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THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE ROCKBRIDGE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE
As Adopted on May 6, 1998 And Amended on January 23, 2002 And Amended on October 2, 2006 And Amended on March 14, 2007 And Amended on December 12, 2007 And Amended on March 5, 2008 And Amended on June 9, 2008 And Amended on November 5, 2008 And Amended on March 3, 2009 And Amended on July 1, 2009 And Amended on December 15, 2009

 

DEFINITIONS

The Association: The Lexington - Buena Vista- Rockbridge Association of Realtors, (LBVRAR), operators of the MLS.

The Committee: Refers to the Multiple Listing Committee of the Association. This group is a standing committee of the Association and is appointed according to the terms of the Association's Bylaws.

Compilation: Refers to any collection of information on listings of Participant members that is disseminated in any way by the Service. This shall include, but not be limited to any MLS book or computer listing or printout.

Limited Access Participant: An Affiliate member of the Association who chooses to have access to information compiled by the Service is limited to data on "sold" listings.

Multiple Listing Service: A vehicle for the accumulation, compilation and distribution of information to all participants on all listings required to be reported to the Service by participants. Referred to herein as the "MLS" or the "Service".

Participant: A business entity (corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship) considered to be a member of the Multiple Listing Service and with whom subscriber/users must be associated.

The Provider: Refers to that business entity chosen by the Multiple Listing Service to provide software and maintenance for the running of the Service.

Subscriber/User: An individual with an active real estate or real estate appraisal license (acting as a sales associate, associate broker, office manager, property manager, personal assistant, or in any similar capacity) associated with a Participant. May also be a non-licensed individual employed by a participant.

 

LISTING PROCEDURES

 

Section 1. Listing Procedures. Listings of real or personal property of the following types shall be input into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system within THREE (3) BUSINESS DAYS after all necessary signatures of seller(s)/Broker(s) have been obtained: (a) Residential and Farm (R) (b) Land (L) (c) Multi-family (M) (d) Commercial (C) Industrial (e) Commercial Land (CL) Listings of all property types shall contain a photo at time of listing input, a plat will be considered a picture for land (L) and Commercial Land (CL). Failure to comply will result in sanctions imposed as set forth in Section 76

Said listings shall be subject to a real estate broker's license, located within the territorial jurisdiction of the Association of Realtors, Lexington, Buena Vista, Rockbridge County and taken by Participants on VAR listing forms or other forms that contain identical information as that required by the Service. Copies of such listings must be made available to the Association upon demand. A participant as defined is solely responsible to the MLS for compliance with all obligations contained herein. Any firm, having a listing that they want to enter into the system in more than one listing category, shall identify the property and explain the reason to the MLS Committee Chair, approval/disapproval by the committee. The Chair will report results orally followed up with written verification to the firm and to the MLS office. The MLS office will maintain the official file. When an authorized, two category listing is sold, the category representing the sale shall be marked sold and the other category withdrawn. Unauthorized, two category listings of a firm that are brought to the attention of the MLS Committee shall be assessed an unauthorized listing fee of $25.00. The firm is responsible to pay the fee within 5 days after notification by the MLS Chair and the unauthorized listing is to be withdrawn from the system. If the firm can show that the two category listing is necessary and is approved by the MLS Committee, the listing shall remain in the system after the $25.00 fee is paid. If the fee is not paid within 5 days after being notified, the unauthorized listing will be withdrawn from the system. MLS shall not accept any listing which establishes a contractual relationship between the MLS and a participant’s client.

 

Types of Listings

The different types of listing agreements include:

Except where state law provides otherwise, the following terms shall be defined as follows when used in rules and regulations of any multiple listing service owned or operated by one or more associations of REALTORS®.

 

Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing: A contractual agreement under which the listing broker acts as the agent or as the legally recognized non-agency representative of the seller(s), and the seller(s) agrees to pay a commission to the listing broker, regardless of whether the property is sold through the efforts of the listing broker, the seller(s), or anyone else; and a contractual agreement under which the listing broker acts as the agent or as the legally recognized non-agency representative of the seller(s), and the seller(s) agrees to pay a commission to the listing broker regardless of whether the property is sold through the efforts of the listing broker, the seller(s), or anyone else, except that the seller(s) may name one or more individuals or entities as exemptions in the listing agreement and if the property is sold to any exempted individual or entity, the seller(s) is not obligated to pay a commission to the listing broker.

 

Exclusive Agency Listing: A contractual agreement under which the listing broker acts as the agent or as the legally recognized non-agency representative of the seller(s), and the seller(s) agrees to pay a commission to the listing broker if the property is sold through the efforts of any real estate broker. If the property is sold solely through the efforts of the seller(s), the seller(s) is not obligated to pay a commission to the listing broker.

 

Open Listing: A contractual agreement under which the listing broker acts as the agent or as the legally recognized non-agency representative of the seller(s), and the seller(s) agrees to pay a commission to the listing broker only if the property is sold through the efforts of the listing broker. (Amended 11/89) Note: These definitions are provided to facilitate categorization of listings in MLS compilations. In any area of conflict or inconsistency, state law or regulation takes precedence. If state law permits brokers to list property, on either an exclusive or open basis, without establishing an agency relationship, listings may not be excluded from MLS compilations on the basis that the listing broker is not the seller’s agent.

 

TYPES OF PROPERTIES: The following are some of the types of properties that may be published through the Service, including types described in the preceding paragraph that are required to be filed with the Service and other types that may be filed with the Service at Participant's option provided, however, that any listing submitted is entered into within the scope of the Participant's licensure as a real estate broker: Residential/farm: Must have a dwelling, habitable or restorable, on the property. Land/lot: Has no dwelling, but outbuildings and other improvements may be on the property. Includes pasture, cropland, woods, and grass. Multi-family: Property contains two or more family units. Commercial /Industrial: Property zoned and/or used as a business are commercial/ industrial with improvements Commercial Land: Property zoned as commercial/industrial business

Note: All listings must include real property.

 

STATUS DEFINITIONS AND GUIDELINES

 

Active: A listing contract is in force between the listing broker and seller. Note: Under Contract is a sub status of Active and will be displayed as active with a flag indicating K (kick/out) or C (contingency). 

 

Pending: Listing has a ratified Contract for purchase in which all contingencies have been satisfied including loan approval. Sellers and purchasers are just waiting for the closing date.

 

Closed: A purchase agreement has been executed and satisfied at closing. Expired: The term of the listing contract has ended.

 

Withdrawn: The listing contract remains is force between the listing broker and seller, but the listing is not currently being marketed through the MLS.

 

Canceled: The listing contract has been terminated (is no longer in force) before expiration of the term of the contract.

 

Section 1.1 Listings Subject To Rules And Regulations Of The Service. Any listing taken on a contract to be filed with the Multiple Listing Service is subject to the Rules and Regulations of the Service upon signature of the seller(s).

 

Section 1.2 Detail On Listings Filed With The Service. A Listing Agreement or Property Data Form, when filed with the Multiple Listing Service by the listing broker, shall be complete in every detail which is ascertainable as specified on the Property Data Form. Limited Service Agencies shall be required to provide in MLS details of specific services provided to their seller/client.

 

Section 1.2a Company/Agent Contact Information. When adding listings to the MLS no company/broker/agent contact or identifying information shall be included in any fields (i.e. public remarks, directions, etc.) which are available for public display to clients or customers. Contact or identifying information shall include but is not limited to company name, broker/agent name, phone numbers, websites, etc. As well, photos submitted to the MLS shall not have any signs with company or broker/agent names or numbers visible nor shall company or agent name or contact information be embedded in the photos. Further, only unbranded virtual tours may be submitted to the MLS and shall not contain any agent contact information or web links. An exception shall be made allowing for sign identification in the directions field (i.e. See “Company Name” sign on right). Failure to comply following notice from the Association Office shall result in sanctions and/or service fees/fines as set forth in Section .

 

Section 1.3 Exempted Listings. If the seller refuses to permit the listing to be disseminated by the service, the participant may then take the listing (office exclusive) and such listing shall be filed with the service but not disseminated to the participants. Filing of the listing shall be accompanied by certification signed by the seller that he does not desire the listing to be disseminated by the service.

 

Section 1.4 Change Of Status Of Listing. Any change in listed price or other change in the listing agreement shall be made only when authorized in writing by the seller and shall be filed with the service within twenty-four (24) hours (excepting weekends, holidays, and postal holidays) after the authorized change is received by the listing broker.

