Active on the MLS Does NOT Mean it is Available!

By
Real Estate Agent with Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group S44645
https://activerain.com/droplet/4tMz

I have noticed lately that there have been some posts pointing out that listing agents are not correctly updating their listing status as quickly as buyers and their agents would expect or want.  

 

Case in point, a listing is vacant.  The buyer's agent schedules the showing and the showing service has no update on the status of the listing. Or maybe the agent does not schedule the showing or call the listing agent.   The agent and the buyer assume that because it shows as "active",  it must be "available". Wrong answer.  Now you have an unhappy buyer that really liked a home that was not really available and already under contract.  A call to the listing agent prior to showing could  have solved that issue by allowing the buyer to decide if they wanted to take the risk of submitting a back up offer.  No point in disappointing the buyer, and no blaming the listing agent for that one. 

 

A common scenario could be this:  if it is a weekend or holiday, there could be an accepted offer on the property that is waiting for the earnest money, a part of the signed paperwork, or simply the next business day to be turned in as "contingent" or "pending".  Active does NOT mean available.

 

MLS listing

Another scenario happens to me quite a bit.  Since I am a relocation specialist, many of my listings are negotiated verbally by the homeowner, as they are not able to sign any documents pertaining to the sale of their home.   If an offer is presented on a Friday or on the weekend or holiday, the relocation company will not sign a contract until possibly Wednesday of the next week.  It could be considered a disservice to the seller to not allow further showings on their home, so I allow the seller to make that decision to continue showings or not.  Then if a buyer is interested, I will share the current status with their agent.

 

There is always the option of a back up offer if a buyer is really interested and is willing to wait out the inspection period.  Also, the relocation company prefers that the property not be removed from the market until the inspection contingencies are released.  I do, however, revise the showing desk remarks so that agents are aware that there is an accepted offer on the property, but again,  not until all documents have been fully executed.  

 

The same goes for foreclosure or short sale listings.  There could be several offers on the property and depending on the lender requirements for offers, many of those buyers may not be willing to wait it out. Especially if the buyer really needs to close quickly.  There can be advantage to a buyer if they are in a position where time frame for the closing is not an issue.  But again, the listing will continue to show as active and due diligence is required to find out the actual status of the property.  Once your buyer knows the facts, they can better determine if they want to take the risk or not. 

 

Before assuming that listing agents are not properly updating the status of their listings, consider who is really in control.  Sometimes there is a third party with rules that override the MLS requirements.  I will admit though, there are agents that do not update listings for the simple purpose of trying to snag more buyers or back up offers to encourage the first buyer to perform.  But I think that those agents are in the minority in most markets.  Not all agents are purposely trying to make your life as a buyer's agent more difficult. Nor are they trying to confuse or mislead your buyer.  

 

Keep smiling!

 

Karen

Posted by

 

Karen Feltman, REALTOR®, ABR, AHS, CHMS,                                                                      CNE,CRS, e-Pro, green, GRI, SRES, TRC

Keller Williams Legacy Group

4850 Armar Drive SE Ste B

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403

Email: karenfeltman@gmail.com

Mobile  319-521-0701

www.KarenFeltman.com

Licensed in the State of Iowa

© 2010-2018 by Karen Feltman, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Relocation Specialist 

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Topic:
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Iowa Linn County Cedar Rapids
Groups:
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Tags:
buyer representation in cedar rapids
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Rainmaker
704,451
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Thank you Karen Feltman for your response. Now I understand that we have way different MLSs with different levels of authority and capabilities.

Jan 10, 2015 12:44 PM #101
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Ranee Bray My market has over 65 brokerages.  They are all at various stages of competency, meaning that most of them feel that their agents are not able to go to agent load.  They don't want to train them or take responsibility when the association is more than happy to continue to hold all of the reins.  The larger companies, like the one that I work for, are fighting for agent load to be an option.  But with only 10 in favor and 55 to rule it down, nothing will ever be accomplished.  It is slow moving.  We just recently were able to add our own photos and remarks.  We used to have to email them to the board for them to add our remarks.  At least they got rid of the fax last year!  

Jan 10, 2015 12:46 PM #102
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Richard Bazinet /MBA No problem.  You would think that we would all be in the 21st century as far our MLS data.  Not so much here.....very frustrating.

Jan 10, 2015 12:47 PM #103
Rainmaker
3,059,205
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Karen... sounds like your mls system is very cumbersome. Fortunately, ours lets us do all updates except for withdrawals, which have to be done by the company. Here's an update story for the books. Years ago I sold a home to a client. He lived in it for about five years and then was being relocated to another state and he asked me to sell the house. When I went into mls to activate the listing, I was told I couldn't because the house was pending closing. What??? Turns out the listing agent from when I sold the house 5 years earlier had never updated status to closed! Big fine for that in our MLS!

Jan 10, 2015 08:29 PM #104
Rainmaker
528,144
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

OMGosh...this is not rocket science.

Every listing has a place for remarks...where agent puts in beautiful pool, spotless house, new roof etc.  They can add "verbally accepted contract, waiting for signatures"...no permission needed as it is the truth.

Every listing also has a place for showing instructions...which can be changed to CALL AGENT.  Then agent can update the BA on status  before they  choose to show.

I doubt that any agent really cannot do anything to help...

Eve

Jan 10, 2015 08:41 PM #105
Rainmaker
275,382
Susan Jacobsen
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC
20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service

Karen - LOVE your little insert of sitting on the couch - just waiting for someone to confide in you :-) As for not updating the listings - really aggravates me! It's bad enough when customers call on a listing from Zillow or Trulia and it's rarely accurate, it's another thing when even the MLS listings don't get updated. If I hear one more time, 'it's my assistant's fault'.....

