Arizona Regional MLS Falls One Rule Short

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate AgentGranted it’s early in the morning and I made a fairly quick pass through the 17 pages of rules for the Arizona Regional MLS – the MLS for the Phoenix real estate market – but one needed rule seems to be missing.

List prices: List prices must not be fanciful, farcical or outright deceitful. Any listing for a property where the owner owes the lender(s) more than list price must have the accompanying language in the Public Remarks: “Ha, ha! Made you look!”

As you may be able to tell, I failed to scrub a list of potential properties to remove all of the short sales before sending it to a potential buyer yesterday. And so today we’re heading off to see five houses – three short sales, one bank owned, one owner occupied.

These folks are very excited to be purchasing and want to be moved in as soon as possible, so their first question was how long it would be before we could close. That, of course, depends on the lender on these short sales. At least if the home’s already in the midst of the foreclosure process, you know the window’s less than 90 days because the seller receives the Notice of Trustee’s Sale 90 days ahead of the actual forced sale. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.

Also this morning I’m sifting through listings in Anthem and Goodyear to find some homes where the seller has some equity. This is where the real opportunities lie in the Phoenix real estate market, not in the imaginary land of short sales. Real sellers with a real desire to move and – most importantly – the ability to sell provide the best possible chance for securing a home at a decent price.

Short sales are little more than illusionary bargains built on hype – homes whose owners spent too much once upon a time and are trying to offload at market price today. Where is the bargain in that?

Add a rule requiring list prices to be legitimate selling prices and there will be a wonderful ripple effect: the public will stop being enticed by the lies, inventory will drop as homes that can’t be sold will fall of the MLS, homes that can be sold no longer will be lost in the avalanche of B.S. listings.

Works for me.

[tags]phoenix real estate, short sales[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Jay Thompson 10 years ago

    Here here! In addition to the short sale BS, there are a plethora of listings with ridiculously low prices that typically include some language along the lines of “this is an auction and the lowest acceptable bid is X”.

    And you know darn well that any offer at X will be swiftly rejected.

    Drawing people into a listing based on a falsehood is just plain wrong.

  • Bob 10 years ago

    If you take out all the short sale listings, what listings will the agents who have bottom feeding clients write offers on for 30% under market?

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    If they’re offering 30% below market then they deserve to wait two-plus months to be told no.

    If they’re offering 5-10% less and are serious about purchasing, find an owner who has some equity and pursue that home.

    Yes, they exist. Some of us even know how to find them. 🙂