 

Section 1.5 Withdrawal Of Listing Prior To Expiration. Listings of property may be withdrawn from the Multiple Listing ervice by the listing broker before the expiration date of the listing agreement, provided notice is filed with the Service, Sellers do not have the unilateral right to require an MLS to withdraw a listing without the broker's concurrence. However, when a seller(s) can document that his exclusive relationship with the listing broker has been terminated, the MLS may remove the listing at the request of the seller.

 

Section 1.6 Contingencies Applicable To Listings. Any contingency or conditions of any term in a listing shall be specified and filed with the Multiple Listing Service within twenty-four (24) hours (excepting weekends, holidays and postal holidays) after authorization by seller.

 

Section 1.7 Listing Price Specified. The full gross listing price stated in the listing contract will be included in the information published in the MLS compilation of current listings unless the property is subject to auction.

 

Section 1.7a Expiration Date Not Specified. The date of expiration of a listing, though reported to the SERVICE shall not be displayed for dissemination to the general public (including clients and prospects) in any manner at any time.

 

Section 1.8 Listing Multiple Unit Properties. All properties which are to be sold or which may be sold SEPARATELY must be indicated INDIVIDUALLY in the listing agreement and submitted to the SERVICE individually.

 

Section 1.8a Sale Of Part Of A Listing. When PART of a single, listed property has been sold, proper notification should be given to the Multiple Listing Service within TWENTY FOUR (24) hours of the date of sale (excepting weekends, holidays and postal holidays).

 

Section 1.9 No Control Of Commission Rates Or Fees Charged By Participants. The Multiple Listing Service shall NOT fix, control, recommend, suggest, or maintain commission rates or fees for services to be rendered by Participants. Further, the Multiple Listing Service shall NOT fix, control, recommend, suggest, or maintain the division of commissions or fees between cooperating Participants or between Participants and non-participants.

 

Section 1.10 Expiration, Extension, And Renewal Of Listings. Any listing filed with the service automatically expires on the dates specified in the agreement unless renewed by the listing broker and notice of renewal or re-listing is filed with the service within 30 days after expiration. If notice of renewal or extension is dated within 14 days, broker will renew with same listing number in FLEX. Day 60, broker will be required to contact the Association AE to have listing renewed with original listing number in FLEX. If broker secures listing after day 61, listing will be entered in MLS with a new listing number. Any extension re-listing by the same agent/broker or renewal of a listing must be signed by the seller(s) and filed with the service.

 

Section 1.11 Termination Date On Listings. Listings filed with the Service shall bear a DEFINITE and FINAL termination date as negotiated between the listing broker and the seller.

 

Section 1.12 Jurisdiction. Only listings of the designated types of property located within the jurisdiction of the Association of REALTORS are required to be submitted to the Services. Listings of property located outside the Association's jurisdiction will be accepted if submitted voluntarily by a Participant, but cannot be required by the Service.

 

Section 1.13a Listings Of Suspended Subscriber/User When a Subscriber/User of the service is suspended from the MLS for failing to abide by a membership duty (i.e., violation of The Code of Ethics, association bylaws, MLS bylaws, MLS rules and regulations, or other membership obligation except failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges), all listings currently filed with the MLS by the suspended Subscriber/User shall, at the Subscriber/Users option, be retained in the service until sold, withdrawn or expired, and shall not be renewed or extended by the MLS beyond the termination date of the listing agreement in effect when the suspension became effective. If a Subscriber/User has been suspended from the association (except where MLS participation without association membership is permitted by law) or MLS (or both) for failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges, an association MLS is not obligated to provide MLS services, including continued inclusion of the suspended Subscriber/User listings in the MLS compilation of current listing information. Prior to any removal of a suspended Subscriber/User’s listings from the MLS, the suspended Subscriber/User shall be advised, in writing, of the intended removal so that the suspended Subscriber/User may advise his clients.

 

Section 1.13b Listings Of Suspended Participant When a participant of the Service is suspended from the MLS for failing to abide by a membership duty (i.e., violation of the Code of Ethics, Association Bylaws, MLS Bylaws, MLS Rules and Regulations, or other membership obligation including failure to pay appropriate dues, fees or charges), ALL listings currently filed with the MLS by the suspended Participant shall, be withdrawn immediately and shall NOT be renewed or extended by the MLS beyond the termination date of the listing in effect when the suspension became effective. If a Participant has been suspended from the Association an Association MLS is NOT obliged to provide MLS services, including continued inclusion of the suspended Participant's listings in the MLS compilation of current listing information. Prior to any removal of a suspended Participant's listings from the MLS, the suspended Participant should be advised IN WRITING of the intended removal so that the suspended Participant may advise his clients.

 

Section 1.14a Listings Of Expelled Subscriber/User. When a Subscriber/User of the service is expelled from the MLS for failing to abide by a membership duty (i.e. violation of the Code of Ethics, association bylaws, MLS bylaws, MLS rules and regulations, or other membership obligations except failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges), all listings currently filed with the MLS by the expelled Subscriber/User shall, at the Subscriber/User ’s option, be retained in the service until sold, withdrawn, or expired, and shall not be renewed or extended by the MLS beyond the termination date of the listing agreement in effect when the expulsion became effective. If a Subscriber/User has been expelled from the association (except where MLS participation without association membership is permitted by law) or MLS (or both) for failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges, an association MLS is not obligated to provide MLS services, including continued inclusion or the expelled Subscriber/User listing in the MLS compilation of current listing information. Prior to any removal of an expelled Subscriber/User’s listings from the MLS, the expelled Subscriber/User should be advised, in writing, of the intended removal so the Subscriber/User may advise his clients.

 

Section 1.14b Listings Of Expelled Participants When a Participant of the service is expelled from the MLS for failing to abide by a membership duty (i.e. violation of the Code of Ethics, association bylaws, MLS bylaws, MLS rules and regulations, or other membership obligations except failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges), all listings currently filed with the MLS by the expelled Participant shall, at the Participant’s option, be retained in the service until sold, withdrawn, or expired, and shall not be renewed or extended by the MLS beyond the termination date of the listing agreement in effect when the expulsion became effective. If a Participant has been expelled from the association (except where MLS participation without association membership is permitted by law) or MLS (or both) for failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges, an association MLS is not obligated to provide MLS services, including continued inclusion or the expelled Participant listing in the MLS compilation of current listing information. Prior to any removal of an expelled Participant listings from the MLS, the expelled Participant should be advised, in writing, of the intended removal so the Participant may advise his clients.

 

Section 1.15 Co-Listing. When a property is co-listed by two RMLS Participants, each Participant must enter the property into the MLS system within the 72 hour timeframe prescribed by the RMLS Rules & Regulations. SOLD information is to be reported by the co-listing agency involved in the actual sale. The co-listing agency not involved in the actual sale must delete their MLS entry.

 

Section 1.16a Listings Of Resigned Participants. When a Participant resigns from the MLS, the MLS is NOT obligated to provide services, including continued inclusion of the resigned Participant's listings in the MLS compilation of current listing information. Prior to any removal of a resigned Participant's listings from the MLS, the resigned Participant should be advised IN WRITING of the intended removal so that the resigned Participant may advise his clients.

 

Section 1.16b Resigned Subscriber/User When Subscriber/User resigns all listings with that Subscriber/User go back to the listing Broker’s name.

 

SELLING PROCEDURES

 

Section 2 Showing And Negotiations. Appointments for showing and negotiations of listed property filed with the Multiple Listing Service shall be conducted through the listing broker except under the following circumstances: (a) the listing broker gives the cooperating broker specific authority to show and/or negotiate directly, (b) after reasonable effort, the cooperating broker cannot contact the listing broker or his representative. However, the listing broker, at his option, may preclude such direct negotiations by cooperating brokers.

 

Section 2.1 Presentation Of Offers. The listing broker MUST make arrangements to present the offer AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, or give the cooperating broker a satisfactory reason for not doing so.

 

Section 2.2 Submission Of Written Offers. The listing broker shall submit to the seller all WRITTEN offers UNTIL CLOSING unless precluded by law, government rule, regulation, or agreed otherwise in writing between the seller and the listing broker. Unless the subsequent offer is contingent upon the termination of an existing contract, the listing broker SHALL recommend that the seller obtain the advice of legal counsel prior to acceptance of the subsequent offer.

 

Section 2.3 Right Of Cooperating Broker In Presentation Of Offer. The cooperating broker (subagent or buyer agent) or his representative HAS the right to participate in the presentation to the seller or lesser of any WRITTEN offer he secures to purchase or lease. He does NOT HAVE the right to be present at any discussion or evaluation of that offer by the seller or lesser and the listing broker. However, if the seller or lesser gives written instructions to the listing broker that the cooperating broker not be present when an offer the cooperating broker secured is presented, the cooperating broker HAS the right to a copy of the seller's written instructions. None of the foregoing diminishes the listing broker's right to control the establishment of appointments for such presentations.

