Our phones are ringing off the hook…a non-member has recently been contacting REALTORS® sharing the MLS 2020 production rankings of members. How does that happen??? How did a non-member get access to our MLS statistical reports, you guessed it… it was pulled by a member and given to the non-member. The MLS information is available for members to use, not non-members!
As a member any print or non-print forms of advertising or other forms of public representations based in whole “or in part” on MLS data MUST clearly demonstrate the period of time over which such claims are based and you MUST include the following, or substantially similar, notice: “Based on information from the Space Coast MLS for the period (date) through (date)”.
So, if you plan to share your company or personal rankings in any form of advertising you need to be sure you provide your source of the information and the time frame for the data pull. Make sure the information you are using is accurate and you can supply evidence to support your claim.
Failure to include that or a substantially similar statement places you in violation of the MLS Rules. The MLS Committee recently met and are in the process of drafting language for the MLS rules making this type of violation an automatic fine with progressive fines for any future violations of this type.
You do not want to be found in violation of any “misleading advertising” rules which could considered a Code of Ethics violation, violation of MLS rules or potential a FREC misleading advertising rule.
Click here to read the rule on the Use of MLS Information
For a complete copy of the MLS Rules click here
Additionally, based on a new policy established by NAR, MLS’ throughout the country are being required to adopt a rule that says if you are found in violation of more than 3 MLS rules during the year, the agent and the broker will be required to attend a hearing before the MLS committee for any additional violations. So, with a 4th or 5th violation you will no longer be allowed to just pay a fine or correct the violation.
The real estate business is such a competitive business and the accuracy of the MLS data so critical to your success. Mistakes in the listings in the MLS could become very costly for the agents/brokers and potential lawsuits for buyers and sellers. Compliance with the MLS Rules will help mitigate potential problems.
Wishing each of you a happy and prosperous new year. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me, the MLS Staff or any of the Association Management Team and we’ll be happy to assist you.
Leah Selig, CEO