Recent MLS Changes Print

Expanded Selections 11/13: Effective November 4th, the number of available selections will be expanded from 4 to 5 for Exterior, Interior and Miscellaneous features in Residential and Farm Listings.

Changes for Land Listings 11/13: Effecitve November 4th, the following changes will be made to Land Listings:

  • The "Gas Description" field will become a non-required field.
  • The "Sewer Description" field will include the option of "None".
  • The "None Available" option will be changed to "None" for the "Water Description" field.

Days on Market Recalculated 9/13: The method for calculating Days on Market in FlexMLS will be changed to exclude "off market" periods such as when a listing is in a pending, expired or withdrawn status. The implementation of this change will result in a one-time recalculation of Days on Market of all listings in the FlexMLS database.

IDX Rules Revised 9/13: A complete revision to the IDX rules will go into effect in September. The most significant changes in IDX data include:

  • List Date will no longer be a prohibited field. Listing Brokers/Sellers may opt out of having the List Date displayed on an IDX listing.

  • Active Rental Listings may be displayed, with rules established as to required and prohibited fields.

  • Sold data may be displayed in IDX for Residential, Farms and Multi-Family listings, with rules established as to required and prohibited fields.

The compliance and enforcement process was also revised.

ListHub Approved as new MLS Broker Benefit 8/13: ListHub will soon become a new MLS benefit to provide Brokers with an easy-to-use platform to manage syndication of their listings. A 60-90 day period is anticipated for the ListHub implementation.

Additional Floor Selection 7/13: "Laminate" will be added as a selection for Floors.

New Status 7/13: A new status will be added: REO Pending -- Awaiting Bank Signature (REOP.)

Bedford City Change 7/13: Bedford City will revert to a Town as of July 1st. This municipality change will be reflected in the MLS - and will automatically be updated in all MLS listings (all statuses). No action is needed by listing agents and MLS Secretaries.

Rental Listings 3/13: The number of required fields in a Rental Listing will be reduced, effective in early April.

Water Heaters 1/13: Two new optional MLS fields will be added to the MLS -- Water Heater Type (tank, tank-less, hybrid and other) and Water Heater Energy Source (electric, natural gas, propane, wood, geothermal, solar and other.)

Short Term Rentals Allowed 10/12: A new field will be added to the Water Class section of the MLS Input Sheet to indicate whether short term rentals are allowed.

Lockbox Field Expanded 10/12: The Lockbox Y/N field will be changed to a drop down menu in early October, with three choices: 1 RVAR, 2 Call LA or 3 None.

Copying Photos without Permission 10/12: A new MLS rule goes into effect October 1st prohibiting the copying and use of MLS photos from another agent without obtaining prior permission. The agent who originally placed the photos in the MLS may notify the using agent that they do not have permission to use their photos. The issue will be turned over to the MLS Monitoring Committee in three days if the photos remain on the listing. Abuses reported to the MLS Monitoring Committee may result in a fine to the offending agent of $100 per listing and removal of the unauthorized photos by MLS staff is not corrected or appealed within the three day time period. "Photo" refers to all "images", "videos", and "virtual tours."

No Listings by Contract 10/12: A new MLS rule goes into effect October 1st prohibiting property from being entered into the MLS when the owner of record (at the time of the listing) is neither a party to the listing nor has authorized the listing's submission to the MLS.

Mapping Listings 10/12: A new MLS rule goes into effect October 1st requiring listings to be mapped correctly in the MLS system. An unmapped listing or a listing mapped incorrectly shall be considered an incorrect listing, as defined in the MLS Monitoring Guidelines.

Password Change 8/12: The period of time has been extended for a required password change from 60 days to 360 days. A "password change" warning will be displayed when agents log in beginning 7 days before the password change must be completed.

Owner/Seller Financing Field 7/12: The MLS now includes a new, optional field: Owner/Seller Financing Y/N. To search for listings with owner/seller financing available, perform a Full Search. You will find Owner/Seller Financing Available on the "Rmks & Misc" tab.

CDOM Extended 7/12: The MLS requires properties to be off the market for 90 days before the Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) calculation is reset to zero. Prior to July 10th, CDOM reset after a property was off the market for 30 days.

Copying Listings and Photos 4/12: The #1 complaint received by the MLS relates to the copying of photos (e.g., when the 'new' listing agent copies the photos from the previous listing agent.) As of April 2nd, a feature in FlexMLS will be activated to limit an MLS users' ability to copy listings (including photos) to only those listings within his/her own company.

MLS Grace Period 4/12: As of April 2nd, the MLS Monitoring Guidelines will provide a two-day grace period in which a violation may be corrected, thus averting a $100 fine. This grade period will apply to most, but not all, MLS Monitoring violations.

