Posts by: ARMLS

Rules Week Quiz

Rules Quiz2

Below you’ll find 9 questions regarding the Rules & Regulation and Inappropriate Language Policy. A perfect score will demonstrate your knowledge of the rules.

How well do you know the ARMLS Rules & Regulations?

Like this quiz? Click here to take our Photo Violation Quiz.

Blurred Signs – A Photo Blog

Subscribers often ask about “For Sale” signs uploaded to the MLS, signs can be in the MLS but cannot contain contact information. Contact information will soon be a $200 fine because it can allow a client to bypass their agent. See how to blur photos here.

Rule (8.23) states,”A ‘for sale’ sign located on the property may appear in an image of the exterior of the home or property so long as the sign does not convey any specific contact information or company identification.

We created some examples below for a fake Subscriber, James Holland, who works at Zeppelin Realty LLC, a fake company. Zeppelin is known for their distinctive airship logo signs.

Not Okay – This photo has a telephone number, name, company name, and company branding.

Still Not Okay – The company name and distinctive company branding are still showing.

Great! Success – There is no contact information visible or company branding. We can’t tell which company holds the listing.

Note: Photos are judged at all sizes, If we can blow-up/enlarge the photo and still see contact information – a violation notice will still be sent.

This is part three of our Rules Week blog series aimed at educating Subscribers on the MLS rules.
To see all rules week posts, click here or visit our Rules Week landing page.

Public Remarks Errors

Some things just don’t belong in the public remarks field. Phone numbers, Web addresses, and your name for example. Take a look at these common examples based on real listings. The problems have been underlined in red and violate the Inappropriate Language Policy, which now carries a $200 fine under the new Penalty Policy. Our examples below are not exhaustive, see the Inappropriate Language Policy for more information.

Section 1A of the Inappropriate Language Policy prohibits website addresses (and phone numbers) for any reason in public remarks.

It’s violation of section 1A for the phone number but also section 2D for title information in public remarks. Title information is only allowed in private or semi-private remarks. Check the section for other prohibitions on title information as there are some restrictions on what can be said relating to title in semi/private remarks as well.

Section 1B prohibits Open House information in public remarks.
This is part two of our Rules Week blog series aimed at educating Subscribers on the MLS rules.
See part 1 here or visit our Rules Week landing page.

Why The New Penalty Policy Matters


Earlier today we sent the new Penalty Policy to all ARMLS Subscribers. Instead of a progressive level system where fines escalate, there will now be flat automatic fines based on the seriousness of the violation for non-lockbox violations. Our efforts are aimed at reducing the number of errors through increased education and an improved policy.

The ARMLS board, the Rules Committee and Subscribers helped determined the fines based on how each type of violation affected the business of others. Essentially, not all violations are equal and that’s where a level based system can fail. Right now, the issuing of fines has been temporarily suspended while we educate Subscribers on the new policy and increase understanding of the rules.

New Penalty Policy PDF | Outline of changes PDF

Common Violations & Fines:

Incorrect Listing Status
Listings that are not really Active waste the time of others. Under the new policy, this is a $100 fine. Under the old system, a $50 fine was assessed on the 3rd level.

Incorrect Sales Price
Entering the wrong sales price wreaks havoc with comps and the ability for other Subscribers to price listings correctly. Great pricing data is vital. Under the new policy, this is a $500 fine. Under the old system, a $50 fine was assessed on the 3rd level.

Contact Information in Media
Contact information in a photo / vitural tour / video, etc., allows a client to bypass their agent and go directly to the listing agent. Under the new policy, this is a $200 fine. Under the old system, a $50 fine was assessed on the 3rd level. Please note that Stacy Long and Wild Places Realty are fictitious.
This is part one of our Rules Week blog series aimed at educating Subscribers on the MLS rules.
See part 2 here or visit our Rules Week landing page.

Google Calendar & Facebook Dashboard Gadgets

Flexmls has phased out the Google Calendar & Facebook gadgets for custom dashboards. If you’ve added either or both of these gadgets to a custom dashboard, they will still appear but no longer function. To remove them, click on the down arrow and click Remove.


