There is a new listing status on the RMLS called Short Sale Pending (SSP) on March 15, 2012. This new status was needed for the vast amount of short sales on the market in the Portland Metro/Vancouver area - about 26% of all active listings currently are short sales.
What has been happening, that was a real problem, was that our buyer clients would find a home online that they would fall in love with and then find out that it was a short sale that already had an offer on it. There would always be a big emotional let-down when they would find out that someone else already had an offer on it. This new status, SSP, covers that, so that the listing agents of short sales, who have received offers on their listings, would change the status from "Active" to "Short Sale Pending" and buyers would instantly know that there is an offer on the home already and know that they would have a greatly reduced chance of buying the home and that they can continue searching for a home they can actually buy.
There was a rule change last year, where listing agents of short sale homes were to change the status from "Active" to "Pending" when an offer was accepted by the seller and submitted to the third party for approval. Many listing agents of the short sales did not think that this was correct because the third party had not accepted the offer yet and escrow had not been opened. SSP handles that.
I am very excited about this change and know that it will be best for the buyers in the long run!