 

Section 2.4 Right Of Listing Broker In Presentation Of Counter-Offers. The listing broker or his representative HAS the right to participate in the presentation of any counter-offer made by the seller or lesser. He does NOT HAVE the right to be present at any discussion or evaluation of a counter-offer by the purchaser or lessee (except where the cooperating broker is a subagent). However, if the purchaser or lessee gives written instructions to the cooperating broker that the listing broker not be present when a counter-offer is presented, the listing broker has the right to a copy of the purchaser's or lessee's written instructions.

 

Section 2.5 Reporting Sales To The Service. Sales shall be reported IMMEDIATELY to the Multiple Listing Service by the listing broker unless the negotiations were carried on under Section 2(a), (b), or (c) hereof in which case the cooperating broker SHALL report, sending a copy to the listing broker within ONE (1) BUSINESS DAY after acceptance. NOTE: The listing agreement of a property filed with the MLS by the listing broker should include a provision EXPRESSLY granting the listing broker authority to file the listing with MLS; to provide timely notice of status changes of the listing to the MLS; and to provide sales information including selling price to the MLS upon sale of the property.

 

Section 2.6 Reporting Resolutions Of Contingencies. The listing broker SHALL report to the Multiple Listing Service within ONE (1) BUSINESS DAY that a contingency on file with the Service has been fulfilled, renewed, or modified, or the agreement cancelled.

 

Section 2.7 Advertising Of Listing Filed With The Service. A listing shall NOT be advertised by any Participant, other than the listing broker, without the prior consent of the listing broker. An exclusive listing shall NOT be advertised by the listing broker until written authorization is received by said broker in the form of a listing agreement.

 

Section 2.8 Reporting Cancellation Of Pending Sale. The listing broker shall report MMEDIATELY to the Multiple Listing Service the cancellation of any pending sale and the listing shall be reinstated immediately.

 

REFUSAL TO SELL

 

Section 3 Refusal To Sell. If the seller of any listed property filed with the Service refuses to accept a written offer satisfying the terms and conditions stated in the listing, such fact SHALL be transmitted IMMEDIATELY to the Service and to all Participants in writing.

 

PROHIBITIONS

 

Section 4 Information For Participants Only. Any listing filed with the Service shall NOT be made available to any broker or firm not a MEMBER of the MLS without the prior consent of the listing broker.

 

Section 4.1 "FOR SALE" Signs. Only the "For Sale" signs of the listing broker may be placed on a property.

 

Section 4.2 "SOLD" Signs. Prior to closing, only the "sold" sign of the listing broker may be placed on a property, unless the listing broker authorizes the cooperating broker (selling) broker to post such a sign.

 

Section 4.3 Solicitation Of Listing Filed With The Service. Participants shall NOT solicit a listing on property filed with the Service UNLESS such solicitation is consistent with Article 16 of the REALTORS ' Code of Ethics, its Standards of Practice and its Case Interpretations. NOTE 1: This Section is to be construed in a manner consistent with Article 16 of the Code of Ethics and particularly Standard of Practice 16-4. This Section is intended to encourage sellers to permit their properties to be filed with the Service by protecting them from being solicited, prior to the expiration of the listing, by brokers and salespersons seeking the listing upon its expiration. Without such protection, a seller could receive hundreds of calls, communications, and visits from brokers and salespersons who have been made aware through MLS filing of the date the listing will expire and desire to substitute themselves for the present broker. This Section is also intended to encourage brokers to participate in the Service by assuring them that other Participants will not attempt to persuade the seller to breach the listing agreement or to interfere with their attempts to market the property. Absent the protection afforded by this Section, listing brokers would be most reluctant to generally disclose the identity of the seller or the availability of the property to other brokers. This Section does not preclude solicitation of listings under the circumstances otherwise recognized by the Standards of Practice related to Article 16 of the Code of Ethics.

 

DIVISION OF COMMISSIONS

 

Section 5 Cooperative Compensation Specified On Each Listing. The listing broker SHALL specify, on each listing filed with the Multiple Listing Service, the compensation offered to other MLS Participants for their services in the sale of such listing. Such offers are unconditional except that entitlement to compensation is determined by the cooperating broker's performance as the procuring cause of sale (or lease) or as otherwise provided for in this rule. The listing broker's obligation to compensate any cooperating broker as the procuring cause of sale (or lease) may be excused if it is determined through arbitration that, through no fault of the listing broker and in the exercise of good faith and reasonable care, it was impossible or financially unfeasible for the listing broker to collect a commission pursuant to the listing agreement. In such instances, entitlements to cooperative compensation offered through MLS would be a question to be determined by an arbitration hearing panel based on all relevant facts and circumstances including, but not limited to why it was impossible or financially unfeasible for the listing broker to collect some or all of the commission established in the listing agreement; at what point in the transaction did the listing broker know (or should have known) that some or all of the commission established in the listing agreement might not be paid; and how promptly had the listing broker communicated to cooperating brokers that the commission established in the listing agreement might not be paid.

 

NOTE 1: In filing a property with the Multiple Listing Service of an Association of REALTORS, the participant of the Service is making blanket unilateral offers of compensation to all other MLS Participants, and shall therefore specify on each listing filed with the Service, the compensation being offered to the other MLS Participants. Specifying the compensation on each listing is necessary because the cooperating broker has the right to know what his compensation shall be prior to his endeavor to sell. The compensation specified on listings filed with the Multiple Listing Service shall appear in one of two forms. The essential and appropriate requirement by an Association Multiple Listing Service is that the information to be published shall clearly inform the Participants as to the compensation they will receive in cooperative transactions unless advised otherwise by the listing broker in writing in advance of his producing an offer to purchase. The compensation specified on listings published by the MLS shall be shown in one of the following forms: 1. By showing a percentage of the gross selling price 2. By showing a definite dollar amount. The listing broker retains the right to determine the amount of compensation offered to other Participants (acting as subagents, buyer agents, or in other agency or non-agency capacities defined by law) which may be the same or different. This shall not preclude the listing broker from offering any MLS Participant compensation other than the compensation indicated on any listing published by the MLS provided the listing broker informs the other broker in writing in advance of their producing an offer to purchase and provided that the modification in the specified compensation is not the result of any agreement among all or any other Participants in the Service. Any superseding offer of compensation must be expressed either as a percentage of the gross sales price or as a flat dollar amount. The Association Multiple Listing Service shall not have a rule requiring the listing broker to disclose the amount of total negotiated commission in his listing contract, and the Association Multiple Listing Service shall not publish the total negotiated commission on a listing which has been submitted to the MLS by a Participant. The Association Multiple Listing Service shall not disclose in any way the total commission negotiated between the seller and the listing broker. The Association Multiple Listing Services shall not publish listings that do not include an offer of compensation expressed as a percentage of the gross selling price or as a definite dollar amount, nor shall they include general invitations by listing brokers to other participants to discuss terms and conditions of possible cooperative relationships .(Adopted 11/08) 

 

NOTE 2: The listing broker may, from time to time, adjust the compensation offered to other Multiple Listing Service Participants for their services with respect to any listing by advance published notice to the Service so that all Participants will be advised. 

 

NOTE 3: The Multiple Listing Service shall make no rule on the division of commissions between Participants and non-participants. This should remain solely the responsibility of the listing broker. 

 

NOTE 4: Multiple Listing Services, at their discretion, may adopt rules and procedures enabling listing brokers to communicate to potential cooperating brokers that gross commissions established in listing contracts are subject to court approval; and that compensation payable to cooperating brokers may be reduced if the gross commission established in the listing contract is reduced by a court or by a lender. In such instances, the fact that the gross commission is subject to court approval and either the potential reduction in compensation payable to cooperating brokers or the method by which the potential reduction in compensation will be calculated must be clearly communicated to potential cooperating brokers prior to the time they produce an offer that ultimately results in a successful transaction. (Adopted 11/98) 

 

NOTE 5: Nothing in these MLS rules precludes a listing participant and a cooperating participant, as a matter of mutual agreement, from modifying the cooperative compensation to be paid in the event of a successful transaction. (Adopted 11/05)

 

Section 5.1 Participant As Principal. If a Participant or any licensee (or licensed or certified appraiser) affiliated with a Participant has any ownership interest in a property, the listing of which is to be disseminated through the Multiple Listing Service, that person shall disclose that interest when the listing is filed with the Multiple Listing Service and such information shall be disseminated to all Multiple Listing Service Participants.

