The MLS Committee and Board of Directors recently approved the following amendments to the MLS Rules and are effective immediately. For questions, please call 423.698.8001 and ask to speak with Tonya or Rheta in our MLS Department. Strikethroughs indicate deletions; underlines indicate additions.
1. Adopt NAR’s mandated “Clear Cooperation” policy requiring listings to be entered in the MLS within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) of marketing a listing.
Rationale: To address the growing use of off-MLS listings (i.e., pocket listings, withheld listings, delayed entry of listings), as such listings exclude consumers and undermine the REALTORS®’ commitment to provide equal opportunity to all.
Section 1.1 Clear Cooperation. Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.
Note: Exclusive listing information for required property types must be filed and distributed to other MLS Participants for cooperation under the Clear Cooperation Policy. This applies to listings filed under Section 1 and listings exempt from distribution under Section 1.3 of the NAR model MLS rules, and any other situation where the listing broker is publicly marketing an exclusive listing that is required to be filed with the service and is not currently available to other MLS Participants.
2. Shorten the timeframe for entering a listing from 48 to 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) of the effective date of the listing agreement.
Rationale: To be consistent with the timeframe required under “Clear Cooperation,” which requires a listing to be entered within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) of marketing a listing.
Section 1. Listing Procedures. Listings of real or personal property of the following types, which are listed subject to a real estate broker’s license, and are located within the service area of the MLS of Chattanooga, Inc., and are taken by Participants on an “exclusive right to sell” or “exclusive agency” listing form, shall be entered into the MLS within
forty-eight (48) twenty-four (24) hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, of the effective date of the listing agreement. For failure to file a listing(s) within the required timeframe, the listing agent shall be assessed a fifty dollar ($50) fine plus ten dollars ($10) per day that the listing was not entered.
3. No longer require a photo for a Coming Soon listing.
Rationale: Requiring a photo for Coming Soon listings is contradictory to the intent of using this status, as Coming Soon listings are not Active, are not available for showings by anyone, and are not included in syndication feeds. Thus, a photo is not required until the Coming Soon listing is changed to some other status.
Section 1.2.5. Photos. One primary image (i.e., photo, drawing, plat, survey or similar media) is required for each listing filed with the MLS (except Coming Soon) including COMP sales, unless written documentation requesting an image not be submitted is signed by the seller and submitted to the MLS. Said image shall be filed with the MLS within forty-eight (48) hours of the listing date. For failure to include a photo, the listing agent shall be assessed a fifty dollar ($50) fine plus ten dollars ($10) per day that a photo is not included.
4. Require the listing agent of a Coming Soon listing to upload to the MLS the required Pre-Marketing Addendum, which shall be a private document and only viewable by the listing firm and Staff. NOTE: The Pre-Marketing Addendum (available at Member Services > Forms & Contracts) has been revised due to Item 2 above.
Rationale: To provide a more efficient way for the listing agent and Staff to confirm a listing is eligible for the Coming Soon status and to confirm the seller is aware of all the requirements and limitations of a Coming Soon listing.
Section 1.2.6 Listing Status Definitions
Coming Soon: A residential listing for sale and for which the Participant has a current listing agreement and the Seller has specified a Start Showing Date no more than fourteen (14 days), including weekends and holidays, in the future on which showings, open houses and/or previews will begin and the listing automatically will change to Active status and Days on Market will begin to calculate. Coming Soon listings:
a. do appear when searching for Active listings;
b. are not included in syndication feeds;
c. are not included in prospecting matches;
d. may not be shown to anyone, including but not limited to other MLS Participants/Subscribers, other real estate licensees, unlicensed assistants, clients and customers of the listing brokers or other licensees, and/or members of the public**;
e. may only be advertised as “coming soon” and any date used to indicate when the property will be available for showings shall match the date by which the listing automatically or manually is changed to Active status*.
Coming Soon status is only available upon first entering a listing into the MLS. For any Coming Soon listing, the Participant shall execute an MLS-approved Pre-Marketing Addendum (see Exhibit A of these Rules) to confirm the Seller’s written acknowledgment and agreement that the above-stated provisions apply. Said Addendum shall be uploaded to the MLS as a private document, which only is viewable by the listing firm and Staff.
While the MLS does not require the posting of a “coming soon” sign/rider, Participants and Subscribers who post a “for sale” sign without a “coming soon” sign/rider should be mindful of Article 12 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, which requires that “REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, market and other representations”; Article 3, which requires “REALTORS® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker”; and Standard of Practice 3-8, which requires, “REALTORS® shall not misrepresent the availability of access to show or inspect a listed property.”
