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How to list new construction in Canopy MLS

The rise in new construction is generating lots of questions to Canopy MLS Support.  “How to list new construction in Canopy MLS" explains how to list custom-built and to-be-built homes in the MLS, how to get new street and subdivision names added to the system, how to advertise bonuses and more.

Why should home builders use the MLS?
Buyers! Ready, willing and able buyers are just a click away. Get more sales by accurately marketing your properties to Realtors® through the MLS.

  • Marketing – The MLS listings go to numerous websites like CarolinaHome.com and Realtor.com, plus more through ListHub as agreements are reached. In addition, over 1,000 local real estate firms post the MLS listings on their local websites through Internet Data Exchange (IDX).
  • Statistics – Canopy MLS breaks out new construction versus resale in its reports to the media. Home builders who are members of Canopy MLS have access to these statistics through the MLS at any time. If more home builders participate in MLS, the data in these reports becomes more valuable.

Want to know more? You Make a Smart Choice with Canopy MLS

How can home builders get their listings into the MLS?

  • Subscribe to Canopy MLS Directly - Home builders who are licensed real estate brokers can participate in the MLS directly.
  • List Properties with Canopy MLS Subscribers - All home builders can list their properties with Canopy MLS Subscribers.

How should home builders use the MLS? Home builders who subscribe to Canopy MLS and input their listings directly are both the seller and the listing broker at the same time, and can choose whether or not to list their properties in the MLS.

However, home builders who withdraw their sold listings rather than update the status to “Closed” and show the sale price are violating the rules. Canopy MLS has a rule that requires all Participants and Subscribers to report sales information as a condition of submitting any listing to the Service.

In addition withdrawing the listings rather than updating the status to “Closed” affects the statistical reports produced by Canopy MLS. It can also affect future sales in the neighborhood. For example, if a home does not appraise for the contracted sales price, it could be because the builder did not report all of their sales in the MLS.

Some home builders input select sales while others input all of their sales. Canopy MLS encourages home builders to account for 100% of all sales by listing all properties and inputting comps into the MLS. However, home builders who subscribe to Canopy MLS and input their listings directly are both the seller and the listing broker at the same time, and can choose whether or not to list their properties in the MLS.

New construction can be listed in any of the six property types available in the system: single family, condo/townhouse, multi-family, land/lots/acreage or commercial and rental. It is permissible to list lots under land/lots/acreage and then also list floor plans under single-family. However, duplicate listings can be misleading, skew statistics and make Comparative Market Analyses (CMAs) cumbersome. No more than three active listings are allowed in the system per Parcel ID number. All duplicate listings must be cross referenced in the “Public Remarks” field with the additional MLS numbers, and each listing must be maintained concurrently. If the property sells, the Listing Brokerage must report the pending sale and closing on only one listing, and change any additional listings to “Temporarily off Market” or “Withdrawn” status.

Properties that are sold or that may be sold separately can be listed individually in the MLS.

Properties can also be listed as a Multiple Unit Property. Multiple Unit Properties can be entered into the MLS as one listing, stating the number and/or types of units available. When an individual unit has been sold, this unit shall be entered into the MLS for comparable purposes. The definition of a Multiple Unit Property includes condos, townhouses, and for use in new construction where multiple units are listed with a single listing.

"Ghost” Listings: Each listing must be attached to a specific lot, and the list price must include the price of the lot on which it is listed.  Additionally, each listing must provide a valid address, legal description and accurate zoning.  If there is no “Street Number,” then use the lot number in the “Street Number” field as well as the “Lot/Unit” field.  Canopy MLS does not monitor the “Parcel ID” or “Deed Reference” fields for new construction listings because this information is often not known for new construction listings.

Property Data Forms: The Property Data Forms list all of the required fields for filing a listing with Canopy MLS. Filling these sheets out before entering a listing greatly reduces the stress of entering a new listing.

Canopy MLS Subscribers can copy their own listings. This feature makes inputting multiple listings much easier. Once a listing is copied, the only thing left to do is change the fields that are different like address, parcel ID, deed reference, square footage, etc.

New Streets, Subdivisions and other additions to Matrix Picklists: Use the “Picklist Request” under the “Resources” tab in Matrix to submit the names of new streets, subdivisions and other additions to Matrix picklists. Requests submitted by 3 p.m. will be completed the same business day. For streets, do not include street type (Road, Drive, Lane, Court, etc.). For schools, do not include "elementary," "middle" or "high."

