Home Buying in Coto de Caza>Question Details

Sde2500, Home Buyer in Orange County, CA

Why are they still having open houses when they accepted our offer?

Asked by Sde2500, Orange County, CA Mon Jan 21, 2008

We made an offer on a house it was accepted and escrow is to open tomorrow, why is the seller's agent still having open houses and why is it still listed as active?

Help the community by answering this question:


It is never a done deal until it closes and fund. The agent may be looking for back up offers. Also doing open houses is a lead generating source for Realtors.
Web Reference: http://www.sumnerrealty.com
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2008
It's important to remember that the listing agent's responsibility is to the seller and would be remiss not to continue to market and seek back-up offers until the deal is completed. I don't agree with it remaining active on the MLS, our board doesn't allow it. I also not suggesting that the contract should be "shopped" around, but let's face it contracts fall through (inspection, financing...) and nothing will make a client happier than a contingency plan for if/when it happens.

I'm speaking from recent experience a first contract fell through in the inspection period, but I had negotiated a back-up contract and my client was able to clos.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2008
Sde2500 - Congratulations on your purchase!

In this market, as JR and Naima have pointed out, a listing agent wants to try and obtain as many potential Buyers of the home as possible - you may be well qualified and have every intention of closing on the home but the Seller has heard many horror stories about Buyers who were unable to qualify for the financing - in some instances, the seller did not know that until the last minute.

The "active" status in the MLS is a function of what the MLS allows - in my MLS, I have to place a home that has a contract on it in "under contract accepting back-ups" so I am not allowed to keep the home in "active" status - however, that is a local decision - your agent can probably guide you about this issue. If you notice the home is still active on a web site you are using to search for homes, that may simply be a timing issue - many web sites do not "refresh" constantly so if the home just went "under contract" over the weekend, it may take 1-3 days to be current. Assuming you intend to follow through with the purchase, your contract will stay at the front of the line. I hope the rest of the process goes smoothly for you.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2008
Perhaps they had already advertised the open house in advance, or the homeowner asked the agent to continue marketing it to get a back up offer.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2008
Most likely they are holding it Open because they don't want to lose marketing time until you remove all of your contingencies at the 17 day mark. We have been experiencing up to 40% of homes coming back on the market. Don't worry too much about a buyer coming in and one upping you though because only 1 in over 9000 homes sell by Open House. It is a way to generate buyer leads and you already have the seller under contract. They cannot just kick you out and take another offer. Do realize that you will need to follow the terms of the contract to the letter if they do receive a back up offer because if you don't perform, that's a whole other story.

As for it showing as "Active" on the MLS, the listing agent isn't doing their job ethically and I would recommend (no urge) having your agent report it to the proper MLS. This has been one of those annoying things that agents are doing in today's market. It should be under "Back-Up" Offer or "Pending".

Congratulations on your new home!
Web Reference: http://www.OCBeachBlog.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2008
Hello Home Buyer,

They are all correct. I myself hold open houses until it gets into escrow and the deposit check has cleared. In today's market, obtaining on offer and agreeing to terms doesn't constitute a guarantee that it will actually close. Plus, as agents we put a ton of time and money into advertising open houses and to cancel it isn't wise.

All the best on your escrow and congratulations!

Robert M. van der Goes
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2008
Sde2500. Realtors hold Open Houses to market themselves. Does holding an Open House sell a home, it does about 5%. Continuing to hold an OH helps the Realtor to make contacts with neighbors and potential clients. Don't worry about the OH.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
The reason you continue to have open houses is the home is not sold until it is sold. If the realtor were to quit marketing it, like some do and then the buyer walks. It would cost the seller more time and money to procure another buyer. The listing realtor is smart in this market.

I always wonder why realtors dont take back up offers, as soon as they get offer #1, they wont take a back up offer. Buyers change their mind all of the time, deals fall apart. Buyers have been known to write on more than one listing. When a listing broker continues to market a home it holds the buyers feet to the fire in an otherwise buyers market. Great job listing agent.

I heard a conversation the other day, almost a threat from a buyer to a broker suggesting that the broker drop the price of the home $5k or the buyer would walk. When the seller continues to market they would not be concerned about statements like that.

JoAnna Jensen
Realtor - Legal Assistant
Pleasanton -
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 17, 2009
The California purchase contract form approved by the California Association of Realtors is used by most Realtor agents who prepare and present offers to purchase. The normal buyer contingency time as set forth in that contract is 17 days from date of acceptance. So even if contract terms are reach, the buyer has those 17 days to proceed with the purchase or back out of the deal at the last minute on the 17th day. So Realtor agents continue to market the home until all buyer contingencies are removed and that the seller is satisfied that the home or porperty will sell in that situation.

Harrison K. Long, Explore group properties, Coldwell Banker Previews.

For the best seller owner property search site for pricing check out
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 28, 2008
"I respectfully disagree with you Dot as far as Open Houses go. I have had it happen to me where a seller has backed out of a deal and taken a higher offer from one of the Opens. "

That's why it's important both sides sign the contract ASAP. I have had one of my listings tied up between 2 buyers, with contracts out to both, and back and forth engineer inspection discussions. We've been steadily showing the house. I'm confident if another offer came in that didn't have these contingencies the seller would take it. As it is, the one that signs first is going to get it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2008
Hi, Tom. I always let the buyer and/or their agent know my intentions and why. I've never had a problem. I had one buyer that came to the open houses to see the activity and interest level. The contingency periods are short so we are only talking about 1 or 2 additional open houses.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2008
I definitely understand your concern. There are a few reasons they would go ahead and have open houses with an accepted offer.

I continue to do open houses even with an accepted offer until contingencies have been removed. I am being responsible to my seller by doing this and, quite frankly, I am picking up more clients along the way by having open houses.

If you have an accepted offer you shouldn't worry about more open houses. I'm sure you are already feeling possessive and don't want anyone else to come along and spoil what is yours. But you needn't worry!
Web Reference: http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2008
In our MLS we have no "pending", it's either "undercontract" or "sold". (just and fyi for anyone)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 22, 2008
Perhaps the open house was previously scheduled or they may be trolling for back up offers in the event the property does not appraise. At our Association we have 48 hours to report the property pended in the MLS and we can continue to show the property looking for backups until the property closes. Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
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