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September 5, 2018

Revised Fines Policy for Violations of MLS Rules & Regulations

The MLS is moving away from the courtesy notifications and towards automatic fines for specific violations of the MLS Rules. Enforcement of fines will begin on October 1, 2018.

To educate all MLS users on the revised policy for assessing fines, our MLS Staff is auditing listings related to various violations included in the automatic fines. In general, these MLS Rules are not new, and the revised policy provides for automatic fines (in lieu of courtesy notifications).

The amendments to the MLS Rules have been approved by the MLS Committee and Board of Directors and accomplish the following:

1. Replace the former practice of courtesy notifications with automatic fines for:

  • Failing to file a listing within 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays)
  • Failing to provide legitimate directions to the listed property.
  • Including personal information for company or listing subscriber in public remarks and public fields.
  • Branding of images, virtual tours and/or framing for images or virtual tours with any information or additional images.
  • Failing to update status, including reporting sales and leases within 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays)

2. Incorporate the former remaining MLS Policies into the MLS Rules;

3. Provide clarification for appropriate use of the Active status; and

4. Provide a definition for appropriate use of the Closed status.

Click to review an Overview of MLS Fines.

Click to review the verbatim amendments to the MLS Rules & Regulations.

Questions? Contact MLS Director, Tonya Bell: 423.698.8001 /


One more thing, even though a listing is pending, an agent must submit to the seller any offer made to them for the purchase of the property ( unless the seller states he does not want to see any more offers ). In our office we have had offers sent to an agent who states home is under contract and ” I do not want to see your offer so don’t send it. ” Can I ask so see the seller statement in writing that states no don’t send it, even if pending or contingent? This may not be the right place to ask this so if you want to just email me that would be ok.

Nickie SCHWARTZKOPF | 09/11/2018

In response to Greg about who pays whom and questioning the MLS’s authority to assess fines . . . Ever since the implementation of the Multiple Listing Service and adoption of NAR’s model MLS Rules, the MLS has had the authority to impose discipline. See Section 7 of the MLS Rules. In recent years, the MLS Committee has found that the courtesy notifications are not curbing bad behavior in the marketplace. Thus, the MLS Committee approved, and the Board affirmed, this new policy. In most cases, some sort of fine system has been in place. Yet, it’s the courtesy notifications we’re getting away from. The hopes is that all MLS users will experience an enhanced level of professionalism by their peers, which will reflect well on all REALTORS®. Should you have additional concerns, please contact our MLS Director, Tonya Bell, who can share your concerns with the MLS Committee.

Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS® | 09/10/2018

Thanks for the questions, Nickie. Within the Rules, we’ve denoted that it’s the listing agent who will incur the fine. And in Section 7.1 Compliance with Rules, it outlines month/30-day terms for remitting the fine and failure to do so will result in suspension of MLS services until the fine is paid. And in Section 7.3, we allow the process for appealing a fine, only after the fine has been remitted and provided the appeal is in writing (email is OK).

Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS® | 09/10/2018

don’t we pay you? or do you pay us. you really don’t have any authority to fine someone.

greg | 09/10/2018

Will the Broker/company be charged or will the agent themselves be fined and asked to pay the fine within a certain period of days by charge card or check to the association?

Nickie SCHWARTZKOPF | 09/10/2018

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