Well, this is certainly turning into quite the exercise. Let me attempt to address this question first.
1. Lauren asks....Do you consider a listing to be "under contract" when you have an offer submitted to the bank (prior to approval)? Dan says "No. I don't consider it to be under contract." Well, why not? (a reader or Lauren might ask....LOL!). Well, the answer is twofold. part a, if you will....When a property goes under contract and the status gets changed on the MLS to under contract, it disappears from the public view. According to rules and ethics from the National Association of REALTORS and the local MLS, the seller can no longer market the property to anyone else once they have engaged a buyer and accepted a binding contract. Even though the contract may still have some contingencies, it's status is updated or changed to "under contract" and removed from further public consideration. Because of the volatility and uncertainty involved in selling AND buying a property where the seller is attempting one or more short payoffs to one or more entitites, the National Association of REALTORS has ruled that
a. A seller may be under contract with only one buyer at a time(hence the recent creation of the Backup position short sale addendum).
b. Because the outcome and time-frame of a short sale is so unpredictable, the NAR says the seller or buyer may cancel their contract at any time prior to 3rd party approval AND that the seller has the right to continue to market the property AND seek other offers. so.....
b. The property could not be updated to the under contract status because the seller has the right to still market the property and accept other offers! The seller could not continue to market the property if the property were under contract.
Caveat 1:.....the seller, if (he or she or they) chose, could tell the agent to place the property under contract, and cease to show it or take any more offers!
Caveat 2: the seller could cancel any offer at anytime in order to place a better offer that was accepted in backup position in first position. (more agents should urge their seller to do this). translated...more agents should uphold their fiduciary to the seller better than they do and those agents know exactly who I'm talking to....
So in conclusion.....
1. the short sale addendum allows the seller to be under contract with only one buyer at a time
2. the short sale addendum allows the seller the option of continuing to market the property, making it impossible to put the property under contract if the seller elects to continue to market the property.
3. A real estate purchase contract signed by the seller and the buyer is an enforceable, binding contract...whether the short sale addendum is part of it or not.
The status of a property on the MLS does not provide the evidence to the IRS for the tax credit,
IT IS THE SIGNED CONTRACT BETWEEN THE BUYER AND SELLER! AND/OR THE SETTLEMENT STATEMENT!
Again, go back and read the IRS web page.....
Oh, and by the way, I'm never too busy for any of your referrals!