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Bank of America’s New MLS Requirement for Short Sales

Kathleen Daniels of San Jose, CA wrote the post below about Bank of America's new MLS short sale requirements. This is an attempt by BofA to help control certain/bad behavior that is on the rise from some real estate agents. Please read the information provided and decide for yourself if the banks should have a say in how short sale transactions are handled.

Bank of America’s New MLS Requirement for Short Sales

On February 11, 2013 Bank of America announced a new MLS requirement for short sale transactions.

In addition to requiring all properties be listed on the MLS which has been the case as long as I have been doing short sales, the announcement also stated:

Ensure the listing status is current and active on the MLS until a short sale approval letter is issued”

Graphic of devil person holding a contractBank of America went too far with this one.  As a San Jose short sale agent, it is my opinion that Bank of America knows little to nothing about selling homes. With this announcement they prove they know nothing about board and MLS rules either.  It is clear with that statement that they expect short sale agents to violate MLS rules.

I cannot speak for all MLS rules because I don’t know them.  I only know my MLS rules which require us to change the MLS status from “active” to pending once the property has a ratified contract. 

Bank of America claimed it is “aware of the MLS rules and would be clarifying the matter soon.” 

Yesterday, February 14, 2013 Bank of America distributed a Short Sale Agent Update which, among other things, clarified the MLS requirement as follows:

“The listing requirement demonstrates that the property was listed on the open market and the offer received represents an open market transaction. We recognize that listing status classifications may differ by locale and are subject to local or regional MLS requirements. Brokers should follow MLS requirements at all times. MLS statuses such as Back Up, Contingent or Pending may be acceptable. Ensuring that the listing remains on the MLS until an approval letter is issued will help you show that the property was on the open market.”

I realize there are some shall we say “shady” short sale transactions managed by agents who behave badly by not adhering to lender requirements and/or following their own Board and MLS rules. 

Bank of America, as well as other lenders, has always required that the MLS printout be submitted with the short sale package. This has been the case at least as long as I have been doing short sales.

I have to say that I find it disturbing that Bank of America made the MLS active status requirement statement in the first place. Clearly Bank of America does not understand that “active status” or any other status on the MLS does not prove the “offer received represents an open market transaction.”  The only thing it proves is that the property was listed on the MLS. 

Agents representing buyers in a highly competitive sellers’ market like we are experiencing today know that some agents keep their own short sale listing inventory in their own pockets, so to speak, even though the property is listed on the MLS.

Good luck Bank of America with your efforts to control agents behaving badly. You can’t do that anymore than people can protect their self from the banks behaving badly.


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Kathleen Daniels, Broker-Owner of KD Realty, San Jose Short Sale Agent, Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Certified Short Sale Negotiator (CSSN), and REO Default Certified Professional (RDCPro), serving San Jose and surrounding San Jose Communities in Santa Clara County - Silicon Valley.

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San Jose Homes for Sale | San Jose Short Sale Agents

Kathleen Daniels CDPE, CHS, CSSN, reviews

Your Home. My Priority. Since 2003

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Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
Certified Default Resolution Specialist (CDRS)
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Comment balloon 1 commentTerrie Leighton • February 16 2013 12:10PM


Terrie, Thank you for the re-blog.  This has certainly stimulated a great discussion among our amazing AR community. No bank, lender or servicer can dictate to agents how to report MLS status. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) about 7 years ago

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