 

Section 5.2 Participant As Purchaser. If a Participant or any licensee (including licensed and certified appraisers) affiliated with a Participant wishes to acquire an interest in property listed with another Participant, such contemplated interest shall be disclosed in writing to the listing broker not later than the time an offer to purchase is submitted to the listing broker.

 

Section 5.3 Dual Or Variable Rate Commission Arrangements. The existence of a dual or variable rate commission arrangement (i.e., one in which the seller/landlord agrees to pay a specified commission if the property is sold/leased by the listing broker without assistance and a different commission if the sale/lease results through the effort of a cooperating broker; or one in which the seller/landlord agrees to pay a specified commission if the property is sold/leased by the listing broker either with or without the assistance of a cooperating broker and a different commission if the sales/lease results through the efforts of a seller/landlord) shall be disclosed by the listing broker by a key, code or symbol as required by the MLS. The listing broker shall, in response to inquiries from potential cooperating brokers, disclose the differential that would result in either a cooperative transaction or, alternatively, in a sale/lease that results through the efforts of a seller/landlord. If the cooperating broker is a buyer/tenant representative, the buyer/tenant representative must disclose such information to their client before the client makes an offer to purchase or lease.

 

SERVICE CHARGES

 

Section 6 Service Fees And Charges. The following service charges for operation of the Multiple Listing Service are in effect to defray the costs of the Service and are subject to change from time to time in the manner prescribed: (a) Initial Participation Fee: Any applicant for participation in the Service shall pay an application fee of $400.00 with such fee to accompany the application for membership supplied by the Service. This fee shall be applicable to those who make application for Limited Access Participant Membership. (b) Initial Subscriber Application Fee: A one time fee $100.00 shall be required of a Participant for each licensee affiliated with the Participant, including the principal broker or owner, at such time as a Participant makes application for membership to the Service. The same fee shall be paid by the Participant for each individual newly employed by or affiliated with the Participant as an independent contractor at such time as the appropriate subscriber application is filed with the Service. A Participant may be billed by the Service for a subscriber application fee in the event immediate application for membership to the Service is not made by an individual newly employed by or associated with a Participant. (c) Recurring Participation Fee: The monthly participation fee of each Participant shall be $30.00 per Subscriber member in his firm. Payment of such fees by the Participant shall be made to the MLS on or before the first day of each month. A late charge of $25.00 shall be assessed to Participants if payment is received after the 10th of the month. Fees shall not be prorated on a monthly basis and dual licensees shall not be doubly charged. A Participant may be billed by the Service for a Recurring Participation Fee in the event immediate application for Subscriber membership to the Service is not made by an individual newly employed by or associated with a Participant and who meets the requirements stated herein for Subscriber membership. (d) Other Fees: The MLS may, at the discretion of the MLS Committee, require other fees in the event it is determined that it is necessary after a review to the expenses of the Service.

 

COMPLIANCE WITH RULES

 

Section 7 Rules Compliance. The following action may be taken against a Participant for non-compliance with the Rules: (a) For failure to pay any delinquent MLS dues, required service charge or fines within one (1) month of the due date and provided that at least ten (10) days WRITTEN NOTICE has been given, the Service shall be suspended until dues, service charge or fines are paid in full. A reactivation fee of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) will apply. *Note: this is also referred to in the ByLaws Article X Section 4. (b) For failure to comply with any other rule, the provision of Sections 8 and 8.1 apply. (c) For failure to submit all information in a timely manner to the MLS fines SHALL be added to the Participant's monthly bill. The first offense will be reported to the appropriate Participant, in writing (fax), or e-mail, for immediate correction. If not corrected within 24 hours from notification, a fee of $10.00 will be added to the Participant’s next monthly bill. (d) According to Guidelines for Authorized Listings Policy, unauthorized listings violations will be levied a $25.00 fine. NOTE: Generally, warning, censure, and the imposition of a moderate fine are sufficient to constitute a deterrent to violation of the rules and regulations of the multiple listing service. Suspension or termination is an extreme sanction to be used in cases of extreme or repeated violation of the rules and regulations of the service. If the MLS desires to establish a series of moderate fines, they should be clearly specified in the rules and regulations

 

ENFORCEMENT OF THE RULES OR DISPUTES

 

Section 8 Consideration Of Alleged Violations. The Committee shall give consideration to all WRITTEN complaints from Participants and/or Subscribers (may be anonymous) having to do with violations of the Rules and Regulations. Complaints must be on the proper form and delivered to the via fax, mail, e-mail, or Association drop off. Violations include (but are not limited to) incorrect information, incomplete or lacking mandatory information, or not keeping status current. Steps for addressing such complaints will be:

1. The AE or MLS Committee Chair will record the violation on the “Suspected Violations” form and fax or e-mail a copy to the listing agent and broker to correct the problem. The listing agent will have 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to correct the problem.

2. If the problem is not corrected within the 72 hour time frame, a courtesy call is placed to see why. This is recorded on the violation form as the second notice. If the problem is not corrected by 10:00 a.m. the following business morning, a $10.00 service fee is imposed on a daily (business day) basis until a corrected MLS sheet is faxed to the AE.

3. The fine will be imposed on the monthly dues bill.

4. Refer to Section 7.

 

Section 8.1 Violations Of Rules And Regulations. If the alleged offense is a violation of the Rules and Regulations of the Service and does NOT involve a charge of alleged unethical conduct or request for arbitration, it may be administratively considered and determined by the Multiple Listing Service Committee, and if a violation is determined, the Committee may direct the imposition of sanction, provided the recipient of such sanction may request a hearing before the Professional Standards Committee of the Association in accordance with the Bylaws and Rules and Regulations of the Association of REALTORS within twenty (20) days following receipt of the Committee's decision. If, rather than conducting an administrative review, the Multiple Listing Committee has a procedure established to conduct hearings, the decision of the Multiple Listing Committee may be appealed to the Board of Directors within twenty (20) days of the tribunal's decision being rendered. Alleged violations involving unethical conduct shall be referred to the Association’s Grievance Committee for processing in accordance with the professional standards procedures of the Association. If the charge alleges a refusal to arbitrate, such charge shall be referred directly to the Board of Directors of the Association of REALTORS.

 

Section 8.2 Complaints Of Unethical Conduct. All other complaints of unethical conduct shall be referred by the Committee to the Association Executive of the Association for appropriate action in accordance with the professional standards procedures established in the Association's Bylaws.

 

Section 8.3 Applicability Of Rules To Users And/Or Subscribers. Non-principal brokers, sales licensees, appraisers and others authorized to have access to information published by the MLS are subject to these Rules and Regulations and may be disciplined for violations thereof provided that the user or subscriber has signed an agreement acknowledging that access to and use of MLS information is contingent on compliance with the Rules and Regulations. Further, failure of any user or subscriber to abide by the Rules and/or any sanction imposed for violations thereof can subject the Participant to the same or other discipline. This provision does not eliminate the Participant's ultimate responsibility and accountability for all users or subscribers affiliated with the Participant.

 

Section 8.4 Arbitration Facilities. Arbitration facilities of an association of REALTORS® may be invoked by a nonmember participant in the multiple listing service, who can also be compelled to arbitrate using the association’s facilities. (Amended 11/96).

 

MEETINGS

 

Section 9 Meetings Of MLS Committee. The Multiple Listing Service Committee shall meet for the transaction of its business at such time and place to be determined by the Committee or at the call of the Chairperson.

 

Section 9.1 Meetings Of MLS Participants. The Committee may call meetings of the Participants in the Service to be known as meetings of the Multiple Listing Service.

 

Section 9.2 Conduct Of The Meetings. The Chairperson, or Vice-Chairperson, shall preside at all meetings or, in their absence; a temporary Chairperson from the membership of the committee shall be named by the Chairperson or, upon his failure to do so, by the Committee.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY OF MLS INFORMATION

 

Section 10 Confidentiality Of MLS Information. ANY information provided by the Multiple Listing Service to the Participants shall be considered official information of the Service. Such information shall be considered CONFIDENTIAL and EXCLUSIVELY for the use of Participants and real estate licensees affiliated with such Participants and those Participants who are licensed or certified by an appropriate state regulatory agency to engage in the appraisal of real property and licensed or certified appraisers affiliated with such Participants.

 

Section 10.1 MLS Not Responsible For Accuracy Of Information. The information published and disseminated by the Service is communicated verbatim, without change by the Service, as filed with the Service Participant. The service does NOT verify such information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. Each Participant agrees to hold the Service harmless against any liability arising from any inaccuracy or inadequacy of the information such Participant provides.

