Compliance Corner- Mandatory Listings



Please note: this article is a snapshot of a message that was posted on the MLS system at some point within the last year. Things evolve rapidly in our industry, and the information in this article may have changed since it was first published. Compliance Corner articles are not updated after they are published, even if the information contained within has changed.

For the most up-to-date information on this (or any other topic), please visit our SmartDesk.


Compliance Corner #49

February 1, 2022


Did you know?

All mandatory listings must be entered into the MLS if publically advertised.


What is a mandatory listing?

The SmartMLS Rules and Regs section 4.1.1 states: single family homes, condominiums, townhouses, co-ops, mobile homes for sale, lease or exchange, vacant lots and acreage for sale lease or exchange ,two-, three- and four-family residential buildings for sale, lease or exchange and residential rental properties must be entered into our system as Active, Coming Soon or Withhold From MLS within forty-eight (48) hours after all necessary signatures of Seller(s) and Participant unless the listing has a Delayed Entry Addendum.

Why can't I advertise my listing before I enter it into the Service?

One of the main tenets of an MLS is to facilitate the orderly correlation and dissemination of Listing information among the Participants so that the Participants may better serve their clients and the public.

The policies forbidding marketing before a listing hits the MLS are in place to ensure both agents and consumers know when the listing will be active and that access to the listing is the same for all agents and consumers. 


What happens if I advertise a mandatory listing not entered in the Service?

Advertising a Mandatory Listing Not Entered in the Service (section 4.27) states a fine will be automatically assessed to the listing agent’s account when a listing is advertised but the listing is not COMING SOON, ACTIVE or WITHHELD in the Service. The fee schedule is as follows:

1st violation - $500 

2nd violation - $1,000

3rd violation - $2,000 and 1 week suspension from MLS

What is considered public marketing?

Any of the following would constitute public marketing of a property:

  • Displaying on an internet site.
  • Sharing on social media or in a restricted group created on a social media platform.
  • Placement of a sign at the property.
  • Advertising in any written publication.
  • Holding a broker tour or public open house.
  • Showing the property to potential buyers. 

In addition to the above, Withdrawn listings cannot be advertising in anyway including a sign on the property. During the period a listing is in the Withdrawn status, the sign must be removed or covered.


What kinds of listings can have signs?

  • Traditional available for sale listings in the MLS can have a For Sale sign placed in front of them.
  • Properly documented Coming Soon or Withhold from MLS listings can have a For Sale sign. 
  • Delayed entry listings cannot have any sign whatsoever.
  • REO Properties- while in preparation for coming to market, these listings may require  ”In Case of Emergency” contact information to be placed in a visible spot on the property.  These small signs are allowed, but they cannot advertise any agent/office information.  The only permissible information is a phone number to contact if an emergency arises. 

Signs should not be installed on the property until the listing has been entered in Matrix as either Coming Soon or Active.  If you are unsure of the date your office's sign company will be able to install the sign, it is best to have the listing ready to go in Matrix (saved as Incomplete) and then activate the listing as soon as the sign is up.

  • No signs (or any other advertisement) are permitted before the listing is entered into Matrix.
  • If the listing is not being actively shown or marketed, it cannot have a yard sign.  
  • If a sign is installed early (before the listing is saved as Active or Coming Soon on the MLS), you must either cover or remove the placard. 

The Compliance Team values your opinions, comments and suggestions!

Never hesitate to contact us at or 203-750-6000.



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