If MLS says a listing is backup/contingent does that mean you can not make an offer on the house or see it?

Asked by Lbhomesearch, Los Angeles, CA Wed Jun 24, 2009

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Shel-lee Dav…, Agent, Rolling Hills Estates, CA
Wed Jun 24, 2009
Dear LB Home Searcher:

According to the MLS Backup is an active status. This means that the property can still be shown and you can still make an offer. It also means that there is an offer standing before you in line.

In today's market with so many short sales, you will begin to see more properties in Backup status. In fact, the MLS is now requiring listing agents to move the status of their property to Backup once they have an offer submitted to the short sale lender. It is a violation (which could result in a fine or suspension) to leave the property active once an offer is being negotiated with the short sale lender.

As a specialist in listing short sales, I can tell you that it is extremely rare that the buyer who submitted the first offer that went to the bank for approval actually ends up buying the house. They usually run out of patience, or find something they like better along the way. Any backup offers on the table will be addressed before the property is put back to active status. So, if you have patience and a backup offer written, you stand a good chance of getting the property. My last two short sales sold to backup offer buyers.

Let me know if this is helpful or if you would like more information. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis
Real Estate Consultant
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
1 vote
The information was very helpful, clear, and concise. Thankyou.
Flag Sun Apr 29, 2012
Andy Bencosme, Agent, Sierra Madre, CA
Wed Jun 24, 2009
Backup means that the home has an accepted offer, but the seller is willing to accept a backup offer in case the one accepted falls out of escrow. You still may see it and put in an offer. In today's market this could be a good strategy since many deals fall through due to the difficult lending environment. If yours was accepted as a backup you will automatically be next in line if the first falls out.

You can always make an offer on a property regardless of status and it is the agent's duty to present all offers to the seller until the home closes escrow unless the seller specifically says they do not want to see any other offers.
0 votes
Dwight Cummi…, , Conway, SC
Wed Jun 24, 2009
You most certainly can put an offer in, if excepted by the sellers than you become the backup offer. Generally what happens is that the first contract is contigent upon the sale of a home, usually they sellers have a 48 hour kick out clause. This means that once your offer is accepted, the buyers with the 1st contract will be contacted to remove the contigency, if the buyers can not remove the contigency, then the seller can release them from the purchase, and accept your contract instead. This will put you in the buying seat, so by all means if you like the property, don't let this contingent contract prevent you from putting an offer in. I hope this helps in your understanding of this type of contract.
0 votes
Mary L Rosin…, , Tucson, AZ
Wed Jun 24, 2009
You may certainly make an offer, and if it is accepted, yours will be in "backup" position. Your Realtor can find out if the contingency is perhaps on selling another home. In that case, the first buyer has the iopportunity to remove the contingency (of the first home) in a matter of days, or forgo the purchase. Then, the next contract (yours?) will be in first olace, If you love a house, by all means go for it!!
0 votes
Barry J Klaz…, , Long Beach, CA
Wed Jun 24, 2009
You can make an offer and if the back up or contingent does not go through then your offer will be considered. If you would like more information, I would be happy to advise. Thank you
0 votes
Dyanna, , California
Wed Jun 24, 2009
You can definitely go see the house because they will still accept back up offers, but the agent is letting you know that another offer was accepted and if the new buyer removes all of his contingencies the deal might go through. Now it is a known fact that over 38% of escrows now-a-days are falling through, so it might be a good idea to be a back up offer.

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