Have any of you had success listing short sales and selling directly to a buyer WITHOUT marketing on MLS?  Not sure that all servicers and banks have the same guidelines on this. Really need your advice!  Thanks in advance

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I'm going on very little information here but I'd like to think that having a realtor listing the house gives the best and highest sales price available because it's been offered at large to the most qualified available buyers looking for similar homes.

Without listing, a persons offer could be misconstrued to be an inside job.  We don't know the offered price is the highest and best & can't guarantee there's any better offers on the market. 

I also, hate when a property goes off market in less than 10 days... how does anyone know that a higher offer wasn't out there???  Like my clients offer?

But back to your question.  You're saying "you" want to take the listing and not market?  (ie-you are a realtor). Putting it on the MLS is marketing.  Many web sites take the MLS feeds and market it on their own sites (therefore 10 days minimum helps with saturating the market with your listings attributes), so how do you mean "list" but not "market"... Are you saying you want to circumvent the Marketing part with a "pocket" listing-knowing you already have a buyer in mind?  Not officially list it so you can make sure your other client gets the accepted offer?

Why does that sound like you'd be walking on thin ice regarding fiduciary responsibility?  I'm sure there are lenders that do allow it but they don't like it for the same reasons and I've never seen it, yet.  Hence the Short Sale Affidavit which endeavors to keep everyone on their toes.  It would seem you'll be flirting with a jail sentence, if the seller comes back to press the issue, etc.  CYA on going into Short Sale transactions and manipulating the system.

Even if the Seller signs off that he doesn't want the home "marketed"...(fear someone he knows may find out, etc.) the lender he has will let you know if you must market in some way any further than you did.  For instance, for sale by owner- just know the processing of a short sale should be handled by someone experienced in getting proper packages together.

More information would be nice- 224-200-3900 is my number if you want to talk privately, but I only service Illinois and Chicagoland metro area and Suburbs at that.

Wendy ~

  We just successfully completed a short sale without putting it on the MLS.  The seller did not want the neighborhood to know or have people driving by the home or even knocking on the door, as her kids did not know.  We marketed in the office and were able to procure a buyer for the property. In our area Orange County, CA the inventory is so low, it's not a problem finding a buyer.  The bank did not have an issue with it, as we procured a fair market value for the home. If you have further questions, feel free to call me.  Best of luck to you~


Amy Sims

First Team Real Estate


Every lender I have ever worked with has required the property be put on the open market meaning listed in the multiple listing service.  Why would anyone not want to put the property in the mls anyway?


Thanks for your replies.  This scenario was suggested by an investor targeting certain properties, After much investigation we have declined.  Really appreciate the feedback!  We are not taking the risk.

Our situation was requested by the seller and the bank approved. Investors want to buy below market value, hence not paying fair market value. Good call on your part.



In the past, I have used a "single party listing" and placed a property under contract without using the MLS.  While this still may be possible, most banks are requesting a copy of the MLS printout.


That said, I'd like to point out again for those who have forgotten that the homeowner is our client, NOT the bank.  The notion of "highest and best" is grossly misunderstood, and requires neither a certain amount of time marketing nor a certain number of offers to be attained.   For example, it might be in my client/homeowners best interest to obtain an immediate offer, from a standing and ready buyer (probably an investor with cash), rather than waiting for multiple offers and perhaps dealing with a buyer who will not stay on board long enough to get the short sale done - - and we have to start over. 


The  banks would like you to believe that they are a direct party to the real estate transaction.  This is NOT true . . . they are an indirect party who plays only the role of approving a sale that nets them less than they are owed.

As far as the San Diego market goes (and other areas of Southern California), short sales frequently go into the "contingent" status (offer submitted pending lender approval) at the same time they go on the MLS because a buyer has already submitted an offer -- owners tell their friends/neighbors or the agent has a buyer and they get advance notice of the potential listing.  In the transactions I've seen it doesn't matter to the banks if there was an "Active" listing before the offer went contingent pending lender approval.  Either way, it goes on the MLS and I think it should for general transaction purposes and to avoid any potential issues from the lender. In the lender short sale packages I have seen, they state that you should be prepared to show that you marketed the home diligently and got the best offer to market value -- you do that by showing them records of how many people viewed it, feedback, etc.  Have they ever asked me for those records?  No, but I also didn't give them an offer that they disputed and so I didn't have to negotiate in order to prove them wrong.

