Is there a rule that once an offer has been accepted by a seller that the MLS status needs to be updated to?

Asked by Kit, Houston, TX Mon Feb 18, 2008

Pending, Continue to Show? I am in Houston, TX and have submitted an offer on a short sale that has been accepted by the seller and is pending lender acceptance. My realtor is not pushing the listing realtor to update the status and it has been 1 week since seller this wrong?

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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Tue Feb 19, 2008
Most MLS systems have rules at to how long you can wait, once you've received acceptance, before updating the MLS listing to either Contingent or Pending.

In this case, based on what you've described, you do NOT yet have acceptance. The offer has been verbally accepted, by the seller, but in a short sale, the seller is not in charge of whether or not they will accept the offer, that is up to the bank, and you need to receive written acceptance from the bank.

Once you have written acceptance from the bank, then the local MLS rules will come into play and they will have to update according to those rules.
1 vote
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Tue Feb 19, 2008
Typically I would think these do not get updated until the lender accepts the contract. There really is no contract until the lender accepts in most cases. That is because the contract should be written something to the effect that contract is subject to lender acceptance. Therefore until the lender accepts and signs off on the short sell there is no contract and therefore no need to update the status or stop showings. With short sales there is no guarantee that the lender will accept the offer. I know that's probably not what you want to hear, but that's just the reality of short sales.
1 vote
Realtor, ,
Mon Feb 18, 2008
The offer isn't accepted until the lender says so. The Realtor has a right to continue to show the property and possibly get a higher offer.
1 vote
Lee Adkins, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Mon Feb 18, 2008
Cat -
I am FROM Houston, but can only speak for real estate laws and MLS services in Georgia.

The seller generally doesn't have much say in accepting a short sale offer. Until the bank gives it approval it's not really under contract - unless the buyer has already reached a number with the lender and your number meets that one.

Once the lender accepts your terms, you should still be aware of the following things:
The primary determining factor in this would be if your purchase has any addendum or special language stating that the seller can continue to market the home through a certain time - especially during any contingencies.

Additionally, it takes the MLS service here a few days if not a week to update status sometimes - depending on a number of factors that are generally out of anyone's control.

The most important thing for you to check - and really the "only" thing that could adversely affect you is if the bank (in a addendum) reserves the right to negotiate other offers - even if they are under contract with you. Your best bet is to check on that first and foremost.

I hope this helps you!
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T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon Feb 18, 2008
No this is not wrong because it's subject to a the lender approval and they can always turn it down and accept a higher offer. If it wasn't a short sale, the listing agent has 5 days to change the status in the MLS and can be fined $50 per day for every day thereafter that it's not updated, but someone has to report it.
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1 vote
Kathy Stark, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Oct 21, 2009
The bank which needs to approve the sale is NOT the seller. They are not a party to the contract. Under normal circumstances the contract is RATIFIED when the Seller signs it. Just like a contract is ratified but contingent on a Home Inspection, the contract is Ratified but contingent on 3rd party approval. This subject is truly an issue with many agents who do not understand the 3rd party approval CONTINGENCY.

In my area, Northern Virginia, many companies have started using a Short Sale Addendum, developed by the companies, not by our Board of Realtors, which includes verbage indicating that parties agree it is not ratifed until the Seller delivers to the Buyer proof of the 3rd party approval. The addendum also says that the Earnest Money Deposit is not to be deposited until 3rd party approval is received. How can the check be deposited if the contract is not ratified.

If your contract has this type of addendum, spelling out that it is not ratified until the 3rd party approval then the agent is correct not to change the status in the MLS. If though there is no addendum spelling this out, and the contract is Ratified (look on your contract for a ratification date), and your check was deposited, then the status should be changed and you agent should be making calls insisting the listing agent change the status. With my MLS if you do not change the status an agent can be fined as much as $100 for the first violation, and if they continue to leave it Active the fine will rise.

You should push the issue with your agent to get the listing agent to change the status, and if they do not get results go to their manager and have them make a call.

Best of luck

Kathy Stark
Weichert, Realtors
0 votes
TCP Real Est…, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Oct 21, 2009
Regardless of the type of contract - short sale, new home construction, or resale - an offer is just an offer until you have written acceptance from a seller. In this case, the status is not pending until AFTER the lender signs the contract. Verbal acceptance is not the same as written acceptance.

In today's market, it takes longer than ever for short sale contracts. The time frame from submitting an offer and receiving written acceptance from the lender can take months. During that time, a buyer may change his or her mind as well, and many do! It is in the seller's best interest, in this case the bank/lender, to keep the listing active until both the buyer and seller have signed the contract.
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Dana Gray, Agent, Houston, TX
Wed Feb 20, 2008
There is a rule with MLS that if a contract is accepted, then the listing has to be changed from Active (A) to either option pending (OP - meaning you are still within the option period of the contract), Pending Continue to Show (PS - meaning they may or may not still be showing the property for backup contracts), or Pending (P - meaning the property will not show up on public websites like HAR and there are no more showings). The seller can continue to show the property for back up contracts and usually do especially in a short sale situation because buyers often give up waiting on the lender and back out. There is nothing the buyer's agent can do to get the listing agent to change the status from PS.
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