The Listing Brokerage must provide verification of any new subdivision or complex name to be added to the system before Canopy MLS will add it to the list. Appropriate forms of verification (in order of preference) are a copy of a deed or a copy of the approved preliminary subdivision plat map. If the marketing name is different from the name that was actually recorded, a photograph of the entry monument, or a professionally designed brochure or website for the subdivision, can accompany a copy of a deed or a copy of the approved preliminary subdivision plat map. Any request to add a subdivision or complex name that cannot be verified as described by this rule must be approved by the Canopy MLS Board of Directors.

Listings of Property to be Subdivided: Property that is to be subdivided shall be listed in the MLS only when (i) the proposed division is exempt from the local subdivision ordinance, or (ii) when the property is subject to a purchase contract that satisfies all of the requirements of applicable law including, but not necessarily limited to, North Carolina General Statutes Section 153A-334. Participants are encouraged to obtain advice of legal counsel to determine whether either of the above conditions has been satisfied. Canopy MLS does not determine whether such condition or conditions have been satisfied, and makes no representation as to whether any listing in the MLS does or does not comply with such condition(s). Upon listing a property that does not have final subdivision approval, the Participant shall be deemed to have represented to Canopy MLS and to all other Participants that one or the other of the above conditions has been satisfied.

Compensation: The listing broker shall specify on each listing filed with the MLS the compensation offered to other MLS Member Participants for their services in the sale of such listing.

Specifying a condition on the offer of cooperative compensation in the MLS is a violation.

Canopy MLS requires all offers of cooperative compensation in the MLS to be blanket, unilateral and unconditional.  The cooperating brokerage’s performance as the procuring cause of the sale or lease determines entitlement to the cooperative compensation.  For more information, refer to Section 6 of the Canopy MLS Rules and Regulations and Article 16 of the Realtor® Code of Ethics, Standard of Practice 16-10.

The compensation specified on listings published by MLS can be shown using either a percentage of the gross selling price or a definite dollar amount. Exceptions to this rule apply for dual or variable rate commission arrangements and named prospects exempted.

Compensation is based on the sales price agreed to in the purchase agreement, unless otherwise agreed to by both parties.

Bonuses: There have been numerous complaints and requests for mediation and arbitration about bonuses. Be extremely careful when making an offer of a bonus. Indicate whether or not the bonus is negotiable, who is offering the bonus and whether or not the bonus is contingent upon a full price offer. Hopefully this will cut down on the confusion and disputes about this issue.

Bonuses offered in the MLS should match other promotions, but listing brokerages are responsible for upholding what is offered in the MLS.

Photos: For all new listings entered after Nov. 1, 2012, with the exception of land, at least one digital photo/plat map/rendering shall be submitted within seven days of entering the listing into the Canopy MLS system, except where sellers expressly direct that digital images of their property not appear in the MLS compilations. Written documentation requesting that a digital image not be submitted, signed by the seller, should be available for review if requested by the Service. For new construction only, if using a photograph (excluding artist renderings) that is similar to but is not a photograph of the actual listing, users must include the disclaimer "example photo" across the photograph.

“New Construction=Y/N” New construction means the Certificate of Occupancy is no more than two years old and the home has never been lived in. New Construction does not include remodeling.

Year Built: For listings that are to be built, the “Year Built” field needs to be kept updated. “Year Built” is based on the Certificate of Occupancy, not the building permit. The “Year Built” means the earliest year in which any part of the structure was built. For example, if a home built in 1920 was completely rebuilt in 1999 but any part of the original structure remains, the “Year Built” is 1920.

Branding: Information that might lead a consumer directly back to the listing agent, listing brokerage or seller ("Branding") is prohibited in the "public fields" of a listing, i.e., "Photos," "Photo Captions," "Virtual Tours," "Directions," "Remarks" and "Restrictions."

“Green Certification” Field: If a “Green Certification” is denoted in the listing, then the certificate must be attached to the listing. If a certificate is not attached to the listing, then the “Green Certification” will be removed. This will not result in a violation of the MLS rules and no fines will be imposed.

  • New construction listings: the green certification must be attached to the listing upon reporting the listing as “Closed” status.
  • Resale listings: the green certification must be attached to the listing at the time the listing is input into the MLS System.

Using “55 and Older” – Qualified Senior Housing in Canopy MLS: Agents can indicate whether a listing is in a 55 and older community in listings submitted to Canopy MLS by selecting the Community Feature as "55 and Older." However, remember, “55 and Older” means “housing for older persons” (“HOP”) as defined by HUD. A qualified HOP development is one that is entirely occupied by persons age 62 and older, or a development where at least 80% of the units have at least one resident who is 55 or more years of age. "55 and Older" does not mean the age of the property, nor should it be used for communities that are not age restricted, even though the community may appeal to "empty nesters." Misuse of “55 and Older” could put the agent in jeopardy of violating Federal Fair Housing regulations.

