Why is a "short sell" not required or optional information on the MLS web-sites?

Asked by Icedog, Oxnard, CA Wed Mar 5, 2008

I have spent many hours researching prospective homes only to find out later that the property is a short sale. Some listings state this information up front but the majority do not. Why is this information optional?

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CJ Brasiel, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Icedog -

I am with you on the fact it should be included. However, it is like many other "disclosed" items that are not placed in the public remarks. For example, the home inspection indicates a foundation crack. This is not part of the public advertisement but yet is a disclosed item once a buyer shows interest in the property. It gets down to the fact that the public remarks are used to attract buyers not necessarily inform them.

Web Reference:  http://www.TalkToCJ.com
1 vote
Barry Shapiro, Agent, Camarillo, CA
Thu Jul 3, 2008

I now post, update daily, a link to all the Short Sale listings in Camarillo. The link can be found on the home page of my website. I hope that helps you in your decision-making process.
0 votes
Joyce Zangme…, Agent, Thousand Oaks, CA
Tue Jul 1, 2008

Agreed! I think the short sale should be clearly identified.

Many buyers do not want to get into a short sale situation but there are just as many buyers that are looking for the short sale in hopes of acquiring a good deal.

In our Board of Realtors (Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors) we have a contingency item regarding lender approval and/or short sale. Recently REO was added to distinguish these properties.

If you are working with an experienced local Realtor, they will be able to auto email you updates of properties that match your criteria and are also either a short sale or a REO. We are available to supply you with that information throughout Ventura County.

"Doing Real Estate Right"
Web Reference:  http://www.GregandJoyce.com
0 votes
Carl Cole, , Oxnard, CA
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Providing this data on the MLS is up to each local Board of Realtors. The VCCAR has not had the huge numbers of short sales as many other areas of the state and has not made disclosure of this information to the public mandatory. It can be frustrating for both buyer and REALTOR to present an offer on a short sale. It could take a few days or months to hear back from the Lender's Loss Mitigation department. Each one has it's own rules to follow and there is a lot of confusion in the industry right now. Best wishes on your search.
0 votes
Ted Mackel, Agent, Simi Valley, CA
Thu Mar 13, 2008

REOs and short sales are going to be in bad shape. The owners have run out of money, know they are going to lose the house, so what is the motivation to take care of it? The first two homes I ever purchased were REOs. They both had their problems. I was 23 when I bought the first one. The house I just bought last fall was not an REO but was a great deal as it needed work.

I am saying this to you not to ridicule, but as a serious comment. "Broken windows, missing closet doors, holes in walls, severly stained, torn carpet and filthy beyond beleif" is really not beyond belief when you are dealing with REOs and Shorts, infact the the more cosmetic filth the better the deal is going to be.

I have not bought a used house yet that I did not immediately put new carpet and paint into, so why should I care if the carpet and paint are worked over when I buy the house?

Find an REO in great shape and you'll find multiple offers!
0 votes
Yvette Sloan, Agent, Middletown, CA
Wed Mar 5, 2008
If you work with a local realtor they should be able to give you this information. We are required to put this info. on the MLS but that does not upload out to the internet world. Your Realtor should be able to give you this information on the listings in your area.
Check out Lake County, CA. Northern CA. We have many short sales and foreclosure starting at $200,000

Web Reference:  http://www.yvettesloan.com
0 votes
Icedog, Home Buyer, Oxnard, CA
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Thank you all for the information you provided. I am working with a realtor and that is when I finally discover that all of the properties I flag for further review are short sales since he has more access to information than me. So not only does the lack of details waste my time it wastes his time as well. He isn't complaining but the whole process is very frustrating. I've also noticed another issue in todays market, REO properties that are in really bad shape. Broken windows, missing closet doors, holes in walls, severly stained, torn carpet and filthy beyond beleif. The "As Is" phrase is a joke. The past few weeks have been very discouraging for us...
0 votes
Bonnie Sterl…, Agent, Simi Valley, CA
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Different MLS actually have different rules about what must be in the MLS. In Oxnard the majority of the homes are usually listed with the Ventura Regional MLS. In the MLS database, there are several areas where the broker/agent can enter that the home is a short sale or short pay (same meaning). There is also a remarks area for information that other agents showing the home need to know. The Short Sale information is usually listed in one of those areas as a contingency of the sale, just as the Seller reserving the right to have a home of choice or a concurrent closing escrow. The remarks that you see using a service that uploads MLS data, such as Zip or Realtor.com, is only allowed to upload certain fields, per the individual MLS's contract with that service. So, you see thing that are important for marketing a home such as the marketing remarks that sometimes say that the home is a short pay. This is the agents individual choice to determine if sharing that the home is a short pay will entice the buyer to call them thinking that they might get a deal on a preforclosure. Marketing remarks are very subjective and as long as the information isnt unethical or lacking in compliance with fair housing rules, there is a lot of choice left in the hands of the agent that writes the description. For example we've all seen the work "sparkling" or "beautiful" used in a home description but it isnt a fact, its an opinion. So the field that you are seeing "short pay" written in, is a fact but it is also a subjective choice of the writer.
I can really understand your frustration but I have to say that if you were working with a Realtor in your area you would save yourself a lot of time. A Realtor can access the MLS database directly and send you only listings that are not short pays, if it is your preference not to see any short pays.Plus a Realtor can help you with so many other areas of your real estate purchase. As a buyer you may not know that most often the Buyers Agent, the Realtor who would represent you, is paid by the Sellers Agent. So, I think you should consider working with a Realtor who can help you with the entire process and aleviate a lot of frustration.
0 votes
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Icedog, I know it is frustrating. I have buyers that do not want a short sale because of time constraints. They bring me all these great listings they have found on the internet and I have to let them know they are short sales...So frustrating!

As an agent, I can do a search to exclude the short sales so it is easier for me than for a home buyer.
Web Reference:  http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes
Glenda Marks, , Charlotte, NC
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Unless a foreclosure method impacts the ability of the seller/owner to sell, or the prospective buyer to purchase, normally it is not made available to the general buying public. As a buyer, represented by a buyer agency agreement, your agent would be able to point out the listings that are short sale, bank owned, etc.
0 votes
Rebecca Cham…, , Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Usually it is presented in the area available only to Realtors. If you work with a Realtor, you would have access to such information. Many people do not want the world to know they are attempting a short sale.
0 votes
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