Jan 11, 2015 06:43 AM #106
Rainmaker
397,843
Marnie Matarese
DWELL REAL ESTATE - Sarasota, FL
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

I work for a small firm that allows us access to our own listings on MLS.  Many of the big box companies have administrative staff who do not work on weekends so if a property is truly under contract late Friday night, there is no way for the listing agent to update it.  The day of showings, I call each and every listing agent on my list of properties to make certain that the property is available.  Never rush to judgement as to it always being the fault of the listing agent.  Although some are not on top of their listings, (mostly bank owned or Short Sales) the majority try to do a good job.

Jan 11, 2015 08:05 AM #107
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Nina Hollander That is a crazy story.  After 5 years of pending status, you would have thought someone would have corrected it!  Thank you for sharing.

Mike & Eve Alexander Okay Eve.  I get what you are saying.  But in MY MLS, I have no ability to update remarks of any kind.  We do not have agent load system.  And even if I did, I would not add those types of remarks to my listing without my seller's permission.  As far as updating a buyer's agent, it is their responsibility for not calling to check availability prior to showing.  Many agents call first before wasting their time or their buyer's time.  It is professional courtesy to do the best that we can with the information and ability that we have.  Have a great 2015!

Jan 11, 2015 08:49 AM #108
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Susan Jacobsen Yes, I agree.  When there is no responsibility and it is always someone else's fault, I can understand the aggravation.  And thank you for liking my photo.  :)

Marnie Matarese You are absolutely correct.  And although we are not a big box company, we are a large company and all files are to be put through the office manager and broker first and will not be updated in the MLS until everything is there.  There is a method to their madness and I actually appreciate that it is thorough and things are not missed.  And you are doing it right by calling to verify availability prior to showing.  The listing agent may have just received an offer from a buyer that viewed the house two days ago!  Better safe than sorry.  Also, I believe that most agents do the best that they can and there are a few that don't.  Those are the ones that we are all accused of being.  One bad apple....well, you know what it does.  Thank you for reading and commenting.

 

Jan 11, 2015 08:54 AM #109
Rainmaker
3,059,205
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Karen... I thought you'd appreciate that story after your post. I had totally forgotten about this incident until I read your post. If we were giving out prizes for stupidity/laziness like this, I think this agent would get first place.

Jan 11, 2015 07:50 PM #110
Rainer
128,548
John Fauth
Coldwell Banker King Thompson - Grove City, OH
Turning your dreams into an address!

The one I have run into is they let me show the home, it is active and when my clients want to put in an offer I find out it was a multiple offer situation that needed to be submitted the day before I showed it. Drives me up a wall

Jan 12, 2015 05:49 AM #111
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Nina Hollander So true!  I have seen listings that have been pending for over 6 months in the MLS.  Unfortuately, once they are in pending status, the expiration of the listing contract is even overriden.....I cannot use them as sold comparables at all.  :(

John Fauth Now that is just silly.  If there is a multiple offer deadline in place, they should have asked if you wanted to participate and show it sooner.  Letting you show it after that deadline is just a waste of your time.  Thank you for sharing.

Jan 13, 2015 02:23 AM #112
Rainer
31,427
Want more business? Check us out online
Simple Listing Solutions - Encinitas, CA
SimpleListingSolutions.com

You're awesome. I love your thinking and your presentation of your arguments and your writing style and....

This is a really great post. For now on, all agents who fail to change the status of their listing even though the status has in fact been changed are innocent until proven guilty. 

Jan 13, 2015 07:35 AM #113
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Chris Sylvada You make me blush!  Thank you for reading and complimenting my writing.  I appreciate that and it really made my day.  Innocent until proven guilty, funny how we all jump on the "agent must be lazy" train, isn't it?  Have a great week!

Jan 13, 2015 10:13 AM #114
Ambassador
1,613,698
Harry F. D'Elia
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I have to believe that the majority of agents update the MLS automatically. I always call the listing agent to give me a status before showing a home so I do not waste my time.

Jan 13, 2015 11:48 PM #115
Rainer
207,243
Ben DeHaven
Haven Realty & Investments - Winter Haven, FL
Proudly serving Winter Haven & Lakeland, Florida

It really isnt that hard to take a few clicks to change a listing status. There are always agents that dont return phone calls/emails anyway. What then? Sorry Buyer, I cant show you this house because I dont know if its for sale or not. Makes everyone look bad. 

Jan 14, 2015 03:32 AM #116
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Harry F. D'Elia I do the same.  If I cannot reach the listing agent prior to showing, I try to put it to the end of the pile just in case.  I had this happen to me on Friday.  I called to schedule the showing, one of the members of the team confirmed with me, but by the time that I got there to show it, there was a sale pending sign on the house.  Seems that not all members of the team were informed that an offer had been received and accepted by the seller.  Frustrating to my buyer that really liked that one!  Thank you for reading.

Jan 18, 2015 10:15 AM #117
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Ben DeHaven See my comment above.  Even when you do everything right, things happen between scheduling the showing and getting to the showing.  We just have to do the best that we can and hope that our buyers understand.  Thank you for reading.

Jan 18, 2015 10:17 AM #118
Rainmaker
1,488,058
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Our MLS is very strict about all changes about status or not answering a request to show. It just takes one click to report an agent. Some agents used to keep active status for months after the property was sold to attract new buyers, but it is not happening any longer. 

Apr 04, 2016 05:41 PM #119
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Inna Ivchenko I wish our board was on top of those things.  Thank you for sharing, I will bring it up to the association and see if we can start making a move in that direction to enforcement.  

Apr 05, 2016 12:29 AM #120
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