Phew! And That’s Just to Take a Look . . .

With a “traditional sale” (no bank involved), here’s how Realtors set up a showing:

You call the listing agent’s front desk, request the showing, and wait for a confirmation with showing instructions, i.e., lockbox code, alarm location (if any), etc. (Realtors can now submit showing requests online, as well).

In a “short sale,” the bank is owed more than the home is worth, so has to give its approval before a sale can be consummated.

Given the long time lag involved, it’s not unusual to have multiple prospective Buyers submit offers that may or may not have already been accepted, subject to the bank’s approval.

Most Realtors don’t want to waste their or their clients’ time showing such a home.

To find out the “short sale” home’s status prior to requesting a showing, here’s the recommended protocol (courtesy of the MN Assn. of Realtors):

When offers have been received and submitted to the seller for consideration, but the seller has not accepted any of the offers, that is not a mandated disclosure. However,when setting up a showing appointment, if the buyer agent or the facilitator working with a buyer is concerned whether there are outstanding offers on the property, the agent should inquire of such from the listing agent. Or, when presenting an offer to the listing agent, the buyer agent or facilitator should inquire if there are any outstanding offers on the property. When asked, REALTORS®, with the authorization from the seller, shall disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS® shall also disclose, if asked, whether such offers were obtained by the listing agent, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating agent. The listing agent cannot lie, and if the seller has instructed the agent not to disclose the existence of multiple offers, the agent should respond by saying the seller has not authorized him/her to disclose that information. It is important to remember that a multiple offer situation is not a mandatory disclosure; rather it is up to the buyer agent or the facilitator to make such an inquiry.

Got all that?

Phew! (or as the natives say, “Uff-dah!”)

You can navigate all that . . . or you could show another home (I hear that there are plenty for sale these days).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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