ListHub likely to remove Trulia option but we have you covered


Many brokers use ListHub to syndicate their listings to third-party websites. It was recently rumored that Trulia will no longer be an option in ListHub. While this sounds concerning, there is already a way to send listings to Trulia without using ListHub, as Trulia has been a syndication option in flexmls for over a year. Sending or not sending listings to third parties is always a broker decision, not an ARMLS decision (read more about syndication here).

If you’re a broker who wants to continue to send listings to Trulia and haven’t set up the option in flexmls, our Helpdesk (480-303-7020) can give you steps to enable it. Here is a screenshot of the flexmls syndication options page, all options are off by default:


Once selected brokers can then choose if syndication is on by default and if their agents can override them:

STAT Market Update: February 2015


Each month Tom Ruff of The Information Market gives his stellar commentary on the housing market. Tom is armed with Pending data, which others do not have access. His insights are below. Read the full issue of STAT for the accompanying graphs.

Tom Ruff

Tom Ruff

January plays an important part as a precursor to our prime selling season as the highest average number of monthly new listings occurs in January. With an average days on market of 96, these new listings coming on are the seeds for spring and summer sales.

The 14 year running average for new listings in January is 12,769, this year we saw 10,888 new listings in January. The lowest average number of monthly sales occurs in January, where the 14 year running average for home sales is 5,067 and this year we saw 4,784 home sales in January 2015.

These numbers do not factor in the growth in housing stock and population throughout the 14 year period, so it’s not what we would call great. In reality, our market continues in a leisurely fashion highlighted by low demand and low supply.

Pollyanna vs Reality
From time to time there will be a set of numbers within STAT that just jumps at you, this month it was the dichotomy of list prices and sale prices. Over the past year we’ve repeatedly discussed the remarkable stability in our home prices. When we removed all the distressed sales and compared only the normal sales between December 2013 and December 2014, we saw the price per-square-foot rose only slightly, 1.7% from $133.10 to $135.41. When we compared January 2015 prices to December 2014 prices we saw a 1.2% decline in the median sales price and a 0.6% decline in the average sale price.

As we continually state, these monthly anomalies are in no way an indication of declining prices, but only reiterate the remarkable price stability in our market. However, they do amplify the growing disparity between the price of properties listed for sale and the price at which properties are selling.

In January the median list price increased 5.4% over December and the average list price increased 7.6%, widening an already existing gap. This gap becomes even more noticeable when we put the numbers side by side. The average list price in January was $354,500 while the average sales price was $255,000. The median list price in January was $230,000 while the median sales price in January was $194,700. Why is the average list price so much higher than the average sales price? If the property being marketed is listed too far above market expectations, reality will manifest in the lack of showings and/or offers leading to a price change.

Ivy Zelman Ain’t No Pollyanna
Too often in STAT we write about the national pundits and their outrageous studies with headlines sculpted as click-bait, often times promoting personal agendas. Other times we see silly analysis by Ph.D.s with strong mathematical backgrounds but no practical real estate knowledge. In this month’s STAT I’d like to share the thoughts of a national analyst I respect, an analyst that gracefully blends numbers with common sense and practical insight – Ivy Zelman. In a speech delivered to the Building Materials Holding Corporation, a multi-state building materials supplier, she demonstrates that really good real estate analytics is both science and art:

 “Going forward, the easing of credit ‘will be a tailwind.’ In addition, the Obama administration has been taking steps to make qualification terms easier because it concluded its policies were holding back housing.

A paucity of first-time homebuyers is putting brakes on the entire housing market, because you need those newcomers coming in and buying homes so that the people living in them now will have equity to trade up. People age 20 to 30 accounts for two-thirds of all incremental growth in new housing.

Here’s one example of pent-up demand in this cohort: At the housing market’s nadir, 14% of people aged 20 to 34 lived in multigenerational homes. The historical average is 11%. If we were to get back to that average, there’d be 800,000 new household formats every year.

still-live-with-parentsMillennials aren’t all that their reputations suggest. There’s a view that they are unlike their parents and want to stay in multfifamily units close to downtown. ‘If you look at who lives in a home by age, lifestyle dictates. When you get to a certain age, 70% to 80% will want to live in a single-family shelter. It has to do with love and marriage.’ Of married households, 80% live in single-family detached home.