Owner of Record Rule 4/12: As of April 2nd, the MLS rules will be changed to require the name of the legal owner or the legal owner's authorized representative to be reflected in the MLS listing. The reference to "as deeded" will be eliminated.

Virtual Tours and Videos 4/12: As of April 2nd, the MLS Rules related to Virtual Tours will be expanded to include videos. Branded virtual tours or videos may contain agent and office promotion or identification. Unbranded virtual tours or videos may only contain photos or other forms of marketing pertaining to the property.

Green Building and Energy Ratings 3/12: With input from the Roanoke Regional Home Builders Association, the MLS added fields related to green building and energy ratings.

New Photo Rules 9/1/11: The MLS requires that the primary image be of or from the specific property. If the listing is proposed construction, the primary image may be of a similar structure, if so disclosed in Public Remarks. 

NAR has mandated that Sellers may expressly direct that photographs of their property not appear in the MLS. A letter to this effect, signed by the Seller, shall be submitted by the Listing Agent to the MLS within 48 hours of entering the listing in the MLS. Any Listing Agent facing this scenario should consult MLS staff for guidance. 

IDX Rule Changes 9/1/11: NAR changed two IDX rules: 

       1.  All listings displayed pursuant to IDX shall identify the listing firm in a reasonably prominent location. Such identification shall be displayed in a readily visble color and typeface not smaller than the median used in the display of listing data. (This rule used to require that the listing firm be identified in all views.) 

      2.  Listings obtained through IDX must be displayed separately from listings obtained from other sources, including information provided by other MLSs. Listings obtained from other sources (e.g., from other MLSs etc.) must display the source from which each such listing was obtained. (NAR eliminated the requirement that IDX listings be searched separately from listings obtained from other sources.) 

Rental Properties 7/11/2011: The MLS added a new property type for residential properties for rent. MLS Members are not required to enter rentals into the MLS system. 

Internet Access Field 6/30/11: An optional field was added to all property types in the MLS.

Lengthen Time Frame for Changing to Sold 6/15/11: The time frame for changing the status of a listing to “Sold” was lengthened from 7 to 10 business days.

Front View of Property Required 6/15/11:
In residential and multi-family listings, one photo is required to show the front view of the property. NOTE: This does not have to be the primary photo.

REALTOR® Sold FSBOs Optional 6/15/11
The requirement to enter any for sale by owner properties sold by REALTORS® was changed to an option.

Do Not Show Process Revised 6/15/11: The process for implementing a Do Not Show period during the term of a listing was revised:

  • A listing must be in the MLS system for at least 5 business days before a Do Not Show period can be referenced in the listing.

  • A letter signed by the seller – or in extenuating circumstances a letter signed by the listing broker – must be sent by the listing agent to the MLS staff with the seller’s requested Do Not Show dates on or before the start of the Do Not Show period.

  • Remainder of the process remains unchanged. The showing instructions must be changed to Call Listing Agent. Access to the lockbox must be removed. The beginning and end dates of the Do Not Show period must be specified in the Private Remarks field.

Cumulative Days on Market 3/31/11: CDOM (Cumulative Days on Market) was added to the MLS as a private field that only appears on private reports. The creation of the CDOM field has absolutely no affect on the DOM field. Once a listing leaves the Active status and is later re-listed (by the same broker or different broker), the CDOM field keeps counting (incrementing). CDOM only resets to zero when (1) 30 days have past before the property is re-listed or (2) the property closes.

REO Field 3/31/11: The label for the optional field previously known as “Foreclosed” was changed to “REO”.

Rental Data Base 2/11: The Board of Directors approved the MLS Policy Committee’s proposal to add a rental data base to FlexMLS. The design process is underway.
Condominiums 11/10: The POA fields in the MLS were changed to accommodate Condominiums.

Detached and Attached 11/10: The Residential Type selections of Single-family, Townhouse, Condominium and Other were deleted and replaced with the selections Detached and Attached.

Views 11/10: A Views field was added to the MLS, with the drop down entries of Lake, River, Mountain, City and Golf Course.

Green Certification Complete 11/10: The green certification fields in the MLS were expanded to add a checkbox for “certification complete – attached certification document(s) required.”

MLS Boundaries Changed 11/10: The MLS boundary between Roanoke County South and Roanoke County West were changed to follow the Roanoke County High School District line between Glenvar and Cave Spring High Schools.

New MLS Numbering and Map Overlay System 11/17/10: The MLS introduced a new numbering and map overlay system.

MLS Fines Increased 10/1/09:  Effective October 1st, all MLS violation fines will be increased to $100.

