One of our firm’s listings has a contract pending. The listing agent wants to leave the property’s status in the MLS as “active” because he believes that some agents won’t show the property for backup offers if it’s listed as “pending.” Is it an MLS rule violation to leave it listed as “active”?

Most MLS rules require that participants accurately report the status of listings and promptly report changes to that status in the MLS. It’s likely that the listing agent would be violating the MLS rules by not reporting the correct status. 

My buyer client is on day four of his 10-day termination-option period. I sent a copy of his inspection report to the listing agent along with an amendment for repairs, but the listing agent told us that his client refuses to open the report or negotiate for any repairs. What can my buyer do?

If the buyer is not satisfied with the information in the inspection report or cannot get the seller to agree to requested repairs, the buyer can exercise his right to terminate the contract before his option period ends.

A broker or seller who receives an inspection report is charged with knowledge of the information in the report even if the broker or seller does not open the report. While sellers and listing agents should review inspection reports they receive on the property, a buyer or buyer’s representative can't force them to review the reports. There is also no requirement that sellers agree to or even consider amendments requiring the seller to perform repairs to the property.

Is it a RESPA violation for the seller to indicate a title company in the MLS listing?

No, this alone would not be a RESPA violation. Similar to a listing price in an MLS listing, a title company in an MLS listing would be considered an offer to negotiate, not a required term of the contract. However, it would be a RESPA violation if the seller conditioned the sale of the property on the buyer purchasing the title insurance from the title company indicated in the MLS.