Yesterday, a client of mine asked me why I hadn’t shown her a particular home for sale in a golf community in North Scottsdale. We had looked at other homes in that neighborhood with a similar price and criteria, so why hadn’t I shown her that one? She sent me a link to the listing from a local real estate agent’s web site. I looked it up in the Arizona Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) database, and, as I expected, it wasn’t available – it was under contract – and that’s why I hadn’t shown it to her.
If you ask any active Realtor in the Valley, this happens to us at least once a week. Why? Because of a status that the Arizona Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) uses that doesn’t translate over to individual agent web sites, or to Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and all the large real estate portals out there.
The status is “UCB,” which stands for “Active with Contingencies, Accepting Back-Up Offers.” This means that the property is actually under contract, but the contract has some sort of contingency other than an inspection contingency and financing contingency and the seller wants to continue to market the property; i.e. to continue to show it and accept back-up offers.
There are 2 problems with this status:
1) It is increasingly being used incorrectly by Realtors. Most real estate agents don’t understand that this status is only for offers with contingencies, AND the seller must give the listing agent written instructions to keep it in this status, as opposed to “Pending” which clearly indicates the home is under contract. More and more Realtors are incorrectly putting their under contract listings in UCB status until the inspection contingency is removed, with no written permission, and often the seller isn’t even interested in entertaining additional showings.
2) UCB status doesn’t translate over to the big real estate aggregators like Trulia and Zillow. As a result, homes in UCB status actually show as “Active” listings in these web sites and those of individual agents who subscribe to IDX (Internet Data Exchange) feeds to provide listings to people using their sites to search for homes.
What’s the impact of all of this? At any one time, there are a number of properties being advertised as “Active” on Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and individual agent web sites, that are really under contract. As a result, consumers are wasting a significant amount of time perusing the listing details, photos, videos and virtual tours of homes that aren’t even available, because they think that they are available.
This is a problem for both ARMLS, the major real estate portals, and IDX services to solve. The easiest option would be to get rid of the status completely. If that can’t or won’t happen, then it would be nice if the giant real estate portals could recognize this status in their listing data. At the very least, ARMLS needs to crack down on the abuse of this status.
Looking for Arizona golf homes for sale? Let us help you with your home search – you can count on us to send you only properties that are available for sale.
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
[gravityform id=”1″ name=”Contact Form” title=”false” description=”false”]