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Sandy Balzer Tobin's Blog

By Sandy Balzer Tobin | Agent in Needham, MA

ACT versus UAG versus BOM

Sounds like alphabet soup, but these acronyms are used on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to indicate whether a listing is still on the market . When a Realtor takes a listing, it gets input into MLS online. While it’s for sale it shows up as ACT for Active listing. When the seller accepts and signs an offer, the house is marked UAG for Under Agreement. However, there is a trend among brokers to “red flag” properties with accepted offers on MLS, meaning the house is being shown for back up offers only.  It shows as ACT with a red flag.

Once a seller has signed an offer and cashed a deposit check, he or she is legally obligated to sell the house to that buyer providing the sales contract undergoes no changes. The seller can continue to market it for back up offers in case the first offer falls through. You can’t market the house unless it’s Active, thus the red flag status. Some brokers and sellers believe this puts pressure on buyers not to get pushy with demands following home inspections. Or they believe it provides insurance in case a buyer can’t get financing.  After all, they are still showing the property and may have other buyers with offers waiting in the wings.

There are a couple of problems with this approach.  First of all, the agents know the house has an accepted offer. They know buyers don’t relish taking time to look at houses that are already sold. Plus, the property continues to rack up “days on market” (DOM)and appears to be taking longer to sell than it actually did. The one positive aspect to this system is that should the original sale fall through, the house does not have to come under the heading “Back on Market” (BOM) which makes some future buyers question if there is a problem with the house. Usually the issue can be explained by the listing broker.

As consumers it’s important to know about the ACT red flag because it means not all houses you see online are necessarily still available for purchase. The ACT red flag is only visible to licensed agents with access to MLS.

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