Listing status changes: Only MLS rules need apply
By Anne Cockayne
Feb. 20, 2017– Once a property goes under agreement, the listing status changes. By "under agreement," we mean both the buyer and seller are bound to a real estate contract signed by both parties.
The problem: Most real estate contracts contain contingencies where the seller has agreed to provide the buyer a certain number of days to inspect the property or get financing or both. During that time, the house is not listed as "active" in the MLS; instead, it goes into pending status or, depending on the MLS, some form of "pending."
However, buyers and sellers sometimes have their own ideas about their status during contingency periods. This being said, the buyer and seller do not determine the status of the listing in the MLS – the MLS rules do.
Most MLS rules say that once a property is under agreement, meaning both the seller and buyer have signed a contract, the MLS status is no longer allowed to read "active." Sometimes while a deal is being negotiated, a seller offers an extension so the buyer can satisfy a contingency; however, the seller may want the listing to go back to "active" status so he can obtain back up offers. This isn't permissible, even if both parties agree to change the status back to "active."
The MLS rules – not the buyer and seller – determine listing status.
All MLS participants are encouraged to review the status options in their MLS and know when it's appropriate to use them. All MLSs strive for the most accurate reflection of a listing to ensure everyone exposed to it is on notice of its availability.
No system is perfect, but the MLS rules are designed to facilitate the most effective and accurate transmittal of data in a way that everyone understands.
Anne Cockayne is Director of Policy Services for Florida Realtors
© 2017 Florida Realtors