Problems with MetroList Status of Sacramento Homes for Sale

problems with MetroListThe discussion erupted over the way MetroList allows agents to report the status of homes for sale in Sacramento, and the options available to real estate agents. The buyer’s agent huffed and puffed about the X number of real estate offices he has managed, the X number of corporations he has headed, the X number of agents he has supervised, and the X number of years he has been in the real estate business. I listened to him because that’s what I do. He finished by stating his objection:

In all of this, he has never, EVER run into a Sacramento listing agent and seller who, in collaboration, refused to change the status in MLS from ACTIVE to PENDING upon offer acceptance by stipulating such in the counter offer.

Welcome to the wonderful wacky world of Sacramento real estate in the fall of 2014.

To give myself credit, I did not point out that the buyer had written multiple offers when the buyer could afford to only buy one home, nor how that kind of nefarious thing could be justification why a seller may possibly elect to wait for the buyer to lift contingencies before changing the status to pending in MLS.

Nope, instead, I relied on history from the past few months in which the scenario goes like this:

  • Buyer writes offer.
  • Seller counters offer.
  • Buyer accepts counter offer.
  • Escrow is opened.
  • Buyer cancels offer.

The problem with this is the agent changes the listing in MLS to pending, and when the buyer flakes out, the listing then is changed back to the awful status, that dreaded garlic-waving status, that kiss of death walking zombie status: back on market. It’s like tearing off your clothes in public to reveal you have herpes and asking who would like to have sex with you.

See, in California, our purchase contracts give a buyer 17 days by default to cancel the contract for just about any reason: It’s too hot today. I don’t like the garage. There’s a plane overhead. The next-door neighbor is grumpy. I just don’t feel like buying this house. It would make more sense if MetroList would give us the option for status by allowing us to leave the “pending” listing active through a modifier, so if it fell out, the active status would remain intact. Like a virgin listing. Yeah.

Because pending ain’t pending if it ain’t closing. Pending happens after the contingencies are released. Until then, just about anything can occur. Oh, I realize changing the status in MetroList would mean pointing out clearly to buyers that they can cancel, and not everybody wants to be that direct with a buyer (holy cow, I can cancel?), but it just makes sense, doesn’t it? I’d like to rid of that back-on-market stigma, but I don’t run MLS. I just gripe about crap.

The best we can do at the moment is put a pending rescission modifier on that listing so if the buyer cancels, it can just be removed and the listing stays active. But you’ve got to have written permission from all parties to do that.

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