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That Home Shows Up as Active on the MLS, but it's Sold?

Chris Alston

Chris has been in the real estate industry for over 20 years.

Chris has been in the real estate industry for over 20 years.

Feb 8 3 minutes read

Ok, so you are saying the home you want on MLS shows up as "active"...  But in fact, it is actually "in contract"?  With a buyer?  So it is pending sale?

Why?  I mean, in the Bay Area it is a MLS violation to list a home as "active" on the Multiple Listing Service if indeed it has entered into contract.  So that begs the question as to why an agent would leave the status as active, when it actually is currently in contract with a buyer.

 Lets break it down into two parts.  One, is what we are required to do, and the second is why agents do it.

 As a Realtor, we have to adhere to a certain code of ethics.  

It is called theNAR Code of Ethics. (NAR = National Association of Realtors).  Article 12 of this code, states that a Realtor must be honest and truthful in their communications, including advertising.  So the MLS is an extension of our advertising.  So if we are listing a home on our MLS  as active, when indeed it is pending sale, then we potentially are violating this article.  In addition, most MLS's require the property to be changed to pending within 24-48 hours after acceptance of the officer.  So one bad egg, ruins the reputation of all of us.  I mean, if one of us are doing it, buyers could get mad at all of us.

I hear agents give so many reasons as to why they delay changing it to pending.  

-I forgot

-I won't change it, until the buyer puts their deposit in escrow

-I won't change it, until the buyer removes their contingencies

-I want to get a back up buyer in place, and will keep it active

-I want to generate more leads, since there are so few listings now

-Buyers may call me, if it looks like I have active listings

-Lazy agents

 So as consumers, when you view the MLS directly or through ancillary real estate sites, sometimes you will see homes that are for sale, that are actually in contract... We can't control this unethical practice, but if you see something you like, give us a call.  We will find out if it is under contract before you fall in love with it!   And if it is in contract, you never know...  Maybe we can get you in backup position and if it falls out, we can get you in!  If you are not in the Bay Area, call us anyways... We will find you a great agent local to you!

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