WyldFyre Contract Ends 8/8/09: The MLS will no longer provide or support the WyldFyre product, as of 8/8/09. WyldFyre allows an MLS user to download the entire MLS onto their computer, enabling access to MLS data without an Internet connection. The widespread advent of Wi-Fi has greatly diminished the use of the WyldFyre product. At an annual cost of $30,000 to the MLS, the Board of Directors decided not to renew the contract.

New MLS Violation 8/1/09:  Canceling a listing for the purpose of re-entering the listing as "New", by the same listing agent and broker within a 30 day rest period, will result in a $100 fine to be imposed by the MLS Monitoring Committee beginning August 1st.  The MLS status of canceling a listing is to be used only when a listing broker and seller agree to terminate a listing agreement and release all professional obligations related to the listing agreement.

MLS Redefines Water-Related Properties 7/1/09:

Waterfront Condos/Townhouses: Waterfront Condos or Townhouses that have contiguous land and water contact between the specific condo or townhouse listed, should be marked “Water Class” as “Waterfront” and the length of the waterfront shall be specified in the field as 0.0.

Water Access Condos/Townhouses: Condos or townhouses that do not have contiguous land and water contact between the specific condo or townhouse listed but do have access to water by slip, ramp (not a public ramp unless located within the boundary of the community) or community boat dock should be marked “Water Class” as “Water Access Only”. The community must have contact with the water at some point to be considered a water access community but “Water Access” need not be specified in the recorded property description.

FlexMLS “Session Timeout” Security Measure 5/19/09: When an MLS user logs into their Flex account, a cookie is written to their hard drive that is used to track user inactivity. If an inactivity period of 90 minutes occurs, the user will automatically be logged out of FlexMLS.

FlexMLS “Single Sign-On”Security Measure 5/19/09: When an MLS user logs into their FlexMLS account, FlexMLS will automatically invoke a security measure that prevents multiple logins. If you are logged into FlexMLS on one computer, but then you need to work in FlexMLS on another computer, FlexMLS will automatically log off the first computer, allowing you to login on the second computer. The “Single Sign-On” security measure does not interfere with a user’s ability to have multiple FlexMLS browser windows open at the same time.

FlexMLS Web Address Changes 5/19/09: FlexMLS has a new URL:

Password Change Required Every 60 Days 4/09: As an MLS security measure, MLS passwords now expire every 60 days. When it is time to change your password, FlexMLS will automatically prompt you to change your password. Remember: When you change your password for FlexMLS, you will need to use your ‘new’ password to login to Instanet’s online forms.

FlexMLS “Acting As” Feature 4/09: This security feature allows a broker to authorize User A to access the FlexMLS account of User B without User A needing to know User B’s password. The Broker Authorization form provides more details.

Total Acreage/Lot Dimensions Fields 4/09: FlexMLS now enforces the already existing rule that one or the other of these two fields is REQUIRED. If you attempt to edit (price change, make pending, text change, etc.) as listing that both of these fields empty, you will not be able to save those changes without first supplying either the Total Acreage or the Lot Dimensions. Only Residential, Land and Multi-Family property types are affected.

Pending Lien Holder’s Approval Contingency 10/1/08: A listing agent with Seller’s permission and Lien Holder’s requirement for participation may change a listing to add the contingency

“Pending Lien Holder’s Approval” (PLHA) within 24 hours of Seller’s acceptance of a contract that requires the approval of the Lien Holder. The first line of the private Realtor to Realtor remarks must be changed to read “Contract Accepted by Seller Pending Lien Holder’s Approval”. Once you have added the PLHA contingency to a listing, a yellow contingency flag with the letter (L) will appear on any PLHA listings. A search of Active listings will pull up any PLHA listings meeting the search criteria. NOTE: Should the Seller chose not to add the PLHA contingency, then the existing MLS rules would apply and the listing status would need to be changed to pending within 24 hours (or by 5PM next business day) of delivery to all parties of a fully ratified contract.

Optional Short Sale Disclosure 7/1/08: MLS Participants, with Seller’s permission, may, but are not required to, disclose potential short sales to other MLS Participants and Subscribers. When disclosed, Participants may, at their discretion, advise other Participants 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 listing and cooperating Participants.

Sharing Supra Keys Prohibited 10/07: Any Broker, Agent or Affiliate found guilty of giving a Supra key to a non-MLS member may be fined up to $5,000 by the MLS Board of Directors. The giving or sharing of Supra keys with non-MLS members (such as Realtors who are not members of the Roanoke Valley MLS or even members of the public) not only violates the Supra lease but also undermines the security of the entire system.

Sharing MLS Access Prohibited 10/07: Any Broker, Agent or Affiliate found guilty of giving his/her MLS password to a non-MLS member may be fined up to $2,500 by the MLS Board of Directors.