Unauthorized Use of MLS Data

Reproduction and Display of MLS Data – How to Avoid a $1,000 Fine

Improper reproduction and display of MLS data is a serious violation and subject to an automatic $1,000 fine. To avoid a costly lesson, it’s important to understand this rule as you create your advertisements, whether they are postcards, fliers, newsletters, or some similar communication. To learn more, see section III of the Rules Guide for Easy Compliance (pdf).

Advertising of Listing

The Rule and its Purpose: A listing shall not be advertised by any Participant, other than the listing broker, without the prior consent of the listing broker. For example, if you list open houses on your Web site, you may not list open houses for the listings of other brokers unless you contact them and obtain permission. The listing broker owns the listing and is responsible for all promotion of the property. Advertising the listing of another broker, without permission, is also a violation of Commerce Department rules.

Fines for Violations: The broker is the MLS Participant and all fines are billed to the broker. Unpaid fines can result in the entire office losing MLS access. RMLS will issue a single warning per office for this violation. It does not matter if the web site in violation is owned by the broker or an agent in the brokers office. It does not matter whether there is one listing or 10 listings of 10 different brokers appearing on the web site. After the first warning, all subsequent violations are fined a minimum of $100 per violation. RMLS may increase the fine for offices where agents repeatedly violate the rule.

Documentation: This rule may be found in the RMLS Rules and Regulations in Section 5.6 (Advertising of Listing Filed With The Service). View the full RMLS Rules and Regulations (pdf).