If you’re shopping for a house it’s so important to know and understand the different MLS Statuses.
You don’t want to waste your time falling in love with a home that’s pending, but you also don’t want to overlook a home that’s CCBS.
If you’re thinking, ‘what the heck is she talking about?’, stick around because I’m breaking down all nine of the MLS statuses you may come across while hunting for a house in the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.
If this is your first time here, welcome! If you’ve been here before, thank you so much for spending your time with me. My name is Lindsay and I‘m a proud Anthem resident and your local REALTOR® with the Wise Move AZ Team at Realty ONE Group. On this blog and on our YouTube channel we have a lot of fun talking about all things Anthem and real estate every single Thursday, and we absolutely love having you along for the ride.
Using the MLS
As a REALTOR® I use the MLS to search for properties, for the most part. This tends to give the most up to date information, although I do need to consult websites like Zillow if we are talking about properties that are ‘For Sale by Owner’ (FSBO) or are not included in the MLS for some other reason.
As REALTORS® we typically pay an annual subscription fee to the MLS in our areas of service, for access to that information. For us that is the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service or ARMLS for short.
Data Tracking & Data Integrity in the MLS
The folks at ARMLS do an incredible job of maintaining the integrity of the data in the system. Because of the hard work they do, we can rely on the information in the MLS to see what homes sold for, how long they were on the market, and so much other valuable data that influences future listing prices, offer prices, and more.
One of the most valuable pieces of data ARMLS tracks is the current status of a property. As you can imagine this is really important when we’re trying to determine if this is house you can buy! Maybe you’ve been looking online and you see some homes as ‘Active’, others as ‘Under Contract Accepting Backups’, or maybe you’ve even seen things like ‘Temporarily Off the Market’. What do all of these mean? In this post I am going to go through each status a property can hold in the ARMLS and what it means for you when trying to buy a home.
Please note, that these are not necessarily the same statuses you’ll find on sites like Zillow. In fact, it can often require some serious digging to find the status of a property on sites like Zillow.
If you are looking to buy a house I strongly recommend that you connect with a local REALTOR®. They can set you up with access to the MLS along with providing a ton of other expertise throughout the process. If you already have a REALTOR®, that’s great, if not, don’t hesitate to send us an email at Team@WiseMoveAZ.com. If you’re buying in our area we would be happy to help, if not, it would be our pleasure to connect you with an expert in your area.
MLS Status Options in the ARMLS
Also, before we jump in here, don’t worry about taking notes, at the end of this post I will give you access to printable cheat sheet you can keep handy through your house hunting.
Let’s start with an easy one. Active means that the home is currently for sale. It is ‘actively’ available. Please note that this does not mean that it hasn’t received offers or that they don’t currently have an offer in hand. They might. It just means that at this point they haven’t accepted an offer. When you’re looking to buy a house, an active status is like a big flashing ‘pick me’ sign. Normally these homes are accommodating showings.
UCB stands for Under Contract-Backups. Uhhhhhh… that still isn’t overly descriptive, is it? It means that the home is currently under contract, i.e. they’ve accepted a contract to purchase their home, but they’re open to accepting backup offers as well.
It doesn’t mean that you can come in with a higher or better offer and just kick the current buyer out. If you submit an offer on a home that’s UCB you’ll be in a backup position. The Seller can only proceed with backup offers if their current contract falls through. Anyways, we don’t need to get into the logistics of it in this post, but suffice it to say that this home is technically still accepting offers, but isn’t nearly as available as a home that’s active.
A home that is UCB will continue to accrue days on market.
If you are interested in a home that’s UCB, you may still be able to tour it. Before you go too far with it, I encourage you to have your REALTOR® find out as much about the current contract as they possibly can. If they’re through the inspection period and there are no other contingencies, it may not be worth your time.
CCBS stands for Contract Contingent on Buyer Sale. A few months ago we did a video where we explored what it looks like to accept a contingent offer, so if you’d like to check that out, I will link to it here.
In many ways, CCBS is very similar to UCB. These sellers have accepted a contract to purchase their home and they’re open to accepting backup offers as well. The big difference is that when a home is CCBS we know that the sale is contingent on the buyer’s ability to sell their current home. This definitely adds a layer of complication and can put the transaction in a more precarious position.
The way backup offers are handled when a home is CCBS is a bit different than the way backup offers are handled on a home that’s UCB, but I’m thinking it’s probably best if we save the logistics of that for a future video.
A home that’s CCBS will continue to accrue days on market.
If there’s a home you’re interested in that’s CCBS, I definitely think it’s worth looking into and at least finding out more about where they’re at in the process. Again, if they’re too far along it may not be worth your time, but if the current contract is on rocky ground, this might be the perfect time to swoop in and make your offer!
