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How Realtor associations could instantly offer radical transparency (editorial)

Obviously no one wants to look bad. But I say, if you make the mistake of making an MLS violation, let’s do more than just fine, let’s make our weaknesses public so we can improve upon them.

mls violations data work

I recently wrote about the top five MLS violations and how many individuals within the real estate market are guilty of the same. Like all others, the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) fines members for MLS violations, but publicly posting the most common violations on their site instantly makes them an industry moral compass.


Public flogging has its place

Now obviously no one wants to look bad. But I say, if you do the crime, serve the time. In fact, I’ll be honest with you: what I love is that someone (HAR in this case) has held its members accountable in public. Now imagine if all associations did this monthly or quarterly on their blog. We’re not saying the standard should be publishing the actual violations, but offering a teachable moment to members to avoid future mistakes.

Consumers are asking for transparency, and this would be one way to do it while offering cleaner and more accurate data to major MLS aggregators like Zillow and If it’s wrong at the origination point, it’s wrong in those places, too.

This would serve consumers well, which would in turn, serve the industry. It’s a win-win situation when data is cleaned up!

As a consumer, I don’t see much difference between MLS violations specifically and violating the CoE in general, but perhaps that’s just me. Regardless, my hope is that this type of action spreads like wild fire in the association world.

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Written By

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.


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