Active Short Sale vs. Active Short Contingent Listings

My phone rings all day long with buyers wanting more information on homes in Sacramento, especially on short sales. The problem is half the time they are calling from listings on Zillow or Trulia that are not for sale. I can see that buyers sometimes think real estate agents are overlooking or hiding homes from them, and they find these secret homes on Zillow or Trulia and get all excited. I hate to say this but by the time a home shows up on Zillow or Trulia, it’s probably either sold or it was never for sale in the first place.

We live in an instant society and people want instant information. We have little to no patience. We want it and want it now. You can have it now if you’re looking on an agent’s website that pulls data directly from MetroList. Not the public MetroList, which delivers limited information, but the full-blown stuff you get from a Sacramento real estate agent.

Yet, there is one little tweak with MetroList that I keep hoping will get fixed because it’s pretty darned confusing for home buyers. That’s the Active Short Sale status modifier, which is bundled with the Active Short Contingent status modifier. Generally speaking, when a short sale is sold, a seller has choices when changing the status of that listing. The listing can be changed to:

As long as the listing is changed to one of the last two modifiers, it will reflect as pending in some manner in MLS. This means the seller does not want anymore offers. However, if it is changed to Active Short Contingent, it means the seller will consider back-up offers. A back-up offer does not mean a buyer gets to buy the home. The buyer will get the home only if the first buyer cancels.

But don’t you think a buyer would like to know if that short sale is really available for sale? I think so. Yet, a buyer can’t tell if the listing is available for sale or not unless a buyer knows the secret. The secret is to look at the listing (yes, you’ve got to click on it and open it up) at the very bottom right-hand corner. If you see “active short contingent” in that spot, it means you can only write a back-up offer.

Even though I explain this over and over to buyers, they can’t see it. So, I am writing this blog and including a self-imposed photo over an existing listing. I can’t show you the entire listing because the active short status at the top is a long ways from the active short contingent at the bottom, so I’ve just cut out the middle for you.

It’s tough enough to figure out the difference between active short sale and active short contingent, but the way MetroList reports it for you, you can’t even find it.

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