I got a phone call today from a customer of mine in New York. Great guy, we just spent a weekend looking at all kinds of properties here in Marathon. We had discussed putting in offers on two different properties. One was already under contract with another buyer, but the seller was iffy on it and said they would entertain backup offers. The other property we are still checking out. When he got back to New York, he has alerts set up through me, and a few other sites. We all get to looking on the internet for things from time to time and he got an alert that one of the properties we were looking at was “No Longer for Sale”.
Naturally he called me and asked what’s up. I explained that there are multiple stages in the purchase of a property. They all have different names in our system, and sometimes that doesn’t translate to other websites like Trulia or Zillow. This is one of the main reasons that we tell everyone to contact a local professional REALTOR®. The slogan “Accuracy Matters” is more than a slogan, we have more accurate information about the properties that are available in our local markets.
Now he is a very knowlegable buyer, he owns a lot of property both in New York and here in the Florida Keys. This got me to thinking, if he doesn’t know the different status’, then how many others don’t know about them either? This is a great idea for an article on your website Derrick! *Bing!* the light went off.
The first one that everyone loves to see is “Active”. This is also known as “For Sale”. This property is actively looking for a buyer and has been posted for sale in one or more databases or Multiple Listing Services. Depending on who and where you go, this will show up a few different ways but this is the most common. This status means that the property does not currently have any contracts that they are obligated to. This does NOT mean that there are no offers.
The next one that my MLS uses is Contingent. This can have various hyphenated terms, -Show; -Inspect; just straight contingent. Basically, this status is meant to indicate that there is an accepted offer on the table that has been agreed to by all parties. However, there are contingencies that need to be met. These could be anything, financing, buyer wants to walk the property, inspections, buyer needs to sell another property, the property needs to appraise for a specific value or something else entirely. This one still filters out to the syndicated feed to various websites and can potentially accept backup offers. Also, if the contingencies are not met, the current buyer under contract can either re-negotiate or cancel the contract.
Pending is a great status. It means that the property has an accepted offer and all the terms and contingencies have been met. All they are waiting on is the closing date. That’s not to say it is guaranteed to close, but it is all but sold at this point. This is also where a property like the one I was telling you about gets filtered out of the results on Trulia, Zillow and other sites because it is no longer actively seeking a buyer.
Now we get to everyone’s favorite status update. CLOSED! This means sold. This also means that the property is no longer on the market and is not for sale. Most real estate websites will update with this status and show the property as sold. It will also be used as a market indicator for similar homes and properties in the area. The MLS updates quicker than most government agencies, so you will likely see it on the MLS or real estate sites sooner than you will through a public records search which can typically take between 2 – 3 months to update fully.