Tips to Avoid the Top 5 Listing Violations

google-plus-local-violations

1) Late Entry of Listing

The Violation: Late Entry of Listing violation occurs when a listing is not entered into the MLS in a timely manner, and the listing broker did not previously file an MLS Exclusion Form with the MLS/Association.

How to Avoid: To help avoid this violation, you must enter a listing into the MLS within two business days of either (1) the listing contract date, or (2) the date the seller’s signature was obtained on the listing agreement.

If a seller wants their property listed on the MLS, but the property is not ready for any showings, it is recommended that the property be entered into the MLS and placed in the Hold status. If a seller does not want their listing on the MLS or wishes to withhold their listing from the MLS, the listing broker must obtain a seller-signed MLS Exclusion Form and submit that documentation to the MLS/Association within two business days of the listing contract date. The most common MLS Exclusion Form is the C.A.R. SELM Form, which is available through zipForm®.

Penalties: Violation warning, $250 fine, or $500 fine per offense.

(Rules Section: 7.8 and 7.9)

2) Inaccurate Information – Auto Sold

The Violation: An Auto Sold violation occurs when a listing is automatically changed to the Sold status by the MLS system (appears as S* or Closed Sale*), which is a result of not manually updating a listing in the Pending/Backup status. An Auto Sold listing is considered an Inaccurate Information violation, because the listing is closed and displays estimated or unconfirmed sales information.

How to Avoid: To help avoid an Auto Sold violation, you must properly manage your listings in the Pending/Backup status. When a listing is changed to the Pending/Backup status, you are required to enter an estimated close of escrow date (“Estimated COE date”), as well as estimated sales information. Within two business days of your Estimated COE date, you must either (1) extend your Estimated COE date if escrow has been delayed, (2) update your listing to the appropriate status if a status change occurred, or (3) confirm the sales information and manually update the listing to Sold.

Courtesy notices are sent by email 14 days prior to, 7 days prior to, 1 day prior to, and on the day of your Estimated COE Date, as reminders to manually update your listing. Click here for more information on how to help avoid an Auto Sold violation.

Penalties: Violation warning, $100 fine, or $300 fine per offense.

(Rules Section: 8.3)

3) No Photo

The Violation: A No Photo violation occurs when a listing has been on the MLS for more than five calendar days and at least one exterior structural photo of the property has not been added to the listing.

How to Avoid: To help avoid a No Photo violation, you must add at least one photo of the exterior structure of the listed property within five calendar days of entering a listing into the MLS. An exterior structural photo must be added to a listing within five calendar days, regardless of the listing status. If a property is sold within five calendar days of entering the listing into the MLS, it is important that you add at least one exterior structural photo prior to closing the listing. This photo requirement does not apply to (1) Land/Lot listings, or (2) listings that are Canceled within five calendar days of entry.

Penalties: Violation warning, $100 fine, or $300 fine per offense.

(Rules Section: 11.5)

4) Misuse of Public Remarks

The Violation: The Property Description, Driving Directions, List Price Includes, and List Price Excludes fields are considered public remarks fields. A Misuse of Public Remarks violation occurs when prohibited information or verbiage is placed in any public remarks field.

How to Avoid: To help avoid a Misuse of Public Remarks violation, it is important that the remarks in the Property Description field are limited to the physical and aesthetic characteristics of the property. Information in the Driving Directions field should be limited to directional information which assists in finding the physical location of the property. Information in the Listing Price Includes/Excludes fields should be limited to a description of which items are included or excluded from the sale. Agent/Brokerage information or contact information, open house information, showing instructions, information about the occupancy of the property, and information directed towards other real estate professionals is prohibited in any public remarks field.

Penalties: Violation warning, $100 fine, or $300 fine per offense.

(Rules Section: 12.5)

5) Inaccurate Status

The Violation: An Inaccurate Status violation occurs when either a listing status change is not made in a timely manner, or when a listing is not listed in the correct listing status.

How to Avoid: To help avoid an Inaccurate Status violation, it is important that the status of your listing reflects the appropriate listing status definition:

  • Active: A valid listing contract exists and no offer (with or without contingencies) has been accepted. This is an On-Market status.
  • Back-Up: Offer accepted and either 1) seller requests that property remain in an On-Market status and is looking for back-up offers, or 2) the sale is subject to court or other third party approval. This is an On-Market status.
  • Hold: A valid listing contract is in effect; however, because of various reasons such as repairs, illness, guests, etc., the seller has requested that temporarily there be no showings. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Withdrawn: A valid listing contract is in effect, however the property is no longer being marketed. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Pending: The seller has accepted an offer and is not soliciting offers through the MLS. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Canceled: The listing agreement has been canceled. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Expired: The listing agreement has expired. The time frame of the existing listing contract has run out. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Sold: Escrow has closed. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Leased: The property has been leased. This is an Off-Market status.

Please note that all status changes must be made within two business days of the date that the change in listing status occurs. When making a status change or otherwise updating your listing, it is important to review the remarks on your listing and make sure your remarks do not contradict or conflict with your listing status.

Penalties: Violation warning, $100 fine, or $300 fine per offense.

(Rules Section: 8.3, 10.1, and 10.2)


Source: CRMLS. If you questions about any of this information, please email di@crmls.org or visit the OCAR site.

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