 

OWNERSHIP OF MLS COMPILATIONS* AND COPYRIGHTS

*The term “MLS Compilation”, as used Sections 11 and 12 herein, shall be construed to include ANY format in which property listing data is collected and disseminated to the Participants, including, but not limited to, bound book, loose-leaf binder, computer data base, card file, or any other format whatever. Change ownership of compilations—disseminated to the Participants included, but not limited to. photographs, images, graphics, audio and video recordings, virtual tours, drawings, descriptions, remarks, narratives, pricing information, and other details or information related to listed property.

 

Section 11 Authorization To Disseminate Information. By the act of submission of any property listing data to the Association's MLS the Participant represents that he has been authorized to grant and also thereby does grant authority for the Association to include the property listing data in its copyrighted MLS compilation and also in any statistical report on "Comparables." (a) We believe this information to be accurate, but we have not independently verified it. All buyers are urged to verify any information of importance to them.

 

Section 11.1 Right, Title And Interest Of MLS Compilation. All right, title, and interest in each copy of every Multiple Listing Compilation created and copyrighted by the Lexington-Buena Vista-Rockbridge Association of REALTORS and in the copyrights therein, shall at all times remain vested in the Lexington-Buena Vista-Rockbridge Association of REALTORS.

 

Section 11.2 Compilation Lease Arrangement. Each Participant shall be entitled to 1 copy from the Lexington-Buena Vista-Rockbridge Association of REALTORS each MLS Compilation sufficient to provide the Participant and each person affiliated as a licensee (including licensed or certified appraisers) with such Participant as well as the right of each of these licensees to access the Service's computer by modem for information. The Participant shall pay, for each such copy and computer access, the rental fee set by the Association.** ** This section should not be construed to require the Participant to lease a copy of the MLS compilation for any licensee (or licensed or certified appraiser) affiliated with the Participant who is engaged exclusively in a specialty of the real estate business other than listing, selling, or appraising the types of properties which are required to be filed with the MLS and who does not, at any time, have access to or use of the MLS information or MLS facility of the Association. Participants shall acquire by such lease only the right to use the MLS Compilations in accordance with these rules.

 

USE OF COPYRIGHTED MLS COMPILATIONS

 

Section 12 Distribution. Participants shall at all times maintain control over and responsibility for each copy of any MLS Compilation leased to them by the Association of REALTORS, and shall NOT distribute ANY such copies to persons other than subscribers who are affiliated with such Participants as licensees, those individuals who are licensed or certified by an appropriate state regulatory agency to engage in the appraisal of real property and any other subscribers as authorized pursuant to the governing documents of the MLS. Use of information developed by or published by an Association's Multiple Listing Service is strictly limited to the activities authorized under a Participant's licensure(s) or certification and unauthorized uses are prohibited. Further, none of the foregoing is intended to convey "Participation" or “Membership" or any right of access to information developed by or published by the Association's Multiple Listing Service where access to such information is prohibited by law.

 

Section 12.1 Display. Participants, and those persons affiliated as licensees with such Participants, shall be permitted to display the MLS Compilation to prospective purchasers ONLY in conjunction with their ordinary business activities of attempting to locate ready, willing, and able buyers for the properties described in said MLS Compilation. MLS logo is approved for chartered associations of Realtors and members. The design may not be used as a lapel pin or any type of jewelry. There will be no variation of the design of the standard MLS mark.

 

Section 12.2 Reproduction. Participants or their affiliated licensees shall NOT reproduce any MLS Compilation or any portion thereof EXCEPT in the following limited circumstances. Participants or their affiliated licensees MAY reproduce from the MLS Compilation, and distribute to prospective purchasers, a reasonable* number of single copies of property listing data contained in the MLS Compilation which relate to any properties in which the prospective purchasers are or may, in the judgment of the Participant or their affiliated licensees, be interested. *It is intended that the Participant be permitted to provide prospective purchasers with listing data relating to properties which the prospective purchaser has a bona fide interest in purchasing or in which the Participant is seeking to promote interest. The term "reasonable," as used herein, should therefore be construed to permit only LIMITED reproduction of property listing data intended to facilitate the prospective purchasers' decision-making process in the consideration of a purchase. Factors which shall be considered in deciding whether the reproductions made are consistent with this intent, and thus "reasonable" in number, shall include, but are not limited to, the number of listings in the MLS Compilation, how closely the types of properties contained in such listings accord with the prospective purchaser's expressed desires and ability to purchase, whether the reproductions were made on a selective basis, and whether the type of properties contained in the property listing data is consistent with a normal itinerary of properties which would be shown to the prospective purchaser. Reproductions made in accordance with this rule shall be prepared in such a fashion that the property listing data of properties other than that in which the prospective purchaser has expressed interest, or in which the Participant or the affiliated licensees are seeking to promote interest, does not appear on such reproduction. The actual listing broker SHALL BE IDENTIFIED as such, by MLS code or otherwise, on ALL displays of property information provided to a client or prospect by a Participant. A Participant SHALL NOT, under ANY circumstances, display, in ANY manner, information on ANY property listed with the Service by another Participant so as to give the impression that such property is listed with his company. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to preclude any Participant from utilizing, displaying, distributing, or reproducing property listing sheets or other compilations of data pertaining exclusively to properties currently listed for sale with the Participant. ANY MLS information, whether provided in written or printed form, provided electronically, or provided in any other form or format, is provided for the exclusive use of the Participant and those licensees affiliated with the Participant who are authorized to have access to such information. Such information may NOT be transmitted, retransmitted or provided in any manner to any unauthorized individual, office or firm. None of the foregoing shall be construed to prevent any individual legitimately in possession of current listing information, "sold" information, "comparables" or statistical information from utilizing such information to support an estimate of value on a particular property for a particular client. However, only such information that the Association or Association-owned Multiple Listing Service has deemed to be non-confidential and necessary to support the estimate of value may be reproduced and attached to the report as supporting documentation. Any other use of such information is unauthorized and prohibited by these Rules and Regulations.

 

USE OF MLS INFORMATION

 

Section 13 Limitations On Use Of MLS Information. Use of information from MLS compilation of current listing information, from the Association's "Statistical Report," or from any "sold" or "comparable" report of the Association's or MLS for public mass-media advertising by an MLS Participant or in other public representations may not be prohibited. However, ANY print or non-print forms of advertising or other forms of public representations based in whole or in part on information supplied by the Association or its MLS must CLEARLY demonstrate the period of time over which such claims are based and must include the following, or substantially similar, notice: "Based on information from the Rockbridge MLS for the period date through date."

 

CHANGES IN RULES AND REGULATIONS

 

Section 14 Changes In Rules And Regulations. Amendments to the Rules and Regulations of the Service shall be by a majority of a quorum vote of the Members of the Multiple Listing Service Committee, subject to approval by the Board of Directors of the Association of REALTORS.

 

LOCK BOX POLICY

 

 

Section 15 Lockbox Policies. A lock box is a container affixed to property containing a key to gain access to the property being marketed by a Participant in the MLS. Participants in the MLS or their salespersons (and licensed certified appraisers affiliated with the Participants) are authorized under certain conditions to open these lock boxes under terms specified by the listing broker. Cooperating brokers and sales licensees, whether functioning as subagents of the listing broker or as agents of potential purchasers, must contact the listing broker to disclose their agency status and to arrange appointments to show listed property even if the property has a lock box affixed to it unless the listing broker has given specific permission (through information published in the MLS or otherwise) to show the property without first contacting the listing broker. The Rockbridge Multiple Listing Service elects to engage in the sale, rental, or distribution of lock boxes to its Members. The lock box system is a service provided by Supra and facilitated by the Association-owned and operated Rockbridge MLS. Every participating broker automatically allows his/her associate brokers and salespersons to participate. Non-participating brokers do not allow their associate brokers and salespersons to participate. Licensed appraisers who are LAP members and who are not affiliated with a broker may participate on an independent basis, at the discretion of the MLS. In such instances, the lease agreement and user agreement shall be signed by the key holder and by a principal, partner, or corporate officer of the key holder’s firm. Eligibility is subject to execution of a user agreement with the Rockbridge MLS. Administration of this system is under the auspices of the MLS Committee and the Rockbridge MLS. The Lock Box Security Requirements as established by the National Association of REALTORS shall be the minimum security measures adopted and implemented in connection with such lock box system.

