2017 photography contest -how I got clobbered by MLS

Real Estate Agent with (408) 425-1601 CA bre 1519182

                                                                                  Sam Shueh

                                                                     Realty One Group

                                                                      Campbell, CA


I have worked for Circlepix, Plans and Tours, and always are proud what I can make homes look more attractive with crystal clear photo images.  Actually, I used to develope and enlarge black and white photographs and did commercial work for furniture companies as a teen ager.  Digital photography is a lot easier since camera lens is self focused and aperture is automatic.  Digital photography is not constrained by the cost of film and development as one can practically take as many images and post processing software tools to make images outstanding.  When I work for these real estate companies they asked me if I crop or adjust contrast to improve quality, I said I do not take photos that people do not like. If they are not professionally done I do not keep them.


As soon as I upload the images shown above phone started ringing and I have it sold very quickly. I was too involved with counteroffers etc. I found an eMail in my spam folder:


                     Citation for Nonconforming Photo(s) on Listing

Amount of Fine: $100, Due and payable upon receipt of this invoice.

You are being fined for posting nonconforming photo(s) to your listing number MLxxxxxx, the property located at San Jose, CA specifically:


One or more photos are branded with a legible view of the property's "For Sale" sign. 


You must remove the offending photo(s) and if not already on the listing, post a photo of the front of the property, including the front of the existing building, if any. There must be no branding on any posted photo. 


I contacted the MLS the photo shown above is offensive. If I do not pay the fine my membership with MLS will be terminated.  The real reason I think is the red color which stood out.  If it was a plain color sign I doubt the compliance employee half-asleep will not take notice.  Strictly speaking at court or Association defense I do not believe on the Internet with small images how they can read "For Sale".  

The question becomes when Realtor uploaded a Google image of a home which belongs to Google. How can MLS tolerate these images? One best example is a garbage truck in front of a house and Redfin or MLS uploaded the trash truck and property listed at $1,775,000.00?  When I got on the MLS I saw a shack standing there corrected.

Life is too short to fight with the Association. I submitted 20 violations to keep the Compliance staff busy, since I have more time after getting it in pending same week.    


Should you be in need of real estate servicing in Silicon Valley please contact Sam Shueh

at (408) 425-1601 SamShuehRealtor at Gmail.com   


Shueh, Sam  How is my Silicon Valley home worth? (Silicon Valley Home Values)

Silicon Valley July 2016  Real Estate(San Jose area real estate update)

Shueh, Sam    (Real EstateBlogs)

Shueh, Sam    (My Website)  


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Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

Our MLS has the same rule but lucky for us it is never enforced.  I copyright some of my rural photos, I wonder if that would be considered branding?

Oct 09, 2017 07:25 AM #1
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Sam -- our mls has the same rule too and they are pretty strict about enforcing it.  Congratulations on receiving an offer quickly.  

Oct 09, 2017 07:53 AM #2
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I suspect it is a NAR rule as local boards did not seem to mind having a sign post etc there. They changed the rule this year. 

Oct 09, 2017 08:04 AM #3
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Sam - That sounds like a raw deal. We don't have that restriction in our MLS, but if we did, Photoshop could fix it pretty quickly. Thanks for your contest entry!

Oct 09, 2017 12:44 PM #4
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Sam, Cincinnati MLS is the same, no signs.  I don't think Dayton MLS cares.

Oct 09, 2017 05:52 PM #5
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

An agent who made offer did not want feel rejected he turned me in. If you make lowest bid you think the seller will counter back?

Oct 11, 2017 07:34 AM #6
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Dana Point, CA
Capo Beach Realtor® - www.CapistranoBeachHomes.com

Our MLS has the same rules too, Sam, and they're enforced.  But the first time you just get a spanking ... not a fine.

Oct 11, 2017 02:38 PM #7
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

We have the same rule Sam.  They send a warning first thou - and fine if one doesn't comply within a few days or so.

Oct 13, 2017 03:22 PM #8
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

We can't put any photos with company/for sale signs either. 

Now you're going to either get 20 notifications, or none!

Oct 15, 2017 10:04 AM #9
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

That is ridiculous.  Are they being paid off by Zillow and the like to keep branding out of the photos so anyone can claim your listing on Zillow.  

This is just over the top.

Oct 15, 2017 10:09 AM #10
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Wow....well at least it sold quickly!

I am not at all familiar with mls rules. I guess it pays to know them. Yikes.

Oct 18, 2017 11:14 AM #11
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I got a few violations warnings as well from our mls, but i quickly corrected them. No branding is allowed by our mls, but they also do not allow some language, something like all offers due (...) is not allowed in public remarks. So, often I just behind on the rules, and we have so many....

Nov 28, 2017 10:06 PM #12
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

And I agree, with Sharon: great that you sold it so fast. Congratulations! 

Nov 28, 2017 10:07 PM #13
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