In recent months there's been a trend with Active real estate listings on Oahu. These days, when the seller gets an offer and the property goes into escrow, the listing is often kept on ACTIVE status. This indicates to buyers and their agents that the property is available.
Customers see the listings, ask their agents to arrange showings and often learn that some of the properties are in escrow. That's a disappointment for many.
Was there a rule change? Why are nearly all of the big brokerages doing this now?
Actually, there's no change in the rules. Anytime a property changes status (Active to Pending, Pending to Sold) the seller's agent is supposed to prepare a "Status Change Form" and have the sellers sign it. Once the form is signed, the agent is supposed to input the change to the Oahu MLS system within four days.
Oahu's real estate market is slow and buyers often have problems obtaining financing or just get cold feet. For that reason, many brokerages are leaving properties' status as ACTIVE until they actually sell.
I understand the logic and applaud the brokers for doing what they believe is right to sell their listings. On the other hand, my feeling is that it's most appropriate to change a property's status to ACTIVE CONTINUE TO SHOW, which gives the buyer's agent a heads up that there's already an offer. This helps the agent because he can quickly explain to the buyer that there's already an offer prior to calling the seller's agent. The seller's agent also appears to be more "up front" and less sneaky, something we realtors should avoid. We don't want customers to equating us with used car salespersons!