 

Section 15.1 Lock Box Security Requirements. Upon execution of the User Agreement, for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the system’s security and to prevent unauthorized use, the Keyholder shall: 1. Keep the Suprakey in holder’s possession or in a safe place at all times. 2. Not disclose PIN number to any third party. 3. Not lend the Suprakey to any person, for any purposes, or permit use by another person. 4. Not assign, transfer or pledge the Suprakey or any rights there to, 5. Follow all additional security procedures that may be specified by the MLS. 6.  Prior to leaving subject property, close and lock any windows or doors opened or unlocked by the Keyholder or by anyone admitted by the keyholder. 7. Not allow anyone admitted to the property by Keyholder to remain in the property after Keyholder leaves without consent of the property owner(s). 8. Return house key(s) promptly to the Lockbox upon leaving the property.

 

Section 15.2 Receipt Of Suprakey And PIN Number. The MLS requires that the keyholder attend an instructional training program prior to the issuance of a Suprakey and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

 

Section 15.3 Identification Requirements. Should keyholder lose or forget their PIN access number, the MLS shall require keyholder to personally appear at the MLS office in possession of the following forms of identification: a valid Virginia Driver’s License (or other picture identification) and a valid Virginia Real Estate License or Appraiser License pocket card.

 

Section 15.4 Updating Suprakey Codes. Upon execution of the User Agreement, keyholder acknowledges that the Suprakey requires a daily esync in cradle.

 

Section 15.5a Lost/Stolen Suprakeys. The MLS shall charge key holders and their cosignatories with the joint obligation of immediately reporting lost, stolen, or otherwise unaccountable for keys to the MLS by telephone and in writing. The Keyholder shall also promptly execute and deliver to the MLS Committee a notarized affidavit detailing the facts surrounding the loss, theft or inability to account for the Suprakey. Keyholder shall report any theft to the appropriate law enforcement agency within 24 hours of said event. Upon receipt of notice, the MLS shall take any steps deemed necessary to re-secure the system. To replace a lost or stolen Suprakey, the keyholder shall pay a fee of $75.00 for the replacement Suprakey. To replace a lost or stolen Cradle for the SupraKey, the holder shall pay a fee of $100.00 for the replacement of Cradle. Payment of this fee shall not discharge keyholder of any liability associated with the lost or stolen Suprakey.

 

Section 15.5b Lost/Stolen Lockbox. The MLS shall charge lockbox users and their cosignatories with the joint obligation of immediately reporting lost, stolen, or otherwise unaccountable for lockboxes to the MLS by telephone and in writing. To replace a lost or stolen lockbox, the lockbox holder shall pay the current replacement cost plus tax, shipping and handling.

 

Section 15.6 Audit/Inspections. The MLS shall maintain current records as to all keys issued and in inventory. There shall be an audit, at least annually, of all keys, whether issued or in inventory. This requirement may be satisfied by a physical inventory or, alternatively, by receipt of a statement signed by the key holder and the designated REALTOR, broker of record, or, in the case of an Affiliate Member, by a principal, partner, or corporate officer of the key holder’s firm, attesting that the key is currently in possession of the key holder.

 

Section 15.7 Authorization And Release Of Liability. Lockboxes may be placed on a property with written permission from the Seller (as identified on the REALTOR Listing Sheet - specifically the release of liability as identified on the VAR Form).

 

Section 15.8 Revocation Of Lockbox System Privileges. Keyholder use of the lockbox system shall be revoked immediately and the Suprakey deactivated upon the occurrence of any of the following events: a. Termination of the key holder’s affiliation with a principal participating broker or principal licensed appraiser. Any portion of the system in possession of key holder must be surrendered to the Association office within one business day.

b. Failure of keyholder to comply with any of the terms and conditions set forthherein, including but not limited to, the provision for security or the revisions of the User Agreement.

 

Section 15.9 Keyholder And Principal’s Responsibilities. For as long as keyholder shall have an activated Suprakey, REALTOR Principal Broker and Principal Appraiser shall maintain supervisory authority over keyholder. Keyholder shall be actively engaged in the real estate profession as defined by the National Association of REALTORS. 1. Principal Broker/Appraiser and Keyholder shall maintain current licenses. 2. With execution of User Agreement, keyholder is liable for all duties, responsibilities and obligations consistent with use of the Suprakey. 3. Keyholder shall promptly notify the MLS (within 24 hours) should they cease to hold a valid license. 4. Keyholder must comply with all MLS Rules, Regulations, and Policies for use of the lockbox and Suprakey. 5. Keyholder must keep the MLS advised, in writing, of their current business and home address. 6. All participants must contact the listing broker to arrange for “showing” appointments (even with a lockbox on the property). The listing broker may give specific permission via MLS to show the property without verbal consent. 7. REALTORS are responsible for removing a lockbox within three (3) business days of the complete execution (settlement) of a contract for sale of the property, within three (3) business days of the withdrawal or expiration date of the listing on such property, or as otherwise directed by the property owner. 8. If a keyholder decides to: 1) no longer participate in the system, 2) no longer remain an active licensee, or 3) transfer to a different company, then the keyholder is responsible for notifying the lockbox system administrator of such action. In the case of discontinuing the service, the keyholder is responsible for turning in the Suprakey, all Lockboxes in their possession, and fulfilling any other requirements as agreed upon in the User Agreement. The keyholder is responsible for all equipment damages.

 

Section 15.10 Disciplinary Action. A keyholder or a firm’s Principle Broker/ Appraiser not abiding by the Lockbox rules and regulations may be brought before the MLS Committee for review and possible punitive action, including monetary fine(s) and/or penalties.

 

Section 15.11 Failure To Comply And Violations. Any failure to comply with these terms of the User Agreement shall constitute an event of material default. Upon the occurrence of such default, the User Agreement may be terminated and keyholder shall be subject to loss of access to the system in addition to fines and other penalties as determined by the policies of the MLS.

 

Section 15.12 Miscellaneous. If any provision of the User Agreement or these rules and regulations shall be held to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, such holding shall not affect the validity, legality or enforceability of the remaining provisions. These rules and regulations, and policies of the MLS, as referred to in the User Agreement, shall include any and all amendments thereto, which may be adopted from time to time. 22

 

Section 15.13 Fees For Lockbox And Suprakey Use.

1. An annual fee shall be assessed each keyholder. The user fee shall be reviewed annually and adjustments made as necessary. A portion thereof, as determined by the MLS Committee, may be used to provide for a system administrator. 2. Keyholder, by executing the User Agreement, agrees to pay the annual fee. If keyholder has not paid the annual fee by the due date, a late fee shall be imposed and key holder’s Suprakey will be deactivated until the fee and late penalty are paid in full. Failure to pay may also jeopardize MLS membership. 3. All new User applicants will be charged an application fee of $50.00. 4. No refund, in part or in full, shall be issued if keyholder terminates subscription for any reason.

 

Section 15.14 Fines And Penalties Schedule.

1. Any User found to be in violation by the MLS Committee of any of the rules and regulations shall be subject to the following fines:

a. First Offense - Within ten (10) days of receipt of final action by the MLS Committee, the keyholder must pay a $500 fine. b. Second Offense (within a one (1) year period) - Within ten (10) days of receipt of final action by the MLS Committee, the keyholder must pay a $1,000 fine. c. Third Offense (within a one (1) year period) - Within ten (10) days of receipt of final action by the MLS Committee, the keyholder must pay a fine of $1,000. Also, keyholder will be terminated from use of the system for a period of not less than one (1) year. After the one year period, the keyholder may re-apply for use of the system. Approval or disapproval of the applicant’s subscription shall be at the discretion of the MLS Committee.

2. Any User found to be in violation that does not pay their fine within ten (10) days of receipt of notice shall also be subject to the following:

a. An additional 10% (applicable to fine) penalty. b. Loss of ability to update Suprakey. c. At the discretion of the MLS Committee, removal from participation in the MLS. d. At the discretion of the Board of Directors, removal from the Association of REALTORS.

 

INTERNET DATA EXCHANGE (IDX)

 

Section 16 What is IDX? IDX is essentially rules and enabling technologies allowing MLS Participants to give each other permission to display each other’s listings on their web sites; each Participant giving this permission also receives reciprocal permission from other participants. Only the listings of Participants who have not opted out of IDX can be displayed on other Participants’ sites. Display is subject to the following rules of the MLS. The Rockbridge MLS has chosen to allow our MLS Provider, FBS data systems, flexmls, to provide an IDX solution for the Association. The following rules take into consideration the contractual agreement between FBS data systems, flexmls and the Rockbridge MLS. Participants who choose another method for doing IDX must submit their plan to the MLS Committee for final approval. IDX affords MLS participants the option of authorizing display of their active listings on other participants’ Internet Web sites.

