Real Estate Jargon 101

We’re like the military. Or doctors. Realtors speak their own language and, try as we may, we can’t help use it with our buyers and sellers.

Today’s lesson is the jargon you’ll see when it comes to the status of homes on our Multiple Listing Service – MLS.

Active: Means the home is actively seeking buyers. Some homes are vacant and we can usually just “show up” to view it. Others will have the sellers still living there and appointments are required.

Pending: There are a couple of statuses under pending. Regular old “pending” means the home is pending something – results of the inspections, or lending or similar. “Pending, Continue to Show” means just that – we can still see it and write an offer but that offer will probably go into a back up status. That means that, unless the first offer isn’t accepted, we might not have a chance at the home. That’s a conversation your Realtor will have with the listing Realtor

Coming Soon: This means that the home will be active in the future but, for now, it’s not available for showings at all. No ifs, ands or buts.

Temporarily Off Market: This status is used for a variety of reasons. I’ve used it twice in my career where the owner of the home became too ill, or, unfortunately passed away. The home was assigned this status to give the estate a chance to be settled. It can also be used to pull a home off the market during the holidays or to make major repairs.

Cancelled, Expired: Means just what they say. A listing cancelled their listing contract for whatever reason. Expired means the listing contract expired with that Realtor.

Closed: home is now in the hands of its new owners.

Not a status, but it is worthy of a mention here is “Pocket Listings”. These are listings that will NOT be going to the MLS. It could be owned by a celebrity or other high profile individual; or it could be owned by someone who wants to really limit who sees the home. These homes can be in the higher price ranges but there are times that they’ll be in the “normal” range.

Pocket Listings can also be called “In House Listings” where a brokerage will only share the listing with their agents. Again, there are a couple of good reasons to do this but, in my opinion, it’s not a good habit. First, you are limiting who can show your home, and who can buy your home. For example:

Let’s say your listing Realtor belongs to a brokerage of 100 Realtors. Take out the Realtors who are part time, or semi-retired. Let’s say that leaves us with 60 Realtors. Of those 60, let’s say that only 35 of them actively work with buyers.
Instead of the market pool of 600 agents, you are limited to 35 only. Is that in your best interest? No.