MLS Rules & Compliance

As the authoritative source for all Central Texas real estate information, our MLS Rules and Regulations (including Appendix C) help maintain our position as the market’s most complete, accurate, and up-to-date listing information service. These rules set the foundation for an orderly marketplace where competitors cooperate and facilitate real estate transactions.

Upcoming MLS Compliance Changes

As you’ve seen throughout the summer, ACTRIS is undergoing a critical shift in the education and compliance of our MLS Rules and Regulations. You’ve asked for a larger focus on the education surrounding our rules, and we hear you. What we’re bringing to market is a revamped compliance plan that focuses primarily on the education of our rules, support of our subscribers, and correction of MLS data. You’ve emphasized to us: when the data is clean, you’re able to efficiently conduct your business.

This MLS Rules & Compliance page will be your hub for resources and updates as we launch our compliance shift later this year. Look for an updated set of rules and regulations, an in-depth Compliance Plan designed to simplify the lengthy, official rules, as well as some visual resources to help explain the categorization of our rules and transparently show the penalty path for repeat offenders.

New MLS Rules Categories & Escalation Process

Mls Compliance Categories Infographic

The ACTRIS Rules and Regulations are in process of being overhauled to align with new NAR MLS policy requirements and make our MLS Rules easier to understand and follow. Moving forward, each of the rules will fall into one of three categories:

  • Category 1: Relating to any listing information provided by a participant or subscriber
  • Category 2: Relating to any IDX and VOW display rules
  • Category 3: Relating to cooperation with a fellow participant or subscriber, listing copyright violations, misuse of MLS data/tools, unauthorized MLS access, and mandatory submission of listings to the service

All three of these categories would begin with education first and proceed into escalating penalties upon multiple violations. In most cases, we’ve found that MLS rules violations are not intentional and require a simple check-in from ACTRIS to explain the rule, the correction needed, and how to avoid a violation in the future. However, repeatedly ignoring MLS rules will not be tolerated. Starting later this year, repeated violation of an MLS rule will be met with escalating penalties, including fines and/or mandatory hearings or education.

For example, a repeated violation of the same Category 1 rule would escalate from courtesy education-focused notices to an official warning, and eventually to a fine or required workshop. For Category 2 and Category 3 rules, the escalation path would move more quickly to fines and mandatory hearings due to the severity of violations in these categories.

Here's What YOU Can Do

It’s going to take all of us to raise the overall level of professionalism in the MLS. In our new compliance culture, ACTRIS will be counting on you to foster accountability and compliance in our marketplace. We’ll be your partners in this important work by providing you with resources in the coming weeks to clearly explain the rules, simple steps to anonymously report compliance issues, and guidance for starting a conversation with your peers about why rules matter in our marketplace.

In the meantime, you can still prepare for the changes by doing the following:

  • Reviewing the current ACTRIS Rules and Regulations. There’s never a bad time to review our current rules to familiarize yourself with the expectations of listing input and the market. Even though there will be some new rules and adjustments upcoming, the primary change will be to deliver a cleaner, more modern, and approachable ruleset PDF. A majority of the rules in place today will not change with this updated document, so it’s time to study up.
  • Discuss with your brokerage and peers. At your weekly sales meeting, bring up the topic of ACTRIS compliance and see what questions your office has. Discussion among your peers to provide a shared understanding of the rules is critical to providing an efficient and orderly marketplace. Questions that no one has the answer to? Contact us at [email protected] and we’ll provide clarity.
  • Review your current Listing Data Checker notices. Listing Data Checker is the powerful tool that ACTRIS staff uses to monitor data input and correct data when necessary. Paying attention to these notices and taking the appropriate action when requested ensures data is cleaned as quickly as possible.

To help brokers and agents track their notices, there’s a Listing Data Checker widget on the Matrix homepage, which will link to a ledger of your personal data violation history, notification to review, and any potential violations that you have reported. Brokers, you’ll also see all of your office’s violations.

Listing Data Checker Screen Shot

Reporting an MLS Violation

Automated Notices: ACTRIS has dozens of business rules tied into the system which will trigger an automated notice that requires action by the listing agent to ensure the listing is in compliance. You can help maintain the integrity of your MLS by being attentive to notices sent from [email protected] and reviewing how you can prevent violations in the future.

Reporting a Violation: The MLS also allows you to manually report possible data violations to ABoR staff for further review. To report a violation, please send a detailed email to [email protected] so an MLS team member can review the listing in question and respond accordingly.

Every day you help us build a better, more orderly marketplace. It's our commitment to listen, learn, and work with brokers and agents to improve the overall data quality and user experience of our MLS. When the MLS has clean, comprehensive data, your clients benefit, which is why we’re also asking for your help when it comes to the NAR Clear Cooperation Policy.

How Are MLS Violations Resolved?

The ACTRIS MLS generally operates with an “education-first” approach when assessing violations—meaning if the listing agent or broker takes the proper steps to resolve the violation, there will be no fines assessed to the agent and/or broker. Instructions to resolve a violation will be included in the email notification sent to your inbox and an ABoR staff member will be able to assist with how to resolve the issue.

Our Most Common Violations

Below are examples of the most common notices and/or violations sent to our subscribers. Note: A Notice is not necessarily a violation, but action may need to be taken to avoid a violation.

Violation Name Notices % Of Total (Rounded)
Expiring Within 7 Days 7489 45%
Pending Over 4 Months 1796 11%
Incorrect Parcel ID 912 5%
Temporary Off The Market 90 Days 853 5%
Missing EES Document 761 5%
Virtual Tour Violation 650 4%
Internet Remarks Violation 554 3%
Sold Listing Not Reported 545 3%
General Compliancy 466 3%
Incorrect Address 380 2%
Photo Check Violation 338 2%
Inappropriate Agent Remarks 306 2%
Incorrect Inappropriate Directions 213 1%
Incorrect Area 198 1%
Incorrect Ownership Type 185 1%
No Photo 169 1%
Temporary Off The Market 180 Days 164 1%
Incorrect School District 155 1%
Incorrect Zip Code 118 1%
Untimely Status Change 113 1%
Sold Listing Not Reported (Condo) 79 <1%
Incorrect City 78 <1%
Incorrect Mapping 73 <1%