SmartMLS Compliance Department

Learn more about SmartMLS Rules and Regulations below.

STAY ON TOP
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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Why all the recent changes?

Member and consumer concerns about the lack of consistency of MLS data, combined with a significant increase in member complaints that their clients contact them about properties for sale or lease that are not available on the MLS, prompted SmartMLS leadership to create a comprehensive plan to ensure the availability and accuracy of the MLS data for all MLS subscribers and consumers.

What are the options when listing a property?

Traditional listing – submit a listing within 48 hours of executed listing agreement.

Delayed Listing – delay submitting the listing while photos are being taken, repairs are completed, the property is staged.

Coming Soon listing – pre-market the listing for up to 14 days while the property is being prepped.

Withhold from MLS – the seller does not want to utilize the MLS.

CLICK HERE for a chart outlining these 4 options.

What are the new forms?
Where can I find the new forms that I need to use?

The new forms are located in the Forms section of the SmartMLS Corporate Website and in the Instanet & DotLoop Forms library.  We have sent the forms to other transaction management platforms- Ziplogix has said they will have the forms ready in the coming weeks.

What is a Delayed Listing?

MLS rules require all non-commercial listings to be submitted to the MLS within 48 hours of an executed agreement.  Although this is still an option, it is not always possible (or practical) in today’s climate.  It takes time for photos, virtual tours, staging, repairs, etc.  A property may not be ready for days, weeks or even months. To accommodate this evolution, SmartMLS created the Delayed Listing.

 

A Delayed Listing is when a property is under an executed Listing Agreement with the seller but is not ready to be on the market.  The seller and the listing agent determine a Go Active Date for the property.  Additionally, the seller agrees there will be no marketing of the property until the Go Active date and instructs their agent not to submit any offers to them until the Go Active Date.  The Go Active Date can be adjusted as necessary by the seller and the listing agent.  To comply with the rules, either a SmartMLS Delayed Listing Form must be executed or the Go Active date can be included in the Listing Agreement.

What if my seller does not want to utilize the MLS?

SmartMLS requires a broker to submit all their non-commercial listings to the MLS within 48 hours of an executed listing agreement.  A seller may choose, of their own volition, and for any number of reasons (ex: personal safety, notoriety, medical reasons, etc.), that they do not want their property exposed to over 17,000 Real Estate Professionals and their clients.  For the property to be excluded from the MLS’s mandatory submission policy, a seller must execute a Withhold from MLS form, and the listing agent must submit the listing to the MLS as a Withhold from MLS listing within 48 hours of the executed listing agreement.  If the seller of a withheld listing decides to submit their listing to the MLS, they can do so no less than 30 days after the start of the listing agreement by executing an Instruction to File a Previously Withheld Listing form.  The Days on Market (DOM) for this listing will start from the day the listing agreement was executed (not the day it is submitted to the MLS as an active listing).

 

Note starting May 1st: All withheld listings will be required to be submitted to SmartMLS as a listing and entered into the Matrix system.  There will be a special check box/field during listing input that will allow the list agent to specify that the listing is currently withheld from the MLS.  Only the listing agent, listing broker and MLS Staff will be able to see the listing in Matrix.  The Withhold from MLS paperwork will be required to be submitted to the listing as a supplement.

What is the difference between Delayed and Withhold?

With a Delayed Listing, the seller wants to take full advantage of the exposure provided by the MLS’s 17,000+ Real Estate Professionals and their clients.  The seller recognizes that their property is not going to be ready for market within 48 hours of executing the Listing Agreement, so they work closely with their agent to establish an appropriate Go Active date when the listing will go live on the MLS and marketing may begin.  Market Time/Days on Market (DOM) begins on the Go Active date.

 

With a Withheld listing, the seller has instructed their agent not to submit their property to the MLS.  The list agent and their client can implement whatever marketing plan they feel appropriate.  If, at some point in the future, the seller wants to submit the property to the MLS, it must be after a minimum of 30 days from the start of the Listing Agreement.  Market Time/Days on Market (DOM) begins on the List Date (the date when the Listing Agreement was executed).

How can I pre-market a listing?

Recently, there has been a developing trend of pre-marketing a listing while the property is being prepared for the market.  We have created the Coming Soon status to allow for this trend while remaining compliant with the rules of the MLS.

Coming Soon listings allow for a property to be marketed prior to it being an active listing on the MLS.  Parameters are in place to ensure both agents and consumers know when the listing will be active and that access to the listing is the same for all agents and consumers, including the listing agent.

Why do I have to upload my contracts (Listing Agreement/Listing Certification form, Coming Soon Addendum, Delayed Listing Addendum, Withhold from MLS form)?

By attaching the Listing Agreement and corresponding addendums/forms to your listing, SmartMLS can review any compliance concerns instantly.  This allows us to efficiently confirm that the information in the listing agreement coincides with the information on the MLS.  Doing so ensures all SmartMLS listings are following the same rules and makes it possible to perform accurate and consistent comparisons on all listings for such information as Days on Market.

What is the Listing Agreement Certification form?

The Listing Agreement Certification form is a summary of the pertinent information from the Listing Agreement that the SmartMLS needs in order to review the listing for compliance.  This form is the only acceptable substitute if you choose not to submit the original Listing Agreement.

When does the requirement to submit the Listing Agreement to the listing go in effect?

Mandatory submission goes into effect on April 1, 2019.  All listings executed on or after April 1, 2019 will be required to submit their Listing Agreement/Listing Certification form (and Delayed Listing form, if applicable) to their listing. Coming Soon forms are already required to be submitted.

What options do I have when uploading my Listing Agreement?

The Listing Agreement or the Listing Agreement certification form must be submitted as a Private supplement to the listing in Matrix.  In addition, you will have to submit the Delayed Listing form, if utilized.

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 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 Compliance@SmartMLS.com including Administrator name, MLS UserID and email address.
  1. Contact the Compliance Team at compliance@smartmls.com

     

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.

STATUS

ABBREVIATION

DEFINITION

Coming Soon

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.

Active

ACT

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

Show

SHOW

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.

Deposit

DEP

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.

Closed

CLSD

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

Expired

EXPD

The listing contract has expired.

Cancelled

CANC

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.

Withdrawn

WITH

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

TEMP

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, https://www.ctfairhousing.org/fair-housing-overview

 

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, Realtor.com, 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 Realtor.com, 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

 

Read More

Review Connecticut State Resources

 

Read More

Still have questions? We’d love to help!

 

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