Understanding the Listing Status


Here are some common real estate terms to know when getting ready to buy a home. You will run across properties in several states of activity ranging from Active, Active Contingent/Under Contract, Cancelled, Temporarily Off-Market and Closed. What’s the difference between all of these terms, and how do they impact your options for making an offer?

  • ACTIVE: This means the property is live on the market waiting for a buyer, and the seller is accepting offers.

  • ACTIVE CONTINGENT/UNDER CONTRACT: Often phrased as active contingent in the Charleston MLS or said to be “under contract,” this means the sellers have accepted an offer on the property, but success may still depend on contingencies like passing a home inspection or getting financing. It may still be possible to tour these properties and submit a backup offer in case the current one falls through. Examples: Financial Contingency, Appraisal Contingency, Inspection Contingency, Title Contingency

  • CANCELLED: The listing has been removed from the market by the seller. This is often because the seller has decided not to sell the home after all, or has decided to find a new listing agent. Some sellers cancel their listings, wait a month or two, and then re-list it in an effort to make their home look like a new listing again since new listings typically attract more buyer attention than old, stale listings.

  • CLOSED: This home has been purchased by another buyer and is no longer for sale.

  • TEMPORARILY OFF-MARKET: This listing has been taken off the market by the seller but will probably be available again at some point. Sellers sometimes withdraw their listings to consider a new selling strategy or to make repairs and improvements to the home before putting it back on the market.

  • PENDING: When a property is marked as pending, an offer has been accepted by the seller and all contingencies have been satisfactorily addressed or waived. A home will remain in the pending state until all legal work has been processed.