Effective August 12, 2013
On July 17, 2013, the HIS Board of Directors adopted revisions to the MLS Rules. The newly adopted rules have been posted in REsearch for your review, but the most significant changes are provided below for your easy reference. To see the full set of the rules, please click on this link: MLS Rules & Regulations
Listing Submittal (Section 3.07. Time of submission.)
Upon the execution of a contractual agreement with the seller, all required listings must be submitted to the service within four (4) calendar days. Previously, submission of all required listings was required within 48 hours of the execution of contractual agreements. This change was made to accommodate subscribers who relied on support persons or their PBs or BICs to release their listings and found it difficult to release listings over weekends and holidays.
(Note: A “required listing” as defined in the rules is any listing where the listed property is listed subject to a real estate broker’s license, is of a required property type, and is located on the island of Hawaii or Kauai.)
The processing fees that may be incurred for not submitting a required listing to the service within the required timeframe are $100 for the first instance, and $500 for each subsequent instance.
Please remember that if the seller does not wish to have his/her property to be submitted to the MLS, that you must submit a completed and signed “Certification to Withhold Property from Hawaii Information Service” form to the service to be allowed to keep the listing from the MLS. A copy of this form may be obtained through this link, Certificate to Withhold Property from the MLS.
Listing Photographs (Section 3.07. Time of submission.)
Within four (4) calendar days of the release of any listing, regardless of type and status, at least one photograph of the listed property must be loaded to the listing. (Formerly, photos were due within 7 days of the listing release). This rules revision applies to all listings released from August 12, 2013.
- Please note that if there are structures on the listed property, at least one photo of the frontal view of the primary structure must be provided.
- In the case of vacant land listings, at least one photograph of the listed property must be provided.
- Images of maps, plat maps, GPS readings, directions, etc., are not considered photographs that comply with the rules, and may not be used in place of photographs of the listed properties.
Failure to provide photos complying with the rules within four (4) calendar days may cause the incurrence of processing fees. The processing fees pertaining to photo related violations are $50 per listing initially, and then $50 per listing per week thereafter until a proper photo is provided.
Status Changes (Section 3.15. Change of status of listing.)
Within four (4) calendar days, all status changes must be submitted to the service. Previously, all status changes except for that of “S/Sold” were due within 2 business days of the changes and changes of status to “S” were required within 5 business days.
Failure to submit status changes within four (4) calendar days may cause the incurrence of processing fees. The processing fees pertaining to status change violations are $50 per listing for the first instance, and $100 per listing for each subsequent instance.
You will note that all due dates have been set to within four (4) calendar days. It was thought that it would be easier for all participants to remember if all that was due was within the same timeframe.
Other recent revisions to the rules involved minor grammar and wording changes.
The most common rules violations regard failure to submit rules compliant listing photographs on time, and prohibited content in the Public Remarks.
Please remember that at least one (1) photograph of the listed property is due presently within 7 days of the release of each listing. Effective August 12, 2013, a proper photograph will be due within four (4) calendar days. This pertains to listings of all statuses, even those for properties sold prior to their being submitted to the service for sales reporting purposes.
Also, at least one photograph of the listed property must remain with the listing after it is sold.
Other photo related violations that have occurred on a less frequent basis are the submission of photos that have people, or the listing brokers’ or agents’ signs in them.
There have also been reports of listing agents copying listing photos from listings belonging to other brokers and agents for use in their listings without the consent of the other brokers or agents. This practice is prohibited by the rules.
Public Remarks Content
The second most frequent rules violation is the inclusion of contact information in the Public Remarks.
- No Contact info or mention of any entity permitted
Please note that not only is the contact info of the listing agent and seller or owner of the listed property not permitted in the Public Remarks, but also that of any other entity except for that of the utilities companies or governmental authorities who may provide important information about the listed properties. The mention of and contact information for escrow companies, financing institutions, contractors, etc., are not permitted. Information about sales offices and their hours of business for developments is also not allowed.
- No “call to action” language permitted
Also not permitted in the Public Remarks is language or verbiage that may be perceived by prospective buyers as invitation or direction to contact the listing agent directly. This includes call to action verbiage such as “Call listor”, “Contact listor”, “Call now”, “Call for information”, “Call for showing”, etc.
- No URL/Website addresses permitted
There should not be any URL or website addresses in the Public Remarks, except those for utilities companies, governmental authorities, or community associations, and unbranded virtual tours of the listed properties, provided that there is no advertising, marketing or promotional content at these sites or active links to such content. Website addresses for VRBO, YouTube videos, and for contractors or other entities are not allowed. The Public Remarks may not be used as a venue for any advertising, marketing or promotional effort for any purpose.
Listor Ownership or Relationship Disclosures belong in the Private Remarks
These disclosures are required in the Private Remarks, and cannot appear in the Public Remarks.
- Listor ownership disclosure is required if the listing agent is the seller/owner of the listed property.
- Listor relationship disclosure is required if the listing agent has a familial or business relationship with the owner/seller. This includes and is not limited to, the disclosure that the listing agent is listing a property belonging to another broker or salesperson of his/her office. If in doubt, it is best to disclose.
There are many brokers who believe that these disclosures are required in the Public Remarks under the State RE Administrative Rules, however, we have verified with the REB on several occasions that these disclosures are not required in advertising. The state requires that these disclosures be in writing to the respective buyers and their representatives prior to the acceptance of any offers. Please note that HIS does not represent that the inclusion of the disclosures in the Private Remarks meets the state requirements.
Note that it need not be disclosed that the seller/owner of the property is a real estate licensee if he/she is not listing his/her own property. However, this disclosure is encouraged by the State, and is not prohibited from appearing in the Private Remarks.
Should you have any questions about rules issues, please feel free to send an email to Diana@HawaiiInformation.com or call 1-800-628-3121. Ext 172. Mahalo!
Photo by Henrique Vicente.