Top 5 Overlooked MLS Rules


It can be overwhelming to learn and re-learn the rules of the road, but if you’re not diligent, violating an MLS rule or regulation can cost you up to $5,000, or even worse, MLS termination.

We’ve pulled a list of the repeated offenses we’ve seen this year. Here are the top five overlooked MLS rules:

  1. Unauthorized use of MLS tools: Sharing of MLS tools with non-MLS Participants or Subscribers is prohibited. This includes sharing lockboxes, Supra keys, or MLS login credentials.
  2. Non-compliance of "Internet Remarks" policy: Internet remarks include the physical property description, which summarizes the property to the customer, e.g. “Renovated in 2010, this property has access to the greenbelt…” and so on. Do not use this section for confidential information. You can use the new “syndication remarks” section for contact information such as emails, websites, and phone numbers.
  3. Not including photos with listings: At least one digital image of each property (all property types) listed in the MLS should be loaded within seven days of the list date unless written documentation requesting to not include a digital image is signed by the seller and submitted to ACTRIS. If the listed property has a dwelling, at least one image must be of the front of the dwelling. Hey, we all like pictures!
  4. Pending over four months: When subscribers are notified that a listing is “PO,” they must update the listing to reflect one of the following: appropriate sold date, return to active status, or enter tentative close date. Subscribers have 72 hours after notification to correct the listing before a fine is incurred.
  5. Incorrect/incomplete information: All listings must contain complete and accurate information including listing price, address, physical property description, and agent’s name—to name a few.

A Few Ways to Avoid a Violation

  • Use “Listing Compliance Check” under "Other Options" in Add/Edit listing in the MLS to check for violations.

  • Attend a Lunch and Learn session at ABoR and stay informed.
  • Don’t settle for only knowing the top five rules. Review the full list of rules and regulations.
  • Subscribe to our emails and read our publications and blog to learn about MLS rules.

What If You Spot a Violation?

We work hard to maintain MLS integrity and ensure the system delivers the utmost accurate and immediate market information so REALTORS® can effectively list and sell properties. Should you identify a listing that is violating an MLS rule or regulation, first contact the listing agent to notify them directly. If you do not receive a response within a week, contact us at

Do you have any best practices that you and your team follow to stay MLS compliant? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us at and share your insights.


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