What does listing status reveal about a property?

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Active, Withdrawn, Expired, Sold, Contingent-KO, Contingent-Due Diligence, Contingent-Other, Pending, and Pending Lender Approval. What does all of this mean and what should it mean to you?

First of all these are various ways of describing the “Current Status” of a listing.  Unfortunately, there is often a delay between the change in a property’s listing status and when it is actually publicized.  Let me explain.

Phase One-An Active Listing Status

Phase One occurs when the listing is taken by the broker.  The listing is then entered into our local MLS’s, and will then appear as an Active Listing in other sites that receive their feeds from the local multiple listing services.

Phase Two-Under Contract Status… BUT!!!!

Hopefully while active, a buyer surfaces and agrees to buy the property under terms and conditions that the seller will agree to.  When this happens the broker is responsible for changing the status of the listing to that which reflects the terms agreed to by the buyer and seller.  These terms will usually consist of one of the following statuses; Contingent-KO, Contingent-Due Diligence, Contingent-Other, Pending, and Pending Lender Approval.  Each of these still provide for the property to be shown, but with the knowledge that the property is under a contingent contract.  In other words it will usually show as an active listing on all sites other than the local MLS that provide the feed.

Contingent-Kick Out Status

This status is generally associated with a contract that calls for the sell of the buyer’s property in order to close.  It provides the seller the right to “Kick Out” the contract if another acceptable offer is received, and if the buyer does not remove the  contingency from the contract within a set period of time (for example 48 hours, 72 hours). If the seller does “Kick Out” the contract in order to accept another offer, the buyer would normally be entitled to a full refund of their earnest money. These listings will still show up on web sites as available listings.

Contingent-Due Diligence Status

This status generally is associated with a contract that provides the buyer a set number of days to perform their Due Diligence on the property.  During this time unless negotiated otherwise, the buyer can usually terminate the contract with out penalty, and receive their earnest money back.  This period will generally provide the buyer the right to terminate the contract for reasons such as a home inspection, loan qualifying, appraisal, and even buyers’ remorse.  The length of time provided for the Due Diligence period is usually a result of the negotiations between the buyer and seller along with the counsel and guidance of their agent or broker.  These listings will still show up on web sites as available listings.

Contingent-Other Status

This status generally is associated with a contract that provides the buyer and/or the seller an out based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event.  Examples could be obtaining financing, rezoning approval, bankruptcy, divorce settlements, approval by a tax advisor or accountant, approval by a spouse, or even the approval by local authorities to approve plans to renovate.  This is a “catch all” for anything and everything.  These listings will still show up on web sites as available listings.

Phase Three-Pending Sale Status

Once all of the contingencies have been satisfied or expired, the listing status will/should go to Pending.  Unfortunately this is not always the case; and with some contingencies lasting until the date of closing, the status may go from Contingent to Sold without ever going Pending.  In my opinion this should never happen, provided the listing agent has done their job. When this does occur it is usually the result of the efforts of a good Buyers Agent.  Pending Listings normally do not appear on web sites as available listings.

Pending Lender Approval Status

Pending Lender Approval is a status that is intended to reflect a short sale contract.  Once a listing reflects this status it suggest that the parties are waiting for the lender to approve the contract that the buyer and seller have agreed to; which if approved will result in the lender accepting a reduced pay-off on their loan.

Generally speaking, once lender approval is received the listing status should change to some form of a Contingent Contract.  This is due to the fact that the date that lender approval is received usually replaces the Binding Agreement Date in the contract, and the date from which all other dates and time lines are gauged.

Expired Status

Reflects the fact that the property failed to sell within the designated listing period.

Withdrawn Status

Reflects the fact that the listing was Withdrawn from the market while it was listed.  Any number of reasons can cause this to happen.

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