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FAQ: Internet Data Exchange (IDX)

WHAT IS THE INTERNET DATA EXCHANGE PROGRAM AND HOW DO I PARTICIPATE?

Internet Data Exchange (aka IDX) is a system where brokers give each other permission to display their listings on each others’ websites. All brokers can choose to opt in or opt out of the IDX program at any time. Participants in the IDX program (“opted in”) can display each others’ listings (program includes status 1, 2, 3 and 5 only) which will be identified by a special IDX logo.

You need take no action to become a IDX participant. Broker participants are automatically opted in to the program. If you do not want to participate you must complete the Internet Data Exchange Opt In/Opt Out form and fax it to (408) 874-1250. Once you opt out, no other broker will be permitted to display your listings, and you will not be permitted to display theirs. (The MLSListings Board of Directors reserves the right to limit how often status changes may be made by a single broker.)

When necessary, you can Request To Withhold an Individual Listing and still participate in the program.

I AM A PARTICIPANT BROKER AND I WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE IDX PROGRAM. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR DISPLAYING IDX DATA ON MY WEBSITE?

Brokers have various options for acquiring/displaying IDX data:

  1. Download the data directly from MLSListings for developing and hosting a broker-owned website. Broker executes a data licensing agreement and data is hosted by broker or on broker-controlled servers (see also Broker Download FAQs and the Internet Display Guidelines) which allows for customizable search criteria and data display.
  2. Hire an outside consultant to download the data and develop the website. Vendor can be an approved third party provider with an existing data licensing agreement with MLSListings, or broker can execute a data licensing agreement directly with MLSListings and authorize an outside consultant to host and manage the data downloads which allows for customizable search criteria and data display.
  3. Purchase a IDX website from an approved IDX provider. Vendor must have an existing data licensing agreement with MLSListings (or must apply for one), and vendor downloads and hosts the IDX data on vendor-owned/controlled servers. A purchased website uses vendor-designed search and display pages, which are pre-approved by MLSListings for IDX compliance. Vendors are charged up to $7/website per month to provide IDX data.

CAN AGENTS HAVE IDX WEBSITES?

Yes, agents may have a Internet Data Exchange (IDX) website displaying searchable IDX data within the guidelines listed below (see also Agent FAQs).

  1. The agent’s designated broker must be Opted In (contributing listings) to the program.
  2. The agent must have his/her broker’s permission to have a IDX website with MLS data. (The Broker Authorization for Website form is provided for this purpose.)
  3. The agent’s website must clearly show the brokerage brand and must retain the broker’s branding/logo at all times.
  4. The agent’s website must display IDX data only through one of the following methods, as IDX data may not be hosted directly by the agent:
    1. frame or “gateway” into the broker’s website
    2. purchase a IDX website from an approved MLSListings vendor (vendors are charged up to $7/website per month to provide IDX data)

I WANT TO HAVE A CUSTOMIZED PROPERTY SEARCH PAGE ON MY WEBSITE. WHAT DO I DO?

Agents may choose one of MLSListings’s approved IDX service providers. Complete and sign the Broker Authorization for Website form completely, including all website information. Your selected vendor will assist you with submitting the forms to MLSListings for approval.

HOW MUCH DOES A DATAFEED COST vs. A VENDOR-PROVIDED IDX WEBSITE?

As of January 2012 there is no cost to Broker Participants for use of a datafeed. Contact IDX@MLSListings.com for current information. For vendor-provided IDX websites, MLSListings charges the vendors up to $7 per website per month for IDX data.

WHY IS THERE AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE BEYOND REGULAR MLS DUES?

The MLS data download service and the IDX data program are upgrades to the standard MLS offerings, requiring separate hardware, software and staff to support them. The cost of providing these enhanced services, as determined through regular cost audits, is covered by the brokers and subscribers who elect to use them.

WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEONE ABUSES IDX?

The use of IDX data is subject to the MLS Rules and Regulations. MLSListings will monitor brokers who develop websites using the IDX data. If it is found that a IDX participant is misusing data, that broker will be notified of the wrongdoing and required to correct the problem. If the broker fails to do so, he or she will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the MLS Rules and Regulations. To report a violation, contact compliance@MLSListings.com.

I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS…

Write to data@mlslistings.com or call MLSListings Customer Support at 800-546-5657 for more information about the IDX program and/or data downloads.

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