Home Buying in Portland>Question Details

Sonya, Other/Just Looking in Happy Valley, OR

What is the difference between active contingent, pending, under contract (MLS listed) and pending offer?

Asked by Sonya, Happy Valley, OR Thu Sep 13, 2012

I am looking at this property which is short sale and I am interested in this property but the one listings says it is active contingent another listing it says pending, another listing says under contract and another listing says pending offer. I am confuse should I still put by back up offer or not.

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Jesse Dill’s answer
Lenders typically do not accept contingent offers on short sales. So this is what you will see most of the time, but it's important to know that some listing agents may handle it a little different...

Active: No seller accepted offers on the property.

Short Sale Pending: the short sale is not yet approved by the sellers bank. Seller has accepted one or more offers and is in the process of negotiating a short sale with their bank. Depending on the property and seller, backup offers are sometimes encouraged.

Pending: The sellers bank has approves the short sale and the buyer is working with their Realtor and lender to get the transaction closed.

Best of luck to you! :-)

Jesse Dill - Principal Broker
John L Scott Real Estate
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
If it is a short sale, then most likely the third party, the bank or lender, has not approved it yet, although the seller has. If this offer is the first offer that has been submitted to the bank, it will take a while for them to do their broker price opinions/appraisal of the value of the property to decide if they will accept or counter it. Sometimes that period is so long that the seller decides to find another property. In that case, a backup offer ready to go is a good idea so that the seller's agent has another ready to send to the lender. Your agent needs to contact the seller's agent to find out what is going on with the process and whether there are already backup offers before wasting your time writing one yourself. Just have your agents do appropriate inquiries.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Sonya, this question is asked all the time and Wayne is right on. The iDX sites that pick up all the listings Sept 1 were supposed to update with the new SSP short sale pending and Pending but there are so many listings and bad information it is hard to track when you look on line and it says under contract what does that mean? In some states that means pending. So when all the sites are up to date maybe in 6 months you will be able to look on line and get the correct information. All the realtors thru their web sites have all the current listings. So short sales do fall apart after about 60 days because buyers don't want to wait any longer so placing a back up off like Margery said is correct. Your agent could help you or I have a CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert license and can help you also.
Tom Inglesby
RE/MAX Equity Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2012
Hi Sonya,
it can get confusing with our new listing codes, but Wayne explained it perfectly. Its most likely a short sale that has an offer, but until the bank/creditors accept the reduced amount of the short sale, its technically not "pending". You might still be able to make a backup offer, depending how the seller wants to do it. Your agent can help you find out if they're taking backup offers. Just fyi, pending short sales are great ones to have a backup on, because they fall apart for many reasons and you could slide into first position if you hang on. Usually its because they take so long, and buyers think they can wait but often can't. Then as the backup offer, you have a chance to get it. If you don't have an experienced short sale agent, I would highly recommend you find someone that's sold them before. That helps you understand the process better and know how to react, but it also helps the transaction come together successfully, as they are not a normal transaction.
By the way, I've sold many short sale listings, in fact 2 closed in August. I would be happy to help if you need an experienced agent! Short sales can be filled with disappointment and frustration, but if you can hang in there, you may get a property for as much as 10-15% under market. Its not for everyone, though, and I'd be happy to discuss your goals with you, and let you know the pros and cons of buying a short sale.
Best to you,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2012
Active Contingent typically means that there is an accepted offer on the property and the contract is contingent upon something. For example, the contract could be contingent upon a home inspection or on the buyer being able to obtain financing. Just the other day, I wrote an offer for a client that was contingent upon him receiving a satisfactory well water report. If it says under contract, it typically means that the contingency is released and they are waiting to close. Are you currently working with a Realtor? They should be able to advise you on how to proceed with this specific property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2012
Hi Sonya,

RMLS recently added a new status for short sales: Short Sale Pending. Most likely this is what the various websites you are looking at are trying to capture but haven't been able to because the addition of the new status (SSP) is still too new.

What is likely the case is that this property has received an offer which the seller has accepted and sent to the bank for approval, but the bank has not given that approval yet. Technically the property is still on the market. Once the bank approves and accepts the buyer's offer, the property will go off market and be marked as "Pending."

I hope that helps! Feel free to call or email with additional questions.


Wayne Olson
Windermere Cronin & Caplan Realty Group, Inc.
Lake Oswego, OR
(503) 389-3025
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2012
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