Did you know there are over 500 MLS listing service organizations in America? That means there are a lot of different terms that can be used when houses get listed.
CTG status means Contingent – that the house has accepted a contract but there are some Contingencies or parts of the contract that must be satisfied before the potential buyer can complete the transaction. For the full answer, read on.
All I know is that I want to know when a house is available and I have a chance to get it vs when it is gone.
Sometimes it is easy to know when that happens, but most home sales are complicated, and each step of the process is a chance for the deal to fall through or get canceled. In this article let’s talk about some of the different listing terms that are used to describe the status of a house.
But remember, since there are so many different Multiple Listing Systems each has its terms. Some may overlap, and some may be different.
Each of these different MLS then shares its data with websites like Redfin (another brokerage), or Zillow (a real estate advertising site) where the regular person can see them.
Realtors and Real Estate Brokers typically only pay to have access to one, or maybe 2 MLS databases. Primarily in the areas where they work. There is a long and really good story which I’ll link to when I write it. Hint: subscribe to the EricEstate family to be notified.
The stages of a listing
There are 4 stages when someone decides to sell their house. I’ll go over each briefly.
I should add that when a property listing is entered in an MLS, it is usually the responsibility of one real estate agent, the listing agent, to enter and verify all the info in the MLS. This includes the text, the data, and even the photos.
- On the market
- Under Contract
Before the house goes on the market is the Pre-listing stage.
When a person decides to sell, they contact an Agent who guides them through the process. The two enter into an agreement with a listing contract to sell the house. This is called the Listing Agreement, and it details all the things the Realtor will do for the home sellers, and also how much commission will be collected in the process.
Other details of the listing agreement are the list price which MLS it will be entered into, what date it will go “live”, any showing requirements or restrictions, and a bunch of other details that are private between the home sellers and the selling agent.
During the pre-listing stage, there may be other things happening like repairs, or de-cluttering. The sellers may stay in the house while it is being sold, or they might move out if they have somewhere else to go.
The main point is that in some markets a house may be listed as Coming Soon and that means it appears in the MLS and on the different real estate websites.
Agents may be able to start an active marketing campaign to create some buzz too!
Once Everything is Ready, the House Goes On the Market
Now it is launch day, the day that the listing goes live, and appears on the different real estate websites.
If you have an alert set up you will text a next or email about a new house in the area where you are looking. This house is now Active and is the time when you can go tour the property. Sometimes this is referred to as New Status.
Occasionally, the sellers want a little bit more privacy and work with their agent to quietly market the house as a pocket listing or private listing. I have some issues with these because statistics show they are only marketed to a select group of people based on the social circles of the listing agent.
Depending on your market, homes may be on active status listing for hours or months. It all depends on when someone makes an offer and when it is accepted. That can happen at any time.
Active is the best chance a prospective buyer has to get the house. Act Now! Work with your agent to make a solid offer, Do you want a deal, or do you want a house?
A couple of notes: People don’t have to see the house to make an offer. In some markets, agents do video tours. Sometimes buyers just buy a house sight unseen! Things can go fast, especially in a hot market.
When an offer is accepted it goes Under Contract
This is where the different MLS statuses can get confusing.
The status of the house doesn’t usually change when an offer is made. I don’t know of an MLS status for when an offer is received.
Sometimes the seller’s agent might make a note in the MLS, or sometimes not.
It is in the seller’s best interest to get 2 or more offers because then they can leverage them to get a better offer in a multiple offer situation. Remember the sellers want as much money as possible for their house. Whatever situation they can create for that to happen usually does.
The sellers will review the offers as they come in, or by a certain deadline.
There may be some negotiation with the buyers, or they could just accept the offer straight away. That’s why it is so important to make a strong offer right from the start. That gives you the best chance as a buyer.
Once the offer is accepted the purchase contract is signed by all parties and the status changes. It could go to Pending Status or Contingent Status.
Each of these terms means something different. Sometimes the offer is accepted and there are no contingencies. Remember, a contingency is something in the sale agreement that needs to be satisfied to move forward toward the closing date. Some common contingencies are the mortgage contingency, the inspection contingency, the HOA, Title, appraisal, or the sale of the buyer’s home.
This is when we find out that the house got an accepted offer. Sometimes there is a chance that the house might come back on the market.
The house is now pending sale and the listing status changed.
What are the situations where I still have a chance to get the house?
In most transactions, the current buyer has made a contingent offer where they may want to do a home inspection, or ensure they have all their financing approved before they finish the transaction. In these cases, there isn’t much you can do except make backup offers and hope the first one falls through.
It is unlikely the seller’s agent will provide all the contract terms of the original contingent offer, so you will just need to make your highest and best offer if you want to even be considered for a backup. If you are a backup offer you will have the first right of refusal if the property comes back on the market
Normally when a house has gone pending or contingent, there are no more showings.
The agreement status will be updated in the MLS by the seller’s agent once all the contingencies have been satisfied.
The house is Sold
After everything is done – once the house has finally changed hands, and the process is over, we can usually find out the sale price. However depending on the MLS, and if it was a pocket listing,
Other MLS Statuses
If a house doesn’t sell or is taken off the market for other reasons it could be on Hold, Terminated, Withdrawn Status, or Temporarily off Market. These are all different kinds of canceled listings.
Different Market Status Terms
Your market may have 1 or more of these terms. Not all terms are in all MLS markets.
- Coming Soon (CS)
- New Listing
- Pocket Listing
- Private Listing
- Active Statues (A)
- Continue to Show Under Contract
- Active Under Contract
- Active Contingent (CTG), (AC)
- Back on Market (BOM)
- Price Change
- Closed (C)
- Sold (S)
- Leased (L)
- Pending (P)
- Hold (H)
- Withdrawn (W)
- Expired Status (X)
- Terminated (T)
Real Estate transactions can be complicated. Be sure to keep an eye on your favorite properties, even if they are under contract, Watch for any listing status changes, as you could get lucky and the first buyer’s offer might not work out and you could have a chance.