It seems so simple on the surface – a property’s status in the Arizona Regional MLS should reflect the current availability for that home. I mean, isn’t that the point of having a status field in the first place?
If Active doesn’t really mean Active – if it’s not possible to write an offer on an “active” property and have it considered by the seller, then is the property really active?
Yet there are more and more “active” properties that aren’t active at all.
Let’s take bank owned homes. A buyer submits an offer and the bank verbally accepts the offer but has yet to sign the documents, a process which can take up to a week. Since the contract hasn’t been executed the home remains in the MLS as active. Only when you submit the offer will you discover that an offer’s already accepted.
Why not call the agent first, you ask? Because listing agents on REOs have made it more than clear they don’t want wish to be bothered. Most let calls roll straight to voicemail where you hear “if it shows it’s active, then it’s active” even when it’s not. Others only will respond to text messages or e-mails, presuming you use the correct font. (Okay, I made that last part up.)
The larger point is the question shouldn’t need to be asked. Active needs to be active and available for sale. End of story. Everything else should be Active with Contingencies.
On short sales, it can be even more enjoyable. Here, Bob Bemis and the gang at ARMLS have provided listing agents a means by which they can keep listings active long after an offer has been submitted to the bank:
B. If there is an offer, with the AAR Multiple Counter Offer form and the “AAR Short Sale Addendum to the Purchase Contract” signed by both buyer and seller and forwarded to the lender for approval, the listing shall remain in ACTIVE status.
So, to review … if an offer is submitted with the Multiple Counter Offer form signed, even if there aren’t multiple offers being reviewed, then it’s okay to keep a home as Active, even if it means deceiving other would-be buyers who are looking at an Active listing and rightly assume there are no other offers because they’re unaware of the game that can be played with a Multiple Counter Offer form.
Setting aside the logic of using a form specifically designed for situations where there are multiple offers where only one exists … how does that form in any way change the fact there are offers signed by both buyer and seller that already are being considered?
Buyers shouldn’t write an offer on a short sale only to discover there are seven other offers on the table and have been for some time. The entire short sale process is surreal enough without accidentally wading into a bidding war.
True, the MLS is at its heart a marketing tool for listing agents to communicate their listings to the rest of us licensees. But shouldn’t there be some requirement that fair dealings take place, that Active actually mean Active and not “Active unless it’s not and you won’t know until you’ve already spent the time.”
This needs to get fixed. Yesterday.
UPDATE: Five short sales. One with multiple offers. Two others with offers long ago submitted to the lender for approval. All showing as “Active.” The system’s a joke.
[tags]Phoenix real estate, MLS[/tags]