#4: Coming Soon
Coming Soon is a status that was created in 2020. It replaced a status formerly known as ‘Delayed Status’, and made some changes. Coming Soon is exactly like it sounds, the house isn’t officially on the market yet, but it will be soon. There are a number of rules that agents and their clients must follow when using the ‘Coming Soon’ status, and this status has definitely been the cause of some confusion.
- A home can only be listed in the ARMLS as coming soon for a maximum of 30 days, after that it’s automatically switched to ‘Active’.
- Showings may permitted when a home is listed as ‘Coming Soon’. That’s up to the Seller.
- The Seller can technically accept an offer while in ‘Coming Soon’ status, as well.
- A home in ‘Coming Soon’ status will not accrue days on market.
Not a Pocket Listing
Please note that the purpose of a ‘Coming Soon’ listing is to generate a buzz before it actually hits the market. It’s not the same as a pocket listing because it’s available to all subscribers of the MLS. It’s also worth noting that homes that are listed as ‘Coming Soon’ in the MLS are not syndicated to sites like Zillow until they go ‘Active’.
That being said, because showing may be allowed and the Seller may accept an offer, I strongly recommend that if you see a home that’s ‘Coming Soon’ that you are interested in, don’t wait until it goes ‘Active’ to make a move.
In my opinion, this is the most complicated of the MLS Statuses. If you have questions about ‘Coming Soon’ please leave them for me using the form below.
Pending is a lot more cut and dry than some of the previous statuses. This means that the Seller has accepted an offer on their home and the home is no longer being marketed for sale.
There are a number of reasons why a Seller may decide to go pending. They may not want to entertain additional showing requests, or they may just be really confident that the current transaction is going through. A home that was marked as UCB or CCBS may switch to pending once they are through all of the contingencies. In many cases a home that’s ‘Pending’ is just counting down the days until closing. I like to think of it as a train heading into the station.
If you see a home that’s ‘Pending’ it’s usually best to just move on, this home is not actively for sale. Your agent can always reach out to the listing agent for more information, but I definitely wouldn’t get your hopes up on this one.
Okay, this is another pretty easy one. If a home is marked as ‘Closed’ it is sold, finished, finito, done. This house is not currently for sale. Closed homes are important when we’re running comps to determine the value of a property, but they’re not all that helpful when you’re actively looking for a home to buy.
If you see a home that’s marked as ‘Expired’ it means that the contract between the Listing Brokerage and the Seller is expired. This could mean any number of things. The listing agent and seller could be renegotiating terms before marking it as ‘Active’ again. The Seller could be signing with a different agent. The Seller could decide that they no longer want to sell.
Honestly, if there is an ‘Expired’ listing that you’re interested in, I recommend that you have your agent contact the previous listing agent and see what information they’re able to provide. If they aren’t able to assist, your agent can try contacting the Seller directly. Ultimately, when a home is expired, it’s not currently for sale. This status will always require a little more digging on a case by case basis to fully understand the Seller’s intention.
#8: Temporarily Off Market
This is another status that is exactly like it sounds. For whatever reason, this home is off the market for the time being. Maybe the Seller is having work done on the property or maybe they need a break for personal reasons.
When a home is Temporarily Off Market, or TOM for short, it doesn’t accrue days on market.
When a home is in TOM Status it’s not actively for sale. If a home you’re interested in goes ‘Temporarily Off Market’ have your agent contact the listing agent. The listing agent may be able to give an indication of the circumstances and they may have an idea of when the home will be back on the market. Much like ‘expired’, this status requires research on a case by case basis to learn more about the Seller’s intention.
Dun, dun, dunnn. Last, but not least, we have the ‘Cancelled’ Status. This means that the home is no longer for sale at this time. This can happen for a number of reasons. The Seller may decide that they no longer want to sell at this time, or they may no longer want to work with their agent. It’s possible that this home will be relisted with another agent, but I don’t want you to get your hopes up. Your agent may be able to connect with the previous listing agent or the Seller directly to learn a bit more about their intentions.
So, there you have it! What do you think? I hope this video has helped you to understand the many statuses you may see in the ARMLS, when you are looking for a home. As promised, if you would like to download a cheat sheet that shows all of the statuses and what they mean at a glance, click here.
Lastly, if you want to make sure you’re truly prepared to buy a home, click to watch this video where we run through common home inspection findings. Or if you will be starting your home search from afar, click to watch this video where we share our best tips for virtual house hunting.
Enjoy those and I’ll see YOU next Thursday!