Guide to Understanding the 2022 MLS Rules & Regulations Changes

In the second half of 2022, a Rules and Regulations Task Force was formed by the HCMLS Board of Directors to examine updates and recommend changes to the Rules and Regulations. Proposed changes were solicited from Brokers, Agents, and Staff. The Task Force met over several months and examined the proposed changes, their experiences, and best practices of other MLS.

After careful consideration and many discussions, the Task Force made several recommendations to the Board of Directors. This document summarizes the recommended changes to the Rules and Regulations as well as changes to systems and processes as approved by The Board.

The Rule changes are:

  1. Listing Statuses and Definitions
  2. Revisions regarding “Media in the MLS”
  3. Coming Soon Status Reset

The system and process changes are:

  1. Enhanced Photo watermark
  2. Secondary Dwelling Section
  3. Revised Exempted Listing Process
  4. Administrative rule changes
  5. DOM and CDOM Calculations *See Footnote

 Highlights of MLS Rules and Regulations Changes

Listing Statuses and Definitions: The listing status and definition changes are designed to bring clarity to the difference between each status while aligning HiCentral MLS data more with RESO Standards.
People in Photos Today, the rule prohibits the depiction of identifiable people in any media (photos, videos, 3D tours, etc.) The rule will be changed to prohibit the depiction of [any] people in media.
Minimum Number of Photos The rule that previously required one photo be included in each listing is being expanded to recommend that at least five photos of the property be included in the listing. One photo is still required for each listing
Photo Deletion Today the MLS discourages deleting photos included with the listing by stating the photos “should not be deleted”. The 2023 Changes state that photos “shall not be deleted in preparation for closing”. A note will also be added that states “When a listing has been sold, the MLS will only provide, and an IDX website will only display the primary photo of the listing." All IDX vendors have been notified of this change and many are already complying. HiCentral MLS will continue to audit our IDX vendors to ensure the necessary changes to show only the Primary Photo once a property is Sold have been made. If you become aware of a website showing more than the Primary Photo for a Sold property, please let us know at [email protected]
Coming Soon Status Reset A brokerage can now relist a property as Coming Soon after 365 days. The previous rule only allowed one listing of “Coming Soon” by a brokerage for a property.
Enhanced Photo Watermark An “Enhanced Photo” watermark will be added to photos that have been digitally enhanced or virtually staged. The listing agent must add the word “enhanced” to the photo description in Matrix.
ADU/Ohana Dwelling Information A new section will be added to the listing input process under “Additional Information,” to allow the listing agent to identify any secondary dwelling on the property.
Revised Exempted Listing Process Under the Revised Exempted Listing process, the listing agent will input the listing directly into the MLS as they would any other listing. Once a listing contract is signed, a listing agent has 4 calendar days from the listing contract signing date to enter the listing into the MLS. Agents must complete all questions on the new Exempted Listing input tab and ensure the seller's written consent, as required, has been provided.
Replace “Master” with “Primary” Bed/Bath An MLS system change was made replacing “Master” with “Primary” in reference to describing bedrooms or bathrooms. The Board understands how the use of the term might be offensive to other agents and consumers.  As a precautionary measure against any potential Fair Housing Act infraction, the MLS may send a Courtesy Notice for Listor’s reexamination of the listing remarks to determine whether revisions to the language might be necessary.


*Footnote: After much review, the Board of Directors decided not to implement new DOM & CDOM calculations. Therefore, the pre-existing calculation resets will continue:

DOM Calculation

Days on Market will only be reset (set to zero) if the property has been:

  1. Listed with a new MLS number, or
  2. Sold
CDOM Calculation

Cumulative Days on Market will only reset (reset to zero) if the property has been:

  1. Off-market for 60 days, or
  2. Sold

Education Opportunities

Rules & Regulations Roundtable Dates:

Members from the MLS Rules & Regulations Taskforce along with a member from the Professional Standards committee will go over the changes to the MLS Rules & Regulations that will be effective in 2023.

These changes can be grouped into three Rule changes, and five system or process changes.

Register and attend to see how these changes impact you and your clients.

December 14th, 2022 (2:00pm-2:45pm) - Watch Replay»




Why do we have MLS rules and regulations? The rules and regulations help to ensure accurate data, which benefits REALTORS® as a whole and the public, whom they serve.

Why are there changes to the MLS rules & regs? The changes to the MLS "rules & regs" are a result of recommendations from the MLS Rules & Regs Task Force, as well as mandates from the National Association of REALTORS®, which are necessary to maintain our charter with NAR and our Errors and Omissions insurance eligibility.

Who decided upon these changes? The HiCentral MLS Board of Directors approved the changes to the rules and regulations, based on recommendations from the Rules & Regs Task Force which was composed of:

  • Chuck Garrett, Corcoran Pacific Properties (Chair)
  • Shaila Campbell, Hawaii Homes & Estates LLC
  • John Climaldi, Hawaii Life
  • Kelly Kanoa, Coldwell Banker Realty
  • Donna Kohls, KBay Properties, LLC
  • Darryl Macha, Locations LLC
  • Julie Meier, Compass
  • David Nash,
  • Christina Nishiyama, Engel & Volkers - Honolulu
  • Patrick O'Neill, Luxury Homes International
  • Fukuyuki Puckett, Summit Realty, LLC
  • Karyn Shaunnessy, Berkshire Hathaway HmSvc RE
  • Linda “Dusty” Woodstock, Horita Realty LLC

When do these changes take effect?  The new rules will be effective as of January 9, 2023.

When do fines for these changes take effect? Fines for violating the new rules will be assessed beginning March 1, 2023.

Where can I review the rules and regulations? The rules & regs can be viewed here .

Who is responsible for ensuring agents follow all MLS rules and regulations? The company's Principal Broker and Broker(s) in charge are responsible for ensuring agents comply with MLS rules & regs. There are also several ways to report a potential violation to HiCentral MLS and our staff follows up on these. Should an agent be in violation, there are different consequences involved, depending on the type of infraction.

How do I verify a permit for an ADU? The Department of Planning and Permitting provides a website for agents to search for building permits issued after January 1972 (Honolulu Internet Permit System - Building Permit Search). For a helpful guide, click here -> How do I verify a permit for an ADU?

What changes are occurring, and can you make them easier to understand? The easiest way to explain the changes would be:

  1. No people in media
  2. No deleting photos
  3. Enhanced photo watermark

For articles that will help you better understand these changes, click the linked changes above.

Can the same property be listed as Coming Soon more than once? Yes. For additional information, read this article -> Can the same property be listed as Coming Soon more than once?

What are the new listing statuses and their definitions? Read this article to learn more > What are the listing statuses and their definitions?

What is the new Exempted Listing Process? Click the following article to learn about the NEW process and download the HiCentral MLS Acknowledgement Form > Effective 1/17/2023: Instructions for Exempted Listings

Where can I access the new Profile Sheets? On the website under MLS Forms and Docs.


Contact Us

Knowledge Base:

HiCentral MLS Knowledge Base


[email protected]



Alleged Clear Cooperation Violation Submission Form

Click here to report Alleged Clear Cooperation Violations

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday, 8am-4pm