Bank of America recently released guidelines to clarify their MLS requirements for Short Sales. Although listing a property on the MLS is not a new requirement in their short sale process, Bank of America now states that the property needs to be listed on the MLS prior to the acceptance of an offer and that the property continues to be marketed on the MLS until a Short Sale approval letter is issued. According to Bank of America, this requirement is to demonstrate that the "property was listed on the open market and the offer received represents an open market transaction."
Bank of America requires that the following information be included on a property's MLS listing:
• Number of beds/baths, square footage, lot size, year built, location, interior features, etc.
• All known property information used to market the property to prospective buyers
• Alternative language such as "unknown" or "unavailable" should be used - instead of leaving fields blank - when you encounter certain property characteristics that may be unknown via public record (e.g., Property taxes, deed information, and other fees)
According to Bank of America certain phrases on the MLS can be considered an attempt to exclude a financed buyer and lead to a delay in processing the short sale. The following are some of the phrases that Bank of America has identified as unacceptable:
• "Do not disturb homeowner, property not available for viewing"
• "Bank has already approved the short sale"
• "Cash offers only"
• "Preapproval through listing agent lender only
Bank of America acknowledges that listing status classifications may differ by locale and are subject to local or regional MLS requirements, and they urge Brokers to follow those requirements at all times. Furthermore, the lender stresses the fact that all offers are subject to investor approval and are reviewed on a case by case basis.
P.S. These new Bank of America requirements are mainly consistent with the way the local MLS Associations handle short sales.
Contact me at 434-951-0858 or Tucker@TGBLaw.com if you have questions.
William D. Tucker, III
Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C.
Charlottesville, VA 434-973-7474
Lake Monticello (Palmyra, VA) 434-589-3636