NWMLS sets its sights on violators

(Editor’s Note: I always get excited when I get the chance to introduce a new contributor to Rain city Guide! Today, I get to introduce Reba Haas who I’ve been following for quite a while over on Judy’s Book. She leads a local real estate team in Seattle and through her comments on RCG, she has proven that she can provide some always welcome insight into the local market! You can learn more about her at Team Reba, contact her directly at reba@teamreba.com , or simply leave a comment below!)

For those that are thinking I’m bringing back up the topic of NWMLS forms, I’m not. What I am interested in bringing up is the topic that the local MLS seems to be cracking down on violators of various rules. Not only are they cracking down and following up more on violations but they’re not providing as many “get out of jail free” cards – meaning they are doing less suspensions on fines even for first time offenders.

[photopress:handcuffs.jpg,full,alignright]Am I the only one who has noticed this? Is anyone familiar with the reasons why they are starting to get tighter on policies now? I’d LOVE to know but that is secondary to my delight in that it is happening. California recently enacted some changes to licensing requirements for new agents in an effort to improve the quality of agents entering the field and Oregon has done so as well – but rather than decreasing new applicants they’ve gone up, most likely because Oregon is still doing well with respect to real estate values increasing. If the local membership groups that we all belong to want to help bring up the standards I am all for it.

16 thoughts on “NWMLS sets its sights on violators

  1. I’ve enjoyed your posts on Judy’s Book as well and look forward to your RCG contributions.

    I’ve noticed stricter enforcement as well. Welcome news.

    I’d be interested in other’s experiences reporting violations. I’ve always held my tongue regarding minor infractions like not leaving biz cards, not posting primary photos, use of directional signs though I have reported a couple instances, prior to the CDOM change, of agents relisting without a significant price change or update.

  2. My experience is they do not respond to agents complaints, only complaints made by broker/owners.

    I believe the reason for the crack-down and stricter enforcement is because certain companies are flaunting the rules, advertising other agents listings on their blogs, listing “days on market” against MLS rules and such, and they do not want to selectively enforce the rules, as some of these rule-breaking companies are quick to scream “unfair!” to the media.

  3. Thanks, John, good to know that people are enjoying the writing I do. I didn’t realize you followed me so much but Ali (our mutual web designer) has told me that you check out our stuff occasionally.

    I’ve found with the minor infractions that it doesn’t hurt to sometimes contact agents directly about the issues. In some cases people are just so new they can’t keep track of all the regulations. Other times it is people knowingly flaunting the rules. Thankfully, in most cases people thank me for making them aware of the problem before someone else – and particularly the NWMLS. If you have any issues with directional signs you can report those directly to the SKCAR office – they have a self-policing policy on that issue and they work with the area cities to keep sign ordinances followed. I’m on a couple of the committees at SKCAR and signs are a constant problem. With each city having their own sign codes and issues with agents (just ask anyone doing business in Redmond) it can be a real drag when a few dirty the pool for the rest of us.

  4. I’ve noticed that the ones crying loudest about an “uneven playing field” are often the ones who are most guilty of breaking the rules or of trying to do an end-run around the rest of the folks who DO follow them. Or maybe they just think they’re so superior that the rules don’t apply to them. If so, it’s arrogance in its worse form.

  5. However, I do think that the rules have to be redone to accommodate new technologies and innovative advances. The rule clearly doesn’t accommodate somone blogging about property specific, as Redfin does. The consumer likes that. Hey, I LIKE that! It’s great stuff. Maybe the rules needs to be changed?

    And if it is perceived that ONLY the innovative companies are “breaking the rules”, how do you explain stopping newer companies from using newer technologies in a Consumer-Centric way?

    When does Traditional have to stand aside, and let something new happen, for a change.

    Would LOVE to hear from the attorneys on this one.

  6. No one is stopping newer companies from using newer technologies.

    But I do think that copyrighted materials and the rules of membership should be respected. It is very telling if a certain company continually flaunts and breaks the rules. I think most thoughtful people would agree that if one doesn’t like the rules of an organization, one should either not belong, join and attempt to change the rules, or quit and start their own organization. I think that’s more honorable than using the organization for ones needs and abuse the rules of membership, then threaten the organization with a lawsuit if not allowed to continue to break the rules that are there specifically to keep the playing field level and fair to all.

  7. Marlow,

    Redfin blogging about property is a newer company using a newer concept. People like it. I sure wish I could do it. What’s the harm? the owner gets exposure. I do think they really can’t say anything bad about the house, but if they are saying, “WOW, this is a great house!” and showing photos that people can see on the IDX feed anyway…isn’t that being nit picky to say they can’t.

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