Talking About Remarks: What You Can and Cannot Say

May 16, 2017

Do you have a listing with some amazing features? Remarks in the MLS let you highlight important features and other information about the property to potential buyers, as well to other agents. Knowing the intended purpose of the Public and Agent Remarks fields and what you can or can’t say in those fields, will help you make the most of them and avoid potential violations of RLCAR MLS rules, fair housing, federal or state regulatory guidelines. Read on for details.

 

What You Can and Should Say in Remarks
Navica offers two different types of remarks in the MLS. Here are some of the things you can include in each of these fields. 

 

Public Remarks: Describe the physical attributes of the property, and any incentives provided by the seller to the buyer, specifically related to the property, like brand-new high-end appliances. It can also be used to promote the neighborhood with information like, just minutes away from the local hiking trail. 

 

Agent (Private) Remarks: Provide any additional information to potential cooperating brokers. This can include names, phone numbers and web-addresses. It can also include how offers may be submitted, bonus offers, special showing instructions, special circumstances in a transaction or details of the cooperative compensation.  


What You Can’t Say in Remarks
While there are a lot of things you can say in these fields, there are some things you should not include. This varies by who sees the field, which is why you should always consider your audience when writing remarks. 

 

Public Remarks: The information in the Public Remarks appear on customer level reports, as well as IDX and other consumer-facing websites. So you should avoid putting confidential and other types of information in these fields, which may include: 

  • Lockbox or Alarm Codes

  • Incentives offered to Buyer Agents

  • Seller name(s)and contact information

  • Any information regarding compensation

  • Information pertaining to an upcoming Open House

  • A statement such as, “Discount offered if buyer uses XYZ Mortgage”

  • A statement which reveals the seller’s motivation for selling the home

  • A statement such as, “Child at home alone between 3-5 p.m. – no showings”

  • Brokerage or identifying information - name of list office or agent; phone or fax numbers, including to contact the listing agent for more details or to show.

  • Information about who the house may be suited for. (I.e. “This home is perfect for a young couple”)

Agent Remarks: While this information is only available to members of the MLS, there are some types of information which may violate regulatory guidelines or RLCAR MLS rules that should not be included in this field. Some examples are, 

  • Statements that the buyer must use a specific title company or lender in order to purchase the property

  • Any offer of compensation which is conditional and which will not be based on procuring cause

  • Disclosing the total amount of compensation that the Listing Broker will receive from the Seller

  • Statements that the buyer is responsible for payment of the cooperative compensation

  • Names and contact information of brokers who are not members of RLCAR MLS

  • Any statement that may violate Fair Housing or other regulatory guidelines

Avoid the Potential for Violations
Remarks are such an important part of any listing. It’s your space to really sell the property beyond the standard beds, baths and square footage. It’s also important that each field is being used appropriately. 

 

Being aware of what you should or should not include in the different remarks fields is essential to avoid violations of fair housing, federal or state regulatory guidelines or RLCAR MLS rules.  
 

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