The human nature is, listing agents do not serve the general public, they serve their seller. So if you have to call from outside a property, the listing agent doesn't much care about your inconvenience. That's one thing.
Secondly. There are various stages of being "under contract," and MLSes have specific rules about how to categorize them. Generally, as layers of contingencies are satisfied, the stages change.
Here in Sunny Seattle, we may be "under contract," but none of the buyer's contingencies have been satisfied. Pending Inspection is an MLS category, and listing agents will not put a notice up on the yard sign, because, well, it's still worth having Seth call in on the property.
The financing contingency is one that isn't totally within the buyer's control, but when that's the only remaining contingency, then we'll call it, "Pending" and the buyer's agent can put a "Sold" strip up on the sign. The logic here is that the buyer's satisfied, and it's now pretty much up to third party approval.
That's the story.
The situation that you are experiencing is something that we, as agents go through as well. The MLS- is only as good, accurate, and current as the people that enter the data.
We, myself included- often DO NOT update the actual status of a listed property- especially when it is a short-sale. The reasons are many- but most important is that these deals take a long time to get approvals- price approved, seller approved, BPO, etc.
In the case of a short sale- the buyer can easily walk away from the deal- when the seller/lender is under the impression that they have a ready, willing and able buyer. The buyer may have been ready- 3 months ago- but has had a change of heart- for whatever reason.
I continue showing property that is tentative or pending- in order to get a back-up contract. Deals do fall aprt from time to time- sellers, buyers, lenders- there are too many ways that a deal falls apart- best to have another option.
The signs could be updated with a rider; eg. Pending Inspections, Pending 3rd Party Approval, etc.
â‰ˆâ‰ˆâ‰ˆ Mott Marvin Kornicki, REALTORÂ® â‰ˆâ‰ˆâ‰ˆ
Aventura | Bal Harbour | Sunny Isles Beach
â‰ˆâ‰ˆâ‰ˆâ‰ˆâ‰ˆâ‰ˆ "â˜…â€This is the House â€œâ˜…" â‰ˆâ‰ˆâ‰ˆâ‰ˆâ‰ˆâ‰ˆ
So, Seth! I think you should ask your agent what the best site(s) for viewing homes are in Miami.
Instead, I find properties on Trulia via new listings and recent reductions searches. Then I check to see if they are still in realtor.com, and if so, send the MLS#s to my realtor. I ask him to send me the listings for the ones that are still active. Then I drive by them. If I like them, then I ask him to set up a showing. It's at that point that I often here they have an offer and backup offer already, and aren't taking backups. I can see why the sign should still be posted, but an agent should have superior info to a sign, and if the listing showed "Pending Inspection" or "Under Contract", then I wouldn't bother to drive by the house!
Should I instead ask my agent to call for all of the listings I find before I drive by the outside? That's more work for everyone, especially my agent, because here in Miami, it seems to take several calls to get a response, if any. I thought I was being more efficient by driving by the properties before asking him to call the realtor for showing instructions.
Do you recommend I change my process?
Also, the listing agent has a responsibility to continue to market the property unless instructed otherwise by his/her client. It has to be marketed properly, of course--but the MLS should show an accurate status of the property.
If you've had that problem 7-8 times, then definitely talk to your Realtor. As I said, an immediate e-mail notification may be part of the answer. Perhaps broadening your search would help. But talk to your Realtor--he/she certainly would like to earn a commission on a sale, too!