Ron Denhaan, Realtor (949) 290-3263. Orange County, CA real estate specialist.
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Listign statuses

Listing Statuses - What do they mean?

Many people have questions over listing status. This is a field, which is often displayed next to homes or properties for sale on many real estate web sites and they may vary by local MLS. For the public, the most commonly seen statuses for properties in Orange County, CA include: Active, Active Under Contract, Pending, Hold Do Not Show, and Closed.. Less commonly seen statuses include Expired, Cancelled, and Withdrawn, although these are commonly seen by agents. These statuses are also identical for homes for sale, for lease, for lots and land, and for income properties (duplexes, triplexes, etc). What do each of these statuses mean? Read on! 

Here is a recap of the listing statuses commonly found on the Orange County MLS and related web sites

Coming Soon - A newer status introduced just a while ago ( I believe at the request of many real estate agents).."Coming soon" means that the property will be available for sale shortly, but the property is not quite ready to be shown. It may be that the property still needs to be prepared or all the photos have not been completed, etc. This is really for short term use, as the status will be changed to Active automatically, if the agent doesn't change it. It will always have a date that the property will be changed to Active status. Many listing agents will allow a buyer's agent to make an appointment to show the property when it flips to Active. However, a listing agent showing the property during "Coming Soon" status will be in violation, so a lockbox is not allowed to be on the property while it is in this status.

Active - The property is now available for showings and for purchase (or lease). This is the status that buyers generally look for when they are seeking properties to purchase or lease. Note that his does not necessarily mean that offers have not been received; only that none have been accepted.

Backup Offers- Recently changed to Active, Under Contract - An offer was accepted on the property and escrow was opened, however the seller will still accept backup offers. This status is commonly used during the 17-day buyer contingency period, while buyers are examining and inspecting the property and related documents. They may still cancel the purchase during this period without risk to their earnest money deposit. Although the chance that the buyer may cancel the purchase is small, it is more likely that they will cancel during the contingency period (Backup Offers) than later, after contingencies have been removed (Pending). The "Days on Market" (DOM) counter keeps adding days while in this status. Also, once it's in this status, clients will often ask me what the house sold for. Unfortunately, I would not know that information until the property closes, as the listing agents generally keep that information confidential. 

Pending Sale - This status is commonly used after Backup Offers (Active Under Contract) status. This means that the buyers have removed all contingencies like loan approval, inspection, disclosures, etc. The buyer's intent to go forward with the purchase is higher than with Backup Offer status, as the buyer's earnest money deposit may now be at risk if they cancel after removing all contingencies.. Also, the "Days on Market" (DOM) counter stops with Pending status. 

Closed Sale - The property has closed escrow and has been successfully sold. All information about the sale, like the closing price, date closed, which real estate brokerage bought the property, and if there were any concessions, will now be available to the public. Prior to closing, most listing agents will not disclose the terms of sale to other agents, as the closing is never in certainty until close of escrow. 

Leased - (no longer used) Same as above, but for leases. 

Expired - The listing agreement has expired with the property remaining un-sold (or un-leased). There may be several reasons why the listing expired, but the main reason is that the property did not sell (or lease) during the listing period and the property owners have decided to take the property off of the market. the sellers may choose to re-list the property, but it will often be with another agent than the one who initially listed it. Very often also, the sellers will be willing to drop the price a bit for the new listing, if the reason for not selling was too high a price. The "Days On Market" (DOM) counter will start fresh for the updated listing. However, another "days" counter called CDOM (Combined Days On Market) will still track the total days on the market for both sales periods. Only exception is if the property has been in expired status for 90 days or longer. Then, the "days" counters will all reset to zero.

Cancelled - This status is similar to Expired, but it refers to a situation in which the seller of the property and the listing agent have agreed to cancel the listing prior to expiration of the listing agreement. The listing agent no longer has listing rights to the property (no longer under contract) and another agent is free to re-list the property if the sellers so desire.

Hold - This status obviously indicates that the property is not available to be shown at this time. This status can be confusing to the public, as there may be many reasons why an agent chooses to place a home in this standing. These can include: 1) The listing agent has already received multiple offers and does not feel that further showings would be productive. 2) Home owner reasons, like visiting guests, on-going maintenance, owners are out of town, etc. 3) For a lease, they have an accepted applicant but do not yet have the paperwork or deposit check. Since there can be many reasons for this status, I usually call the listing agent to see if I can find out the specific reason, and also to determine if showings will be available again in the near future.

Withdrawn - Same as Cancelled above, except the property is still technically under contract to the listing agent for the remaining duration of the listing agreement. It may not be re-listed with a different agent until the original agreement expires, or, if the listing agent and seller agree to cancel the listing agreement prematurely. 


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I hope the Listing Statuses article was educational for you. If you have additional questions about listing statues or other items on the MLS, please feel free to give me a call at (949) 290-3263

   Ron Denhaan

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Ron Denhaan, Realtor

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