When listing and selling property, it is to everyone’s benefit to work under a common set of guidelines. TREND’s rules provide that commonality to ensure the integrity of the information within our database. Additionally all listing information must also be in compliance with real estate guidelines set forth by other entities such as the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR’s) Code of Ethics, the Real Estate Commission, and federal and local Fair Housing authorities. These tips help ensure each listing adheres to these tenets, and that creates the most accurate and beneficial MLS database for everyone.
10 Reminders for Entering Listings
- Have a signed listing agreement. Be sure that you have a signed Exclusive Right to Sell (ER) or an Exclusive Agency (EA) listing agreement which creates an exclusive relationship, permits you to compensate and cooperate with other brokers, and authorizes you to enter the listing into the TREND database.
- All listings must be submitted to TREND within three business days (48 hours in New Jersey). if the property is located within TREND’s 13 primary counties. This helps ensure your clients get timely exposure of their listing to REALTOR.com, IDX websites and potential clients through ACMs and other MLS email.
- Enter the correct Tax ID. Doing so will allow much of the data to auto-populate from Public Records, saving you time when entering the listing. It will also ensure that the correct tax and assessment information appears on the listing report.
- Use the correct MLS Area. MLS Areas represent the county and municipality of a listing. They are the primary geographic search criteria in the MLS. Using the correct MLS Area will help ensure other agents can accurately find your listing for their clients. This applies to city information as well.
- List accurate and complete property characteristics. Most buyers have a list of needs and wants for their new home that go beyond location, price, and bedrooms. They may want a 2-car garage, gas cooking, and an in-ground pool. Enter all the characteristics that make your listing special and that will ensure potential buyers can find their dream home.
- Enter an accurate start and expiration date. The dates entered as listing and expiration dates in TREND must match the dates in the listing agreement. Since this is a legal contract, dates may not be altered in the TREND database unless the seller authorizes the change in writing.
- Keep any brokerage, contact or branding information out of Public Remarks, photos, and virtual tours. There are specific fields for this information which do not go out in client reports from the MLS or public websites. This helps respect the agency relationship which may already be in place between a consumer and a brokerage, and does not encourage a potential buyer to bypass their own agent.
- Remember to enter the Co-operative Compensation. One of the primary reasons MLS’s were formed was to facilitate offers of compensation between brokerages. So cooperative compensation (the amount of compensation being offered by the listing broker to cooperating brokers) must be specified in at least one of the three compensation fields. It must be expressed as a percentage of the gross sales price; a definite dollar amount or a combination of both.
- Don’t use another agents and/or firms listing content (including photos and text) without proper authorization. It is against MLS rules as well as copyright law to copy another agent's photos to your listing without permission of the listing broker.
- You may enter only one listing for each property. Duplicating a listing for the purpose of increasing exposure is not permitted, especially if it reflects inaccurate information, like a different area or the number of bedrooms. Duplicating listings is confusing or misleading to other members, skews statistics and can potentially have an adverse effect on CMA’s.
A win-win situation for all
As a member of the MLS community, it falls on each member to take responsibility to completely and accurately enter and maintain listings. This small but important act helps to maintain a reliable and resourceful MLS database, which is critical to you, your clients and your business. When everyone plays by the same rules, your clients win, you win, and your business wins.