I agree with Lisa that you have to be careful.  It really depends on the situation.   Is it someone the seller knows?   Is it a tenant?  All of you, including the buyer, seller and both agents are going to have to sign an arms length affadavit.  On the other hand, I had a situation where a buyer wanted to be in a particular neighborhood.  I sent out flyers to the homes in the neighborhood that fit their needs.   I got a response from a party and it ended up being a short sale.   We were very careful - I even brought in another agent in the office to represent the seller so I could represent the buyer. That is just my personal way of doing business -on a short sale I do not want to represent both parties.   We wrote at market value on a financed offer.  Bank approved it and we closed.   I did not know the seller, I represented the buyer - the buyer and seller were not connected in any way.

The listing agent did put the property in MLS just in case there was an issue on our transaction.  She then put it awc - we are required to do this.    Did we get highest and best - who knows - it was a price acceptable to the bank - the seller did not have to be inconvenienced - the property appraised at the sales price - due to it being a purchase money there is no deficiency concerns AND the seller consulted their attorney before proceeding.

The fiduciary responsibility is to the seller, not the bank - the seller is the client.  It really depends on the laws in your state.  We are a non-deficiency state in Arizona so it is a little easier.  The seller does not care at all what the property sells for since the bank cannot come back on them.  As long as it is a true arms length and the bank is happy with the net and cannot come back on the seller with a deficiency I do not see an issue - our responsibility is to our client - the seller


We've "double-ended" a number of our listings without ever listing publically on the MLS.  Typically, this has been where we had an investor-owned, tenant-occupied property where the tenant wished to purchase the property.

We've done similar transactions where we knew a listing was coming, and were able to bring a buyer from our database.

All transactions are at "Fair Market Value" determined by BPO or Appraisal.

The lender is entitled to receipt of fair market value for its collateral, but it has no right whatever to demand or expect any certain period of exposure on MLS.

I am a REO agent  doing more short sales as the banks are finally wanting to do short sales than foreclose due to the cost . I always place short sales on the market and price them 10 to 15% median price of the neighborhood. This will get a few showings and interest. I drop the price every 2 to 3 weeks usually $10,000 each time. I usually have a contract within a 60 day period. I PDF every MLS sheet for every price point to show the bank that I have tried to get the highest and best price possible  on the open market. This is how REO are treated as they want a 90 day price on thee listing.  I see many agents with over 200 days on the market and never lower the price. They end up being withdrawn and the bank takes control and forecloses!   

Sometimes I will get a low ball offer within a few days but depending how low I will send it to the bank to get the short sale started. This will get the bank to get the BPO ordered and bank will give you an approved short sale price. If the buyer walks, I usually find a buyer within 15 to 30 days putting the APPROVED SHORT SALE PRICE(any offers below listing price will not be considered)  on the MLS sheet and list the home at that price. When buyers see that they do not have to wait 6 months for the market price that the bank wants, it easier to get a buyer to offer full price.

Wendy I agree with Amy,  properties sell everyday that are not part of the MLS.  Our team has sold several properties without using the MLS.  Banks and Sellers want the the same thing, they want the offer that nets them the most dollars in their pocket at the close.  That doesnt necessarily mean the person offer a higher price is the best offer, the details of the offer have to be considered also.  Remember the MLS is still a real estate agents pay to play system. It doesnt mean that it opens up the property to the entire market, it just opens it to the ones that can pay to play on the MLS.

I very frequently sell my FHA short sales without much, if any, MLS activity since the price is determined before listing. Since I am the one that meets the appraiser before approval, I know what the price range will be and I begin shopping for a buyer well in advance. I put the word out to experienced agents as to what I have coming up, knowing that the chance of closing is much higher with an agent that knows the program. Most often I will end up with a full price offer with pre-approved and educated buyers that are prepared to purchase within the guidelines. I have yet to have one of those buyers walk from a deal and the process is relatively painless for the seller. Inventory is very low in the Portland OR area and I know that is the reason I can do this. Of course all done with the understanding and permission of my seller.



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