Agents marketing listings as being located in a "55 and Older" community must provide Canopy MLS with a “55 and Older Statement of Qualification” to verify that the community is qualified senior housing. The statement of qualification must come from an officer of the home owner association or other authorized representative (management company) who would know if the community meets the HOP criteria.

The statement must contain the printed name, signature and title of the certifying party and the printed name and signature of the witness to the certifying party’s signature.

The statement of qualification is required each time there is a new listing in a given community. The reason for this is because although a community may qualify as a 55 and older community today, it may not qualify tomorrow, next week or next month. Requiring the statement for each listing gives Canopy MLS (and agents) the benefit of a "good faith" defense if the listing is allowed to state “55 and older” when it is not.

An agent with more than one listing in a given community may provide a single statement that the community is in compliance. However, a future listing in that community will require an updated certification.

“Construction Status” field: This field is required if “New Construction = Yes.” Options are “Proposed,” “Under Construction” and “Complete.” “Proposed” means construction has not begun and there is no foundation. “Under Construction” means construction has begun, and a foundation is in place. The listing must be changed from “Proposed” to “Under Construction” within 7 business days. “Completed” means the Certificate of Occupancy has been issued, or power has been turned on.

“Proposed Completion Date” field: The “Proposed Completion Date” field is required only when the listing agent selects “Under Construction.” Canopy MLS sends an automated email reminder to the listing agent to update the “Proposed Completion Date” when reached.

Mapping: Always ensure that the listing is mapped correctly in the MLS system. New construction listings can be difficult to map, especially if there are new streets being constructed that do not yet appear in the MLS system mapping. Even if the streets do not appear on the map, it is possible to edit the map location.

Custom-Built Homes: If the house-to-be-built is part of the listing agreement, but is negotiable, then the listing agent has the option to list the property either under Lots/Acres/Farms or another more appropriate category such a Single Family. If the property is listed under Single Family, then sold without the house-to-be-built, or vice versa, listed under Lots/Acres/Farms, then sold with the house-to-be-built, the listing should be withdrawn and re-entered under the appropriate category.

Custom-Built Construction Price Certification:  Closed listings of custom-built new construction (and manufactured homes that are classified as real property) can reflect the “Closed Price” for both the lot sale price and the new home in the MLS if the Custom-Built Construction Price Certification is attached to the listing at closing.

  1. If the seller of the lot and the builder are not the same entity, there must be an agreement which provides that both the seller of the lot and the builder of the proposed construction authorize the Listing Brokerage to offer cooperation and compensation to the other Member Participants of Canopy MLS acting as subagents or buyer agents or in other agency or non-agency capacities defined by law.  
  2. For land/home construction packages, the “Model/Plan” field must indicate “Construction Package.” 
  3. When entering an Unlisted Buyer Agent Sale, the lot and the custom-built construction must be reported together and only if commission was received for either the lot, or the new construction or both.
  4. The custom-built construction listing must be reported as “Under Contract” by the listing brokerage in the MLS within 48 hours (excluding holidays and weekends) after the purchase agreement for the lot is executed between the buyer and seller.
  5. Never report a listing as “Closed” until after a closing has occurred.
  6. If the certificate of occupancy will be issued within 24 months from the closing on the lot, the listing may remain in “Under Contract” status, and must be reported as “Closed” within five business days after the listing agent receives notification that the Certificate of Occupancy has been issued by the building inspection department.  After 24 months, only the sale price of the lot may be reported.
  7. This form must be completed and attached to the listing, or only the sale of the lot can be reported in the MLS.  Canopy MLS staff may request additional documentation to verify the accuracy of information provided on the Custom-Built Construction Price Certification. 
  8. Do not include any overages that were paid for outside of the construction contract price or final construction sales price from the final invoice. Items that are paid for “outside of closing” may be reflected in the Closed Price only if reflected on the HUD/TRID closing disclosure statement, the purchase agreement or the final builder invoice.  
  9. Do not report a closed sale for the lot separately from the closed sale for the land/home construction package.  
  10. The “Market Value” may be reported as the Closed Price of the listing if the completed home was appraised by a licensed or certified appraiser; or
  11. The MLS listing can reflect the sum of the lot sale price and either: (a) the contract build price if reported as “Closed” within five business days following settlement, or (b) the final construction sales price if reported as “Closed” following the Certificate of Occupancy and final settlement (a final invoice from the builder must be attached to the listing). 
     
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  • 24-Feb-2020
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