The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) used in the Greater Tampa Area is My Florida Regional MLS, the largest MLS in Florida serving 14 Realtor associations from Volusia County down to Port Charlotte. All homes listed for sale with a Realtor are included in the MLS, which also includes foreclosed homes (known as REO – Real Estate Owned). Active Realtors in these areas have access to all homes listed for sale (not just their own listings) and many of them will set you up with searches and other types of MLS access to aid in your home search.
In the single line listing display, you’ll notice three letters to the left of the address that give the listing status.
In a listing display, the status will usually be written out.
What do the different listing statuses mean?
ACTIVE (ACT) – This is a home that is actively for sale. It is not yet under contract.
ACTIVE WITH CONTRACT (AWC) – This home is under contract for sale, which means that the seller and buyer have arrived at an agreement for the sale, and the home is in the closing process. However, the home can still be shown, and interested parties may submit a back-up offer.
A back-up offer is written just like any other offer (sales price, deposit, contingencies, etc.), except it includes an addendum that holds the offer in second place. The seller must still sign and accept the offer, but unless the first contract is cancelled, the back-up offer will not close.
It’s important to understand that back-up offers cannot compete with primary offers. A buyer submitting a back-up offer may not move up to primary offer because they’ve offered more money or better terms. Once an offer is accepted and becomes a contract for sale, it will not compete with other offers. Back-up offers only come into play if the first sales contract is cancelled.
The most volatile period of the closing (or pending) process is the time for the inspection contingency. As-is contracts are very common, and they allow the buyer to cancel the contract for any reason during the inspection period. If the inspection period has not passed, you may have a good chance of moving up to first place. There are other reasons that a contract may not close, but this is the most common.
PENDING (PND) – Pending is the most common status once a property has gone under contract. As in the example above, the buyer and seller have agreed on terms and executed a contract for sale. The sale is currently going through the closing process. In contrast to the example above for AWC status, these houses are not available for viewing.
NOTE: The accepted price for sale on pending listings is not shared with the public or with other Realtors. Even if you’re working with the Realtor who listed the property and knows the agreed-upon contract price, that Realtor may not share that information with you. The expected closing date is shared.
TEMPORARILY OFF-MARKET (TOM) – This is a home that is temporarily off-market. It is not under contract yet. There are several reasons why a home may be TOM, including getting renovations or repairs, clearing up issues with title, or even unable to show for a while because the sellers have a personal hardship. Whenever a home cannot be shown for more than just a few days, it must be entered as TOM on the MLS.
WITHDRAWN (WDN) – A withdrawn property is no longer listed for sale (at least not with the Realtor of record on that listing). A listing might be withdrawn for a variety of reasons, including the sellers deciding not to sell or they've chosen to change Realtors. These homes are not available.
SOLD (SLD) – These homes are sold and closed.
EXPIRED (EXP) – Expired listings have expired over their listing contract. Sellers sign with their listing agents for periods typically ranging from 6-12 months. The seller may choose to relist with the original Realtor, choose a new Realtor or take the house off the market altogether. An expired listing is not available for showing, but your buyer’s agent may choose to contact the seller directly, if that’s possible, to see if they’re still interested in selling.
Any status change must be entered into the MLS within 2 days of the change and Realtors are encouraged to do it as soon as possible. Public websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and others pull their data from the MLS, so they are not as up-to-date and some are more outdated than others. It’s not uncommon for a buyer to contact me on a home listed for sale on a public site that has already gone to pending on the MLS or has had a price change. You'll get the most up-to-date information from the MLS and from your Realtor.