Listing Status Explained
Frequently, I receive calls from people asking about property they find on various portals and websites. Many of those calls are from people who assume the property is For Sale just because it shows up on the site. That isn't always the case and many times potential buyers have spent a great deal of time checking finances, researching neighborhoods and schools and getting their hopes up only to find the property is already under contract or even sold.
An understanding of what different listing statuses mean can help alleviate some of the confusion and wasted time. In the Mid America Regional Information System MLS, we have 8 possible listing statuses. I've listed them below. Usually, only the first three or four statuses below will appear on any given website but I've listed them all to aid in your understanding should I or another agent use these when referring to a specific property.
Active - This indicates properties that are offered for sale and have no accepted contract.
Active Under Contract - This status indicated properties that have an accepted contract and the seller has instructed their agent to keep marketing and showing the property in an effort to obtain a backup offer. You can still request to view these properties if you wish. There are two sub-categories for this status:
- With Kick-out - A property with a kick-out indicates the the contract on the property has a contingency in it that will allow the seller to accept another contract and "kick" the current contract holder out of the deal. There is usually a waiting period of a couple of days to allow the first buyer the opportunity to remove the contingency if they can.
- Without Kick-out - If a property is under contract without a kick out, the seller would not be able to terminate their current contract in favor of a new offer. However, the seller could accept a back up offer that if the current contract falls through for any reason, the back up offer automatically kicks in.
Pending - For properties that have an accepted contract and the seller has instructed their agent to cease marketing and/or showing the property. This property may still have normal contractual conditions (i.e. inspections, financing, etc.). It's worth watching these as many times, sales do fall through and a property that is Pending today can easily become Active tomorrow.
Closed - For properties that have sold/leased. For the purposes of updating MLS status, ‘closed’ references the legal transfer of property.
Hold - For properties that are not being marketed for a period. This status is typically used when a seller has decided to do something to the property prior to having more buyers view it.
Withdrawn - For properties withdrawn from the system prior to expiration of the listing agreement with a brokerage. Listings will remain in this status until they move to the expired status on the expiration date of the listing agreement the seller has with their brokerage.
Expired - For properties for which the listing period has expired.
Cancelled - For properties that have been withdrawn from the MLS and the listing agreement has been terminated.
So, before you get your hopes up of a property you find online, make sure to check the status to see if it's actually still available. You'll be glad you did!