What are the rules?
A property photo must be loaded within 2 business days of entering a listing for all property types except “Lots and Land” and properties listed with a status of “Under Construction”.
The photo must be appropriate and accurately reflect the property for sale. It cannot have any text, cannot be digitally altered to change the physical property, and cannot contain the broker sign. The agent must own the copyright or have written permission from the owner of the photo.
Why is a photo important?
Photos greatly enhance the value of a listing to buyers and other agents. Often, a decision on whether to set up a showing is dependent on the property photos. Also, the nearly 5,000 broker and agent websites displaying the listing data are depending on the photo to make their site appear more professional and complete.
The photo is required for every status, even if the listing is cancelled or not available for showing. The MLS listing continues to serve as a professional resource for other agents, appraisers and their customers. The photo is a valued part of that resource, regardless of the status.
Remember, the MLS is a factual database of property information. If everyone is allowed to add text or alter the photos, the integrity of the data is diminished for everyone. Photos must remain free from any promotional messages.
What are the sanctions for not complying?
If a photo is not loaded within 2 business days, a reminder is sent along with an administrative fee of $25. If the photo is not loaded within 48 hours after the reminder, a $100 fine is added. The fine continues to escalate until the photo is added or service is suspended.
The fine for loading a photo that belongs to another broker or photographer without permission is $100 for a first offense. Make sure the photo does not belong to someone else.
Where can I read the full rule?
RMLS Rules and Regulations can be found here (pdf). Rule 3.2 addresses the timeline for photo entry. Rule 5.4 addresses the photo content. Rules 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3 address copyright issues.