Rising rents (they went up 3% to 5% nationwide last year, and even more in the West) will increasingly push people toward buying homes. At the same time, people age 20 to 34 have seen double the growth in jobs than the nation has as a whole.

Are student loans really that big a problem? For those who have defaulted on those loans, yes. But a study by the New York Federal Reserve Bank found that the largest share of loans being given to people with student loans are to people who have those loans and are paying them regularly. Also, keep in mind that about one-third of student loan debt is for people over 40., 40% of student debt is related to graduate programs, and nearly a quarter of under-35-year-olds are debt free.

The effect of foreclosures on credit is declining. Seven years after a foreclosure, you can qualify for a mortgage again. So expect roughly 400,000 people to join the group of potential buyers each year.

Consumers think conditions are tougher than they are. You don’t need to pay 5% to 10% of a home’s price as a down payment; you can get a loan with a 3% down payment. “Why doesn’t the National Association of Realtors put out ads that say you can buy a house with 3% down? There’s a huge gap between perception and reality.”

Enough said.

Pending Price Index
Last month our Pending Price Index (PPI) projected a January median price of $195,000 with the actual median coming in at $194,700. Looking ahead to February, the ARMLS Pending Price Index projects a median sales price of $194,822. Prices are expected to remain flat. Sales volume for January was nearly identical to sales volume in January 2014, final numbers showed 4,784 this year compared to 4,797. January 2015 had 20 business days while January 2014 had 21.  With both the number of pending sales contracts and the number of UCB listings being greater than last year at this time, it is anticipated that February 2015 sales volume will exceed the volume of 5,474 of February 2014. We may only be taking baby steps at this time but our market is modestly moving forward.

RPR Mobile for iOS & Android


Many Subscribers have taken advantage of the RPR product from NAR. A few months ago, the offering got even better with the release of their cutting edge mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones/phablets/tablets called RPR Mobile. is where you’ll find all the details but here’s some summarized features below from NAR:

RPR gathers all available data on a property and organizes it for your benefit. Add your local market knowledge and you’re set.

From MLS and public records to mortgage history and school attendance zones, RPR has the data your clients want.

Add your own notes and photos to any property. They’re private to you, but you can easily include them in your reports.

Customizable reports for any property are available from your smartphone. Send reports directly to your clients, with your branding, with almost no effort.

Check it out RPR Mobile here.

Mobile Torque is an ARMLS® blog post series dedicated to advancing mobile and educating Subscribers on mobile and mobile MLS access.

Subdivision vs. Subdivision Name

There are two Subdivision fields in Monsoon. Learning them both can be very helpful:

Garden-Ex1Subdivision is a default field in the Tax Search. It is a auto-complete box where you type at least three letters and select a choice. You can only make pre-determined selections but you select multiple Subdivisions.

Subdivision Name can be added using the Add/Modify link on a Tax Search. It is a text search box where you can type the subdivision name. This field also takes a wildcard symbol, * (an asterisk). Think of it like Google, where the Subdivision pulled must match what you entered but can match in different ways. For example, if you wanted to search Garden Lakes but wanted to make sure Garden Lake was also included in your results:


Using the wildcard gives you 15 results in our date range, 14 results without the wildcard.

Data Integrity Form & Notices Changes

Tell a friend, there are some new changes happening with the Data Integrity report form and notices:

New Form
If you’ve reported an error today, you’ll notice the form now opens in a new window and has a different appearance as we’ve upgraded our systems. The Monsoon tax system also now has a form to report data errors as well.

New Emails
The appearance, subject lines and email address used to send data integrity notices will soon also be changing. Subscribers will benefit from emails that are mobile optimized and easier to understand. The new email address to white-list is: A sample of the new courtesy notice design is below:


These new changes will ensure a better user experience for our Subscribers and better data.

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