Why Do Sacramento Homes Come Back on the Market?
Just because you spot a home in the Sacramento MetroList MLS with a “back on market” status does not mean there was something wrong with the property; yet, that assumption is the first premise that some buyer’s agents and their buyers attach themselves to. The problem with many back-on-market listings is the buyers (or the buyer’s agents) did not understand what they were doing when they wrote the purchase offer. It’s like they embarked on a wild bender and woke up face down in puke. OMG, what did I do, they wonder, I bought a house.
I try to follow the rules of MLS, and unlike some agents, I actually read the MLS manual. MLS rules state we listing agents have 3 days to change the status in MLS from Active to Pending. However, there is also the real world, and the real world says if I’ve got buyer’s agents showing my pending listing for 3 days straight when I knew it was pending and did not inform them, my name in the real estate community would turn to mud. It’s unethical to purposely not change the status in MLS and to misrepresent what’s going on.
The problem that arises is we might be led to believe that the buyer is steadfast and then we discover, no, there is a problem with the buyer. Meanwhile, the listing is sitting in pending status. When we put back the listing on the market, now everybody wants to know why, what went wrong — when it was the messed-up buyer or agent that was the problem.
In one instance, we moved a perfectly beautiful home in Elk Grove from its fresh active status to pending when an Elk Grove buyer with a criminal record hoodwinked the seller into accepting an offer. The buyer’s agent was absolutely steadfast that the buyer could perform until it turned out that the buyer, oops, had no money, no car and no job. Yet this home went back on the market, and it’s not the same.
In another instance, the buyers, with the buyer’s agent’s permission, wrote multiple offers to buy a home and ended up in contract on two homes at the same time. The buyer’s agent did not immediately notify the listing agent. Meanwhile, status changed from active to pending in MLS. A few days went by before the buyers bothered to decided which home they wanted to buy (ultimately the answer was neither). That buyer’s agent learned a hard lesson, but still, the seller’s home ended up in back-on-market status.
Recently, a seller accepted a contingent offer, meaning the buyer had a home to sell, and the buyer asked for, let’s say, 7 days to sell her home. Her agent noted the home was on the market and should quickly sell. Before advising my seller to accept the contingency to sell a home from the buyer, this Sacramento real estate agent checked the accuracy of the listed price, and it seemed very reasonable. The seller accepted the offer. We changed the status in MLS to pending.
Then, the buyer’s agent did a double take when when we asked for the contingency release within the specified time period. Turns out she did not correctly write the Contingency of Purchase. She made a huge mistake. She had meant to ask for a much longer time period, consisting of a few months. I guess now I have to add to my repertoire of insulting questions to ask buyer’s agents: Does your buyer understand what she signed?
This Sacramento spring market seems so squirrelly. It’s bad enough that I have to personally call banking institutions to verify funds on deposit (because the loan officers and buyer’s agents don’t always give a hoot), and interrogate the buyer’s agents as to whether the buyer wrote two offers. I don’t mean to insult anybody. But this back-on the-market business is damaging to sellers, and I have to look out for my seller’s interests. I might also change my policy now to leaving the status modifier in ACTIVE for a few days, just to make sure everybody is on the same page. If buyer’s agents want to know whether we have any offers, they’ll just have to find out the old-fashioned way.