 

Section 16.1 Who gets to do IDX? IDX will be open to all Participants of the Rockbridge MLS that hold real estate brokerage licenses. Participants will automatically be included unless they have signed an “opt-out form”. If requested, by a participant, promptly provide basic downloading of all current listings and may not exclude any listings from the information which can be downloaded or displayed under IDX  except those listings for which a Participant has withheld consent.

 

Section 16.2 Which listings are included? All active “exclusive right to sell” listings of a firm will be displayed through IDX. “Active” listings will include: Extended, and Under Contract.

 

Section 16.2.1. Participants must notify the MLS of their intention to establish an IDX site and must make their site directly accessible to the MLS for purpose of monitoring/ensuring compliance with applicable rules and policies.

 

Section 16.2.2. Participants must protect IDX information from misappropriation by employing reasonable efforts to monitor and prevent “scraping” or other unauthorized accessing, reproduction, or use of the MLS database.

 

Section 16.2.3. Listings or property addresses of sellers who have directed their listing brokers to withhold their listing or property address from display on the Internet (including, but not limited to, publicly-accessible Web sites or VOWs) shall not be accessible via IDX sites. Notwithstanding this prohibition, listing brokers may display on their IDX sites or their other Web site(s) the listing or property address of consenting sellers.

 

Section 16.2.4. Participants may select the listings they choose to display on their IDX sites based only on objective criteria including but not limited to factors such as geography, or location, list price, type of property, cooperative compensation offered by listing brokers, type of listing, or the level of service provided by the listing firm. Selection of listing to be displayed on an IDX site must be independently made by each participant.

 

Section 16.2.5. Participants must refresh all MLS downloads and refresh all MLS data at least once every seven (7) days.

 

Section 16.2.6. Except as provided in these rules, an IDX site or a participant or user operating an IDX site may not distribute, provide, or make any portion of the MLS database available to any person or entity.

 

Section 16.2.7. When displaying listing content, a participant’s or user’s IDX site must clearly identify the name of the brokerage firm under which they operate in a readily visible color and typeface.

 

Section 16.3 What is displayed? Confidential information fields are prohibited from being displayed in IDX. The following fields will be displayed under the IDX solution offered by the Rockbridge MLS:

IDX display is the client display with option of photo page to also include listing agent and office.

*Since the remarks field will be displayed, be sure to limit information in this field to that which is appropriate for public consumption. Participants must disclose on their web sites that all MLS Participants’ may not be represented in the IDX search.

 

Section 16.4 Identifying the listing firm and agent. The listing broker must be identified immediately adjacent to the listing information and must be consistent in size and style that is used to display listing data.

 

Section 16.5 Changing other brokers’ listing data. Participants are prohibited from altering other brokers’ data.

 

Section 16.6 Participants favoring their own listings. The results of a consumer search of IDX must be displayed neutrally; that is, ordered by list price, geography, or some other neutral characteristic.

 

Section 16.7 Restricting Use. Participants are required to indicate on their websites that “the information being provided is for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.” This serves as notice to those using the website that they may not use the data found there as the basis for a business enterprise, etc.

 

Section 16.8 Disclosures and Disclaimers. The following disclosures must be included in the Participants’ websites. a) A notice indicating to consumers when the data on the site was last updated from the MLS. b) A notice on each page where listing data is displayed naming the MLS and explaining that the data comes from the IDX program of the MLS. c) A notice explaining any logo the MLS uses for its program. d) A notice explaining that the listings come from many brokers, not just the participant, and where consumers can find the name of the listing broker or other information. e) A notice on each page where listing data is displayed indicating that the accuracy of the data is not guaranteed (e.g., We believe this information to be accurate, but we have not independently verified it. All buyers are urged to verify any information of importance to them”.) f) A copyright notice of the MLS on each page where listing data is displayed.

 

Section 16.9 Control and branding of Participants’/Agents’ sites. IDX is limited to all Participants that participate, agent sites are permitted to display IDX information with Managing Participants approval.

 

MLS WAIVERS

 

Section 16.10 Outside Association’s Jurisdiction1. A MLS Participant whose business office is located outside the jurisdiction of Rockbridge County, (including the City of Lexington and the City of Buena Vista) may not be assessed any charges or subscription fees for participation in the Rockbridge MLS with respect to any individual employed by or affiliated as an independent contractor with the Participant who does not actually have access to and use of the Service. Such exemption shall be effective for a period of one year, subject to annual renewal. The exemption, if recommended by the MLS Committee, shall be effective when approved by the Board of Directors. The exemption for any individual shall automatically be revoked upon the individual’s utilization of the Service in any manner. A subscription waiver form shall be submitted annually and signed by the MLS Participant and the individual requesting such exemption.

 

Section 16.11 Revocation of Exemption. Failure of the MLS Participant to submit such a request shall automatically revoke the exemption and subject the MLS Participant to payment to the MLS.

 

Section 17 Orientation. Any applicant for the MLS participation and any licensee (including licensed or certified appraisers) affiliated with an MLS participant who has access to and use of MLS-generated information shall complete an orientation program of no more than eight (8) classroom hours devoted to the MLS rules and regulations and computer training related to MLS information entry and retrieval and the operation of the MLS within thirty (30) days after access has been provided.

 

VOW:

Section 19.1. (a) A Virtual office website (“VOW”) is a Participant’s Internet website, or a feature of a Participant’s website, through which the Participant is capable of providing real estate brokerage services to consumers with whom the participant has first established a broker-consumer (as defined by state law) where the consumer has the opportunity to search MLS Listing Information, subject to the Participant’s oversight, supervision, and accountability. A non-principal broker or sales licensee affiliated with a Participant may, with his or her Participant’s consent, operate a VOW. Any VOW of a non-principal broker or sales licensee subject to the Participant’s oversight, supervision, and accountability. (b) As used in Section 19 of these Rules, the term “Participant” includes a Participant’s affiliated non-principal brokers and sales licensee—except when the term is used in the phrases “Participant’s consent” and “Participant’s oversight, supervision, and accountability”. References to “VOW” and “VOWs” include all VOWs, whether operated by a Participant, by a non-principal broker or sales licensee, or by an Affiliated VOW Partner (“AVP”) on behalf of a Participant. (c) “Affiliated VOW Partner” (“AVP”) refers to an entity or person designated by a Participant to operate on behalf of the Participant, subject to the Participant’s supervision, accountability and compliance with the VOW Policy. No AVP has independent participation rights in the MLS by virtue of its right to receive information on behalf of a Participant. No AVP has the right to use MLS Listing Information except in connection with operation of a VOW on behalf of one or more Participants. Access by an AVP to MLS Listing Information is derivative of the rights of the Participant on whose behalf the AVP operates a VOW. (d) As used in Section 19 of these Rules, the term “MLS Listing Information” refers to active listing information and sold data provided by Participant’s to the MLS and aggregated and distributed by the MLS to Participants.

 

Section 19.2 (a) The right of a Participant’s VOW to display MLS Listing Information is limited to that supplied by the MLS(s) in which the Participant has participatory rights. However, a Participant with offices participating in different MLSs may operate a master website with links to the VOWs of the other offices. (b) Subject to the provisions of the VOW Policy and these Rules, a Participant’s VOW, including any VOW operated on behalf of a Participant by an AVP, may provide other features, information, or functions, e.g. Internet Data Exchange (“IDX”). (c) Except as otherwise provided in the VOW Policy or in these Rules, a Participant need not obtain separate permission from other MLS Participants whose listings will be displayed on the Participant’s VOW.

 

Section 19.3 (a) Before permitting any consumer to search for or retrieve any MLS Listing Information on his or her VOW, the Participant must take each of the following steps:

(i) The Participant must first establish with that consumer a lawful broker-consumer relationship (as defined by state law), including completion of all actions required by state law in connection with providing real estate brokerage services to clients and customers (hereinafter “Registrants”). Such actions shall include, but are not limited to, satisfying all applicable agency, non-agency, and other disclosure obligations, and 26 execution of any required agreements.

