MLS Approval Process & Popular Terms Clearly Explained

IDX Broker pulls listing data directly from Multiple Listing Services. Before we can provide access to that MLS data on your IDX Broker account, there are a few hoops to jump through. MLS approval processes, paperwork terms, and lingo can be confusing. Let us help explain!

MLS Paperwork transfer files to IDX Broker

MLS Feed Activation

After signing up for IDX Broker, the MLS approval process is the first step our new clients take. Typically, this involves the paperwork required to activate your MLS data feed. We provide listing data from hundreds of different MLSs. Each has its own unique approval process. Our MLS Coordinators email the proper MLS-specific instructions to you prior to IDX billing your account set up.

  1. You sign up for IDX Broker
  2. IDX Broker’s MLS Coordination team processes the sign up and sends you instructions and paperwork
  3. You complete the paperwork (if it’s attached). This is usually pre-filled with our information and other helpful tips.
  4. Per the email instructions, you send the paperwork back to IDX Broker for processing and submission to the MLS.
  5. Most MLSs turn approvals around in 3-7 business days. We will notify you upon MLS notification.
  6. If we haven’t received approval, we follow up once a week. You’ll be copied on these follow ups, just in case you’d like to call and nudge your MLS.
  7. Upon approval, we send your info to Technical Support so they can activate your account.
  8. IDX Broker’s Technical Support team, prepares your account, processes billing, and sends login credentials.
[alert_box type=”info” border=”radius”]If you need help with an MLS agreement, Give us a call and ask for an MLS Coordinator![/alert_box]

Common Approval Processes

Thankfully, the IDX Broker MLS Coordination Team tracks and manages all the different paperwork each MLS requires. We don’t charge you anything until after you’re approved. Here are some of the most common MLS approval processes we see:

  1. IDX sends the broker/agent an MLS Authorization form to complete and sign. Once agent/broker portions are complete, paperwork is sent back to IDX to sign and submit for MLS review.
  2. IDX completes only a Vendor Agreement for the MLS.
  3. The broker/agent contacts the MLS directly for approval paperwork to complete and sign.
  4. The broker/agent is an MLS member, logs into their MLS web portal, sign agreement or select IDX Broker as Vendor.
  5. The broker/agent is an active member of an MLS that has selected IDX Broker as a preferred vendor. Some of these MLSs allow us to auto-approve IDX set up.

While it changes from one MLS to the next, the following situations are often subject to new MLS approval or review:

  • Changes to your domain name
  • Changes to your company name
  • Adding another MLS feed
  • Transferring account ownership
  • Reactivating an IDX Broker account

Now let’s clarify some MLS terminology…

Popular MLS Terms Explained

Commingling Restrictions

Some Multiple Listing Services prohibit listing data to be shown alongside data from another MLS. Fortunately, IDX Broker has a solution that ensures you remain in compliance if this MLS rule applies to you. IDX Broker will break out all non-commingle results into a separate tab on any results page of a search across multiple. There are no changes to the look of your IDX Broker search pages.

Commingling MLS rules only apply to IDX clients when both of the following are true:

  1. The IDX account has more than one MLS feed enabled -and-
  2. One or more of the MLS feeds on the account prohibit commingling of data.

Brokers-Only Restrictions

A few MLS offices restrict data access exclusively to brokers. Our MLS Coverage Page lists each “Brokers-Only” MLS. If you’re an agent, and see your MLS has a “Brokers’-Only” restriction, contact your MLS directly to clarify.

[alert_box type=”info” border=”radius”]Questions about your MLS’s fees? Give us a call! 1-800-421-9668[/alert_box]

MLS Data Access Fees

Some boards charge additional data access fees. These are additional fees above and beyond your access fees. Generally this information is included in the data access agreement, some include  billing page, and some handle the billing arrangements separately. These fees are noted on our coverage page, and can fluctuate up or down at the discretion of the individual MLS.

Data Management Fees

IDX Broker has its own data management fees to help cover the costs of running the data. We actively review these fees to keep costs as low as possible for our clients. Recently, we’ve been able to lower more fees than we increase by periodically reviewing our costs.

Firm, Broker, Participant

This is the broker of record for the office. If you don’t know who is authorized to sign as the participant or broker, your MLS board can tell you. These terms generally refer to the broker or brokerage. The participant is the broker, the firm is the brokerage. If you are the broker, you don’t have to complete the agent section, just fill out the firm section.

MLS approval paperwork

Subscriber or Agent/Salesperson Party

Simply put, this is the real estate agent requesting IDX access. If you’re an agent under a broker requesting access, you will need to fill out your own section then have your broker complete the firm/broker/participant section.

Consultant, Licensee, Webmaster, Data Aggregator or Vendor

These terms, or other permutations of ‘third-party’ refer to IDX Broker or IDX, LLC. Our MLS Coordinators will complete these sections of an MLS agreement, as required. If you see one of these terms on your agreement, please leave it blank so IDX Broker can complete these sections prior to MLS review. Please do not have your web designer complete this section. IDX Broker hosts the data, which makes us the consultant, licensee, vendor, etc.

See all the feeds we cover on the IDX Broker MLS Coverage Page. If you can’t find your MLS board on this list, please send us board contact information and our MLS Coordinators will take it from there!

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