DR left this comment this morning:

“We recently wanted to put an offer in on a “short sale” home we had been hoping would go up for sale.  We had been watching for this home for two years. (The home has not been approved for short sale yet.) The real estate agent already had 5 offers and told us not to bother. He had made a deal with the seller to take the home off the market as soon as he got what he thought would be an acceptable offer for the bank.  He was going to present the first offer and use the other 4 as backup and wasn’t interested in our all-cash offer.  Is this ethical on the part of a realtor?  He can decide which offer he wants to submit to the bank and stop additional bidders?”

There are no rules, no guidelines, no expectations from banks; there is literally nothing regulating how short sales are sold. 

The listing agent is the sole decider on how the process happens, and you are at his or her mercy. 

1. At least once a day I see an agent input a new short-sale listing onto the MLS, with the note that they already have an accepted offer. 

2. I regularly see listing agents representing both buyer and seller after leaving the property active in the MLS for months so they can shop it around. 

3. You see sellers more willing to show the home to buyers sent by the listing agent.

Is there payola between listing agents and sellers?  You can come to your own conclusions, but until the MLS starts enforcing some rules on how short sales are sold, expect lots of funny business.

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Jim the Realtor
Jim is a long-time local realtor who comments daily here on his blog, bubbleinfo.com which began in September, 2005. Stick around!

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