(ii) The Participant must obtain the name of, and a valid email address for, each Registrant. The Participant must send an email to the address provided by the Registrant confirming that the Registrant has agreed to the terms of use (described in subsection (d) below). The Participant must verify that the email address provided by the Registrant is valid and that the Registrant has agreed to the Terms of Use. (iii) The participant must require each Registrant to have a user name and password, the combination of which is different from those of all other Registrants on the VOW. The Participant may, at his or her option, supply the user name and password or may allow the Registrant to establish its user name and password. The Participant must also assure that any email address is associated with only one user name and password. (b) The Participant must assure that each Registrant’s password expires on a date certain but may provide for renewal of the password. The Participant must at all times maintain a record of the name, email address, user name, and current password of each Registrant. The Participant must keep such records for not less than 180 days after the expiration of the validity of the Registrant’s password. (c) If the MLS has reason to believe that a Participant’s VOW has caused or permitted a breach in the security of the MLS Listing Information or a violation of MLS rules, the Participant shall, upon request of the MLS, provide the name, email address, user name, and current password, of any Registrant suspected of involvement in the breach or violation. The Participant shall also, if requested by the MLS, provide an audit trail of activity by any such Registrant. (d) The Participant shall require each Registrant to review, and affirmatively to express agreement (by mouse click or otherwise) to, a “Term of Use” provision that provides at least the following:

(i) That the Registrant acknowledges entering into a lawful consumer-broker relationship with the Participant:

(ii) That all information obtained by the Registrant from the VOW is intended only for the Registrant’s personal, non-commercial use;

(iii) That the Registrant has a bona fide interest in the purchase, sale, or lease of real estate of the type being offered through the VOW;

(iv) That the Registrant will not copy, redistribute, or retransmit any of the information provided except in connection with the Registrant’s consideration of the purchase or sale of an individual property;

(v) That the Registrant acknowledges the MLS’s ownership of, and the validity of the MLS’s copyright in, the MLS database. (e) The Terms of Use Agreement may not impose a financial obligation on the Registrant or create any representation agreement between the Registrant and the Participant. Any agreement entered into at any time between the Participant and Registrant imposing a financial obligation on the registrant or creating representation of the Registrant by the Participant must be established separately from the Term of Use, must be prominently labeled as such, and may not be accepted solely by mouse click. (f) The terms of Use Agreement shall also expressly authorize the MLS, and other MLS Participants or their duly authorized representatives, to access the VOW for the purposes of verifying compliance with MLS rules and monitoring display of Participants” listings by the VOW. The Agreement may also include such other provisions as may be agreed to between the Participant and the Registrant.

 

Section 19.4. A Participant’s VOW must prominently display an e-mail address, telephone number, or specific identification of another mode of communication (e.g., live chat) by which a consumer can contact the participant to ask questions, or get more information, about any property displayed on the VOW. The Participant, or a non-principal broker or sales licensee licensed with the Participant, must be willing and able to respond knowledgeably to inquires from Registrants about properties within the market area served by this Participant and displayed on the VOW.

 

Section 19.5. A Participant’s VOW must employ reasonable efforts to monitor for, and prevent, misappropriation, “scraping”, and other unauthorized use of MLS Listing Information. A Participant’s VOW shall utilize appropriate security protection such as firewalls as long as this requirement does not impose security obligations greater than those employed concurrently by the MLS. (NOTE: MLSs may adopt rules requiring Participants to employ specific security measures, provided that any security measure required does not impose obligations greater than those employed by the MLS.)

 

Section 19.6 (a). A Participant’s VOW shall not display listing or property addresses of any seller who has affirmatively directed the listing broker to withhold the seller’s listing or property address from display on the internet. The listing broker shall communicate to the MLS that the seller has elected not to permit display of the listing or property address on the Internet. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Participant who operates a VOW may provide to consumers via other delivery mechanisms, such as email, far, or otherwise, the listings of sellers who have determined not to have the listing for their property on the Internet. (b) A Participant who lists a property for a seller who has elected not to have the property listing or the property address displayed on the Internet shall cause the seller to execute a document that includes the following (or a substantially similar) provision: Seller Opt-Out Form 1. Please check either Option a or Option b a. ( ) I have advised my broker or sales agent that I do not want the listed property to be displayed on the Internet. OR b. ( ) I have advised my broker or sales agent that I do not want the address of the listed property to be displayed on the Internet. 2. I understand and acknowledge that, if I have selected option a, consumers who conduct searches for listings on the Internet will not see information about the listed property in response to their search. ____________ initials of seller, (c) The participant shall retain such forms for at least one year from the date they are signed, or one year from the date the listing goes off the market, whichever is greater.

 

Section 19.7. (a) Subject to subsection (b), a Participant’s VOW may allow third-parties (i) to write comments or reviews about particular listings or display a hyperlink to such comments or reviews in immediate conjunction with particular listings, or (ii) Display an automated estimate of the market value of the listing (or hyperlink to such estimate) in immediate conjunction with the listing. (b) Notwithstanding the foregoing, at the request of a seller the participant shall disable or discontinue either or both of those features described in subsection (a) as to any listing of the seller. The listing broker or agent shall communicate to the MLS that the seller has elected to have one or both of these features disabled or discontinued on all Participant’s websites. Subject to the foregoing and to Section 19.8, a Participant’s VOW may communicate the Participant’s professional judgment concerning any listing. A Participant’s VOW may notify its customers that a particular feature has been disabled “at the request of the seller.”

 

Section 19.8. A Participant’s VOW shall maintain a means (e.g., e-mail address, telephone number) to receive comments from the listing broker about the accuracy of any information that is added by or on behalf of the Participant beyond that supplied by the MLS and that relates to a specific property displayed on the VOW. The Participant shall correct or remove any false information relating to a specific property within 48 hours following receipt of a communication from the listing broker explaining why the data or information is false. The Participant shall not, however, be obligated to correct or remove any data or information that simply reflects good faith opinion, advice, or professional judgment.

 

Section 19.9. A Participant shall cause the MLS Listing Information available on its VOW to be refreshed at least once every three (3) days.

 

Section 19.10. Except as provided in these rules, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® VOW Policy, or any other applicable MLS rules or policies, no Participant shall distribute, provide, or make accessible any portion of the MLS Listing Information to any person or entity.

 

Section 19.11. A Participant’s VOW must display the Participant’s privacy policy informing Registrants of all of the ways in which information that they provide may be used.

 

Section 19.12. A Participant’s VOW may exclude listings from display based only on objective criteria, including, but not limited to, factors such as geography, list price, type of property, cooperative compensation offered by listing broker, and whether the listing broker is a REALTOR®.

 

Section 19.13. A Participant who intends to operate a VOW to display MLS Listing Information must notify the MLS of its intention to establish a VOW and must make the VOW readily accessible to the MLS and to all MLS Participants for purpose of verifying compliance with these Rules, the VOW Policy, and any other applicable MLS rules or policies.

 

Section 19.14. A Participant may operate more than one VOW himself or herself or through an AVP. A Participant who operates his or her own VOW may contract with an AVP to have the AVP operate other VOW’s on his or her behalf. However, any VOW operated on behalf of a Participant aby an AVP is subject to the supervision and accountability of the Participant.

 

Section 19.15. A Participant’s VOW may not make available for search by, or display to, Registrants any of the following information: a. Expired, withdrawn, or pending (“under contract”) listings. b. The compensation offered to other MLS Participants. c. The type of listing agreement, i.e., exclusive right to sell or exclusive agency. d. The seller’s and occupant’s name(s), phone number(s), or e-mail address(es). e. Instructions or remarks intended for cooperating brokers only, such as those regarding showings or security of listed property. f. Sold information (Important Note: If sold information is publicly accessible in the jurisdiction of the MLS, Subsection 19.15 (f) must be omitted.)

 

Section 19.16. A Participant shall not change the content of any MLS Listing Information that is displayed on a VOW from the content as it is provided in the MLS. The Participant may, however, augment MLS Listing Information with additional information not otherwise prohibited by these Rules or by other applicable MLS rules or policies as long as the source of such other information is clearly identified. This rule does not restrict the format of display of MLS Listing Information on VOWs or the display on VOWs of fewer than all of the listings or fewer than all of the authorized information fields.

 

Section 19.17. A Participant shall cause to be placed on his or her VOW a notice indicating that the MLS Listing Information displayed on the VOW is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS. A Participant’s VOW may include other appropriate disclaimers necessary to protect the Participant and/or the MLS from liability.

 

Section 19.18. A Participant shall cause any listing that is displayed on his or her VOW to identify the name of the listing firm and the listing broker or agent in a readily visible color, in a reasonably prominent location, and in typeface not smaller than the median typeface used in the display of listing data.

 

Section 19.22. A Participant shall cause any listing displayed on his or her VOW that is obtained from other sources, including from another MLS or from a broker, not participating in the MLS, to identify the source of the listing.

 

 

Section 19.23. A Participant shall cause any listing on his or her VOW obtained from other sources, including from another MLS or from a broker not participating in the MLS, to be searched separately from listings in the MLS.

 

Section 19.24. Participants and the AVPs operating VOWs on their behalf must execute the license agreement required by the MLS.

 

Section 19.25. Where a seller affirmatively directs their listing broker to withhold either the seller’s listing or the address of the seller’s listing from display on the internet, a copy of the seller’s affirmative direction shall be provided to the MLS within 48 hours.