours containing any branding, contact information, lender names or marketing information is NOT allowed within the MLS system. A virtual tour entered with this type of branding will be removed from the MLS by staff.

10. Photos which display a “For Sale” sign are not allowed in the MLS.


General Information:


  • Be sure to include the MLS# in any communication to the MLS about a Listing Data Concern
  • Do not ignore a listing violation notice!
  • You can avoid a listing fine by either correcting the listing concern or replying to the email violation notice by the due date. Once a fine is issued, no exceptions will be made.
  • Note that every edit to your listing causes data checker to automatically review every field and flag any possible inaccuracies. You will receive notification if an explanation or a correction is required.
  • Use the Listing Data Checker widget found on the Matrix Homepage to track any listing violations that you may have received.
  • Avoid missing compliance notices -Add your office administrator to the Compliance notification alerts. Simply send us an email to including Administrator name, MLS UserID and email address.
  1. Contact the Compliance Team at


Important: Compliance reporting is anonymous. While SmartMLS staff will be able to see who submitted the claim, the listing agent will never know who reported them.




Coming Soon


A listing should be marked as Coming Soon when there is a valid listing contract between the seller and the listing broker, but the listing is not available to be shown.  The listing is in the MLS but not on market. Points to remember: 1) You must have a valid, fully executed listing agreement; 2) You must have your seller sign the Coming Soon Addendum; 3) The Go Active Date, determined by you and the seller must be included on the listing in Matrix; 4) The Go Active Date must be within 14 days of the date the listing was entered in Matrix; 5) The Go Active Date cannot be shortened once the listing is entered as a Coming Soon listing within the MLS; 6) The Smart MLS Coming Soon Addendum must be uploaded as a Supplement in Matrix; 7) An exterior photo of the property must be uploaded.



An active listing is one that is on the market and available for showings.



Means that either have executed and delivered a purchase and sale agreement or, if earlier, have executed and delivered a written bilateral offer to purchase, and, in either case, contingencies remain and the Seller requests that the Listed Property remain on market for backup offers. A SHOW status listing will expire upon their expiration date.



A listing marked as Under Deposit indicates that the Seller and the potential buyer of the Listed Property either (a) have executed and delivered a purchase and sale agreement or, (b) have executed and delivered a written bilateral offer to purchase, and, in either case, the Seller has not requested that the Listed Property remain marketed for back-up offers. A status “DEPOS” Listing is considered to be “off market”. DEPOS listings do not expire.



Transaction has completed. Seller no longer holds title to the property.



The listing contract has expired.



The listing contract has been terminated in writing by broker and seller prior to the expiration date.  A listing marked as Cancelled is no longer on the market.



The Withdrawn Listing is a Listed Property that is off the market. A Withdrawn Listing still carries an active contract but the property cannot be shown.  A Listing having a status of WITH remains subject to the terms and conditions of the original Listing Agreement and, as such, will expire at midnight on the expiration date of the Listing Agreement.

Temporarily off Market


A listing marked as Temporarily Off Market is a listed property that is unavailable to be shown but expected to be active in the near future. Temp Off Market listings do expire upon their listing expiration date.

Describe the Property – Not the People

Fair Housing is the sale/rental of housing free of discriminatory practices or policies. The Fair Housing Act prohibits any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability (mental or physical) or familial status. Connecticut additionally includes other protected classes, such as ancestry, marital status, age (except minors), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, legal source of income (refusing to accept section 8, for example) and veteran status.


The federal Fair Housing Act also prohibits publishing advertisements indicating any preference, limitation or discrimination based on these protected categories with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling.


But practically speaking, any word or statement that may be perceived to limit a buyer’s choices or indicate a preference based on their protected class should be avoided when advertising a property. While you may not intend to indicate a preference or limitation, even a client’s perception may be construed as discriminatory.


The following word and phrase list is intended only to provide general guidelines to assist in complying with state and federal fair housing laws and nondiscriminatory practices. This list is not intended to provide legal advice.


NOTE: The list below is NOT all-inclusive. It is not intended to be a complete list of every word or phrase that could violate any local, state, or federal statutes. A general list cannot cover every situation or question. Each word must be considered in context.


If in doubt:

DO NOT USE ethnic references (e.g. Black, Caucasian/White, Asian, American Indian)

DO NOT USE nationalities (e.g. Chinese, African, German, Italian)

DO NOT USE religious references (e.g. near temple, mosque, church, Christian, Muslim, Catholic)

DO NOT USE sex, gender or sexual orientation (e.g. male. female, transgender, homosexual, gay)fair housing words table

*NOTE – Senior housing may be exempt if:

1) HUD has determined the housing is specifically designed for and occupied by elderly persons under a federal, state or local government program, or;

2) It is occupied solely by persons who are 62 or older, or;

3) It houses at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80% of the occupied units, and adheres to a policy that demonstrates an intent to house persons who are 55 or older.


click here to download a PDF version of the Smart MLS Fair Housing tips 


For more information please contact the Connecticut Fair Housing Center,


Free form fields in the Smart MLS matrix database are fields where the listing participant is able to input any letter, number punctuation mark or other character.

  • Smart MLS reserves the right to edit listing data entered in free form field like Public Remarks, Agent Remarks, Showing Instructions, etc. (Rules and Regulations, Section 4.1.7)
  • Information entered in free form fields must not violate the Fair Housing Act; any federal or state regulatory guideline; any applicable law; or any article or standard of practice in the NAR code of ethics.


  • Public Remarks: The Public Remarks field should be used to provide a description of the listed property. Public Remarks, appear on most MLS listing displays, as well as websites (such as IDX websites,, Zillow, etc). 
  • Agent remarks:  Agent Remarks field should be used to provide additional information to other Real Estate agents.  Agent Remarks do not appear on any customer level reports. Agent Remarks are not included in IDX data, nor are they included in data licensed for display on other real estate related websites like, Zillow, etc.  
  • Showing Instructions remarks: While intended primarily for the labeled purpose, the Showing Instructions field may also include information intended for and relevant to showing the property.

Scroll down for more information on remarks fields


Free Form Fields - More Information


Public Remarks fields MORE INFORMATION:


  1. In addition to a description of the property, the following information MAY appear in the Public Remarks fields:
  • General information about when a property is available to be shown
  • Incentives offered to buyers by sellers
  • General statements that more information about the property is available
  1. The following types of information MAY NOT appear in the Public Remarks field:
  • The address or specific location of the listed property
  • Reference or recommendation to use a specific brokerage or agent for any reason
  • The names or contact information of the list office, list agent(s), co-list agent(s), seller(s), or any other person or entity involved in the sale or marketing of the property
  • Information about the compensation offered other Participants for their cooperation in the sale of the property
  • Information or details about the agency or non-agency relationship that exists between the listing Participant and the seller of the listed property
  • Information about how to schedule an appointment to see the listed property, who to call, the phone number to call, or the description or address of any alternative appointment scheduling method – including Open House information (The fields Showing Instructions, Office Phone Number, Appointment Phone Number and Agent Remarks are provided for this purpose)

Agent Remarks fields MORE INFORMATION:

Information entered into this field must be relevant to the sale, lease or marketing of the listed property; may include information about compensation offered other MLS Participants or instructions or remarks intended for cooperating brokers only. Information entered in this field may not violate the Federal Fair Housing Act; any federal or state regulatory guideline; any applicable law; any Article or Standard of Practice in the NAR Code of Ethics; or Smart MLS Rules.


SmartMLS Rules and Regulations


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Review Connecticut State Resources


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