Bank of America Short Sale Policy – Trying to Control MLS?

Bank of America Short sales

The recent Bank of America Short Sale agent update that was emailed out today states:

  1. Your Bank of America short sale listing must be “marketed in the MLS” as ACTIVE until an approval letter is issued.
  2. How you are to fill out your MLS fields in a general manner and specific manner.


Many MLS rules and even some State laws may disallow keeping short sales “active” on the market after the seller has accepted an offer. The Florida Association of Realtor says a short sale contract is still a contract. In fact, my local MLS. the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors in Florida, has a rule that even short sale properties that have “offers” (unsigned by the seller), that are sent to the short sale lender (don’t do that), must be removed from “active” MLS status, and placed into “pending” or “contingent” status.
When I initially read the email I thought it was intended for REO agents (where Bank of America is the seller), not short sale agents. I was mistaken. I think this latest effort by Bank of America is overstepping. Certainly, there are valid points, such as, it is wise not to state a short sale is “pre-approved”. But the email edict seems to also be micro-managing short sale agents and potentially is contrary to some State laws and MLS rules. The property is still owned by the seller. Third party “approval” does not equal “seller” status.
Here is the body of the email from Bank of America:

Exclusively for: | Wendy RulnickForward a Friend
Short Sale Customer/Agent Care
8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Mon. – Fri., ET

9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sat., ETbankofamerica.com/shortsaleagent

Short Sale Agent Update

February 11, 2013
In our continued effort to ensure acceptable and fair marketing activity for all short sales, this is a reminder that Bank of America requires all properties to be listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).The property must have been listed prior to the acceptance of an offer. All offers must be submitted by the buyer subsequent to the listing date, and the property must be marketed on the MLS until a short sale approval letter is issued. Any property not listed on the MLS may experience processing delays, and/or the Short Sale file may be declined.

The following actions can help prevent processing delays and/or file declines.

  •  List the property on the MLS and include all basic property detail, including: 

    • 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).
  • Ensure the MLS remarks and/or comments do not reflect unacceptable language such as: 

    • “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”
  • Ensure the listing status is current and active on the MLS until a short sale approval letter is issued

Per investor guidelines, additional documents may be required and will be communicated, as applicable, by the Short Sale Specialist.

It’s Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: [email protected]

Destin Short Sale Agent


Wendy Rulnick, Broker, is a short sale and pre-foreclosure specialist and has been featured in “Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine” and “Florida Realtor Magazine”. She has successfully helped hundreds of families avoid foreclosure through short sale along the Emerald Coast of Florida. Wendy Rulnick is knowledgeable in all aspects of short sale, includingVA Compromise SaleFHA HUD pre-foreclosure saleHAP military PCS, HAFA, Bank of America Coop program and more.  She is also co-founder of www.ShortSaleSuperstars.com and short sale instructor to agents across the United States. Wendy Rulnick sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Panama City Beach, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field.

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