These MLS Rules do not prohibit a Seller from accepting an offer from a prospective buyer, who elects to make such an offer without the ability to view the property. Should a Seller accept an offer on a Coming Soon listing, the Participant shall change the listing to a status other than Coming Soon within the required forty-eight (48) hours as outlined in Section 1.4. Change of Status of Listing. **Alleged violations of the terms and conditions outlined above for Coming Soon listings shall be referred to the Chief Executive Officer for appropriate action in accordance with the professional standards procedures established in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual. Sanctions which may be imposed on users include suspension of MLS rights and privileges and a fine not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).
5. Require the listing agent of an Office Exclusive listing to upload to the MLS an Office Exclusive Addendum, which shall be a private document and only viewable by the listing firm and Staff.
Rationale: To provide a more efficient way for the listing agent and Staff to confirm a listing is eligible for Office Exclusive status, and to confirm the seller is aware the listing will be filed with the MLS but not disseminated to anyone outside the listing agent’s firm.
Section 1.3. Office Exclusive. If the seller refuses to permit the listing to be disseminated by the service, the Participant shall take the listing as an Office Exclusive and such listing shall be filed with the MLS but not disseminated to the Participants. Filing of the listing should be accompanied by certification signed by the seller that he does not desire the listing to be disseminated by the service. Said certification shall be uploaded to the MLS as a private document viewable, which only is viewable by the listing firm and Staff.
6. Clarify the original intent of who qualifies as Support Staffs and their eligibility to lease a Supra key; Allow photographers and home stagers to lease a Supra key, provided they join as an Affiliate member and maintain business liability insurance.
Rational: (1) Being designated as Support Staff originally was intended for those persons, who do not hold a real estate or appraisal license, are employed by a Participant or Subscriber, and are not eligible to apply for Affiliate membership. (2) To provide a route for photographers and home stagers to lease a Supra key and be the responsible party for use of said key, rather than “signing up” as a support person for more than one Participant or Subscriber.
Section 18.8. Eligibility to Lease a Key. The leasing of keys shall be limited to
a. Participants and
c. b. Association Affiliate members, who are licensed home inspectors or licensed pest controllers , and
c. Association Affiliate members, who are photographers or home stagers, either of whom must submit proof of business liability insurance at the time of application and agree to keep said insurance current throughout the duration of their membership
d. d. Apprentice Appraisers
e. e. Support Staff, who are designated as such within the Association’s membership database and whose use of said key is restricted to keyboxes assigned to the Subscriber with whom he/she is affiliated, provided that the (i) the Support Staff is no less than eighteen (18) years of age; and (ii) Participant and Subscriber acknowledge in writing that a background check has been conducted on the Support Staff and all parties agree in writing to hold harmless the Association and MLS as related to the Support Staff’s use of his/her leased Key. For failure to notify the MLS within twenty-four (24) hours, excluding Saturdays, Sunday and holidays, of the termination or resignation of a Support Staff, the Participant and Subscriber (if applicable) shall be assessed a one-hundred dollar ($100) fine. Being designated as Support Staff is limited to those persons, who do not hold a real estate or appraisal license, are employed by a Participant or Subscriber, and are not eligible to apply for Affiliate membership as outlined in this Section 18.8 or in the Association's Bylaws.
A Keyholder shall sign a Key Lease Agreement prior to issuance of a Key by the MLS. Participants are prohibited from designating as Support Staff persons otherwise eligible to lease a key.
7. Adopt NAR's mandated amendment to provide an “as soon as practical” timeframe for a listing broker (in response to a written request from the cooperating broker) to provide written affirmation that an offer has been submitted.
Rationale: To be consistent with a recent change to the Code of Ethics, Article 1, Standard of practice 1-7.
Section 2.3. Right of Cooperating Broker in Presentation of Offer. The cooperating broker (subagent or buyer agent) or his representative has the right to participate in the presentation to the seller or lessor of any offer he secures to purchase or lease. He does not have the right to be present at any discussion or evaluation of that offer by the seller or lessor and the listing broker. However, if the seller or lessor gives written instructions to the listing broker that the cooperating broker not be present when an offer the cooperating broker has secured is presented, the cooperating broker has the right to a copy of the seller’s or lessor’s written instructions. None of the foregoing diminishes the listing broker’s right to control the establishment of appointments for such presentations. Where the cooperating broker is not present during the presentation of the offer, the cooperating broker can request in writing, and the listing broker must provide, as soon as practical, written affirmation stating that the offer has been submitted to the seller, or written notification that the seller has waived the obligation to have the offer presented.