RMLS™ Rules Roundup for 2018


The RMLS™ Rules and Regulations Committee has requested that periodic reports are given to subscribers about the number and types of formal rules violations, along with information about informal violations and courtesy notifications by type. Read “If a RMLS™ Rule is Broken, What Happens?” for a deeper explanation.

Have you ever spotted something wrong in a property listing on RMLSweb? The Data Accuracy team is responsible for sorting things out whenever a RMLS™ subscriber contacts us—whether that is via the “Report Issue” button on a listing, by email, or contacting us directly by phone. We hear from many of you: in 2018 our team handled 3,737 phone calls!

You can probably imagine how busy that keeps our small staff, and in 2018 we started using new software, called Listing Data Checker (LDC), to help us spot and correct issues more proactively. LDC helps automate simple tasks that used to take staff time every single work day.

We track 30 specific issues in LDC. Six of these are courtesy notifications, but the other 24 are informal violations of the RMLS™ Rules and Regulations. In addition to our focus on education in 2018 there were eight formal violations that resulted in $1,400 in fines being collected.


The RMLS™ Rules and Regulations Committee reviews all formal complaints which allege a violation of the RMLS™ Rules and Regulations. The committee has the power to impose sanctions.

In 2018, eight formal rules violations were filed, with a grand total of $1,400 in fines levied. Following is a list of the specific violations:

  • 5.1L Unauthorized Use of a Lockbox: Buyer’s agent let buyers into a listing, then left them there to go to another listing. Seller’s agent came to the listing to discover the buyers inside the listing without their agent present.
  • 5.1S Marketing of Listing Prior to Publication: Buyers contacted their agent to inquire about a property with a sign that they wanted to see. The listing was not in RMLSweb as either an excluded listing or in CSN status. The listing was put in as an active listing one week after the buyer’s agent contacted the seller’s agent.
  • 5.1S Marketing of Listing Prior to Publication: Subscriber noticed a yard sign on a property on a Thursday. By the following Monday the listing had not been entered into RMLSweb. Property was made active six calendar days after sign was put on property.
  • 5.1S Marketing of Listing Prior to Publication: Subscriber found a “Coming Soon” listing on a public Facebook page.
  • 5.1S Marketing of Listing Prior to Publication: Subscriber saw a sign on a property saying that it was “Coming Soon.” When they checked RMLSweb, they found the property was not yet listed. When they made inquiries with the seller’s firm they were told that it would be live in five calendar days.
  • 5.1L Unauthorized Use of a Lockbox: Seller’s listing was in pending status and had been for four days. Another agent entered property without contacting seller’s agent or making an appointment.
  • 5.1L Unauthorized Use of a Lockbox: Seller’s listing was in pending status for 18 days when another agent entered property without permission.
  • 5.1G Sold or Leased Input Over 144 Hours from Effective Date: A property sold on Monday and the status was not updated from pending to sold for four weeks.


In 2018, the Data Accuracy staff reviewed 438,452 listings and found the following informal violations.

2,888 Listing Missing Tax ID
1,816 Incorrect /Missing Information
1,547 Personal Promotion
1,172 Year Built Description
833 Owner Name
789 Missing School
623 Incorrect Address
483 Duplicate Listing
388 No Showing
371 Incorrect 1st Photo
244 Concessions
163 Missing Condo Unit
85 Partial Bathrooms 5+
80 Listing Input in Incorrect MLS Area
56 City Unknown
51 HUD
44 Is Property a Condo
6 Duplicate Sold in Different Category
6 Photograph Omit Form
4 Short Sale Not Indicated
1 Fannie Mae
1 Duplicate Listing Different Agent
0 Inaccurate Lot Size
0 Missing SqFt by Level

Following are the courtesy notifications sent to RMLS™ subscribers in 2018, largely through the work of LDC.

3,369 Multiple Owners in 1st Owner Name field
1,907 Listing is Still Pending
407 New Listing Input Over 72/24 Hours
177 Listing is Set to Expire
68 Listing Status Change Over 72/24 Hours
1 Listing is Still Pending w/Lease

You can see we have our work cut out for us in Data Accuracy! When we notice an uptick in a specific type of violation (perhaps a rule has recently changed or market conditions lead to an increase in a certain type of issue) we may also put a notification up on RMLSweb, educating subscribers before one of their listings gets flagged and we need to contact them.

RMLS™ Data Accuracy can be reached via email or by phone at (503) 236-7657 if you ever have questions about the RMLS™ Rules and Regulations, if you wonder whether a specific listing has inaccurate data, or if you want to chat with us more about the above information.

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