September 30, 2010
October FYI

The Board of Directors of MLS recently made revisions to the Rules, both to comply with changes mandated by the National Association of Realtors® and to address local issues. A full copy of the current Rules and newly revised MLS Policy and Procedures may be found at Specifically, changes were made to the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program, the disclosure of short sales and the disclosure of any compensation issues regarding short sales.

The Board has discussed and decided to make available in IDX, information about listings that have sold in addition to the information available for active listings. The complete revised IDX Rules are covered in Section 15 of the Rules. The sold listing data is only available through a RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard) data feed – it is not available by any other means.

No action is required on your part if you do not want to include information about sold listings on your corporate web site. If you do, you should call us or email ( and request further information about the technical requirements and set up costs to assist you with your web site and IDX options.

MLS added a detail on listings under ‘financing available’ in 2009 to indicate that a property was or may be subject to a ‘short sale’. Participants are obligated to disclose potential short sales if reasonably known to the Participant. (Section 5.0.1)

When a ‘short sale’ is disclosed, the Participant has the option to indicate to other Participants in the ‘private remarks’, whether and how any reduction in the gross commission established in the listing contract, required by the lender as a condition of approving the sale, will be apportioned between the listing and cooperating Participants. This is important because these disclosures may alter the compensation being offered to sub-agents and buyers agents.

You may want to provide specific language in the “private remarks” on advice of your legal counsel. MLS Counsel has suggested the following: “any reduction in gross commission, as established in the listing contract, required by the lender as a condition of approval of the sale, will be apportioned between the listing and cooperating brokers in the same proportion as the gross commission would otherwise been divided and the amount paid to cooperating brokers reduced accordingly”.

MLS has developed and offers a suggested form (this is not a required form) for use with the recent flexMLS changes regarding exports of listing information for Internet publication - MLS #10. The VOW (Virtual Office Web site) Rules provide that a seller may instruct their listing broker to exclude a listing from certain features that may appear on a VOW.

MLS has always provided the option to allow a seller to instruct their listing broker to exclude their property from any and/or all Internet publication. Few if any sellers have or do. That detail has been combined with the recently implemented ‘export’ changes. If full permission is granted by the seller for Internet publication and display on a VOW, no action is required on your part. The flexMLS system will default to full permission as it has always done.

The MLS appreciates your business and support and looks forward to your comments, questions and suggestions regarding any subject. Contact or call (414) 778-5400.