Keeping listing open - why does this happen when a contract exists

Asked by JmNYC, New York, NY Thu Sep 2, 2010

Two contracts on a house - one is more attractive - mine is less so. They seem to have accepted the first contract however are keeping the house listed and not saying it is in contract (the buyer and seller agreed to this). Is this possible? They didnt respond to my offer as well.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Thu Oct 14, 2010
The seller has a right to show their home until closing, if they so choose. MLS rules require that properties with contracts be identified as so. More deals fall through today than in the past. Some sellers (and their agents) want to option to continue to show for back up.
0 votes
Nicholas Tuk…, Agent, Colts Neck, NJ
Thu Oct 14, 2010
Hey- There could be a possible reasons for this. First, the contract is in the process of attorney review and that process has not concluded. In this case, the home will continue to appear like it's for sale. Second, there could be a situation when a seller wants to entertain backup offers for a number of reasons: the buyer may need to sell house, the buyer offered ideal move out date for sellers, etc.

Usually, your agent should be able to find this information out from the listing agent. I hope this helps.
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Sat Oct 9, 2010
Hi there JmNYC - very recently the Garden State MLS introduced a new status category Under Contract Continue to Show (UCS) that would be applicable to this situation. The uncertainty of the market and economy and resultiing higher proportion of deals that hit bumps, has fueled the practice of continuing to show for back up offers. The fact is this, if the property is under contract then the seller can't bump out the current buyer unless they do not perform. But for the buyer under contract it can be very unnerving, and also reduce their leverage if the property continues to be marketed. For buyers and their agents that are searching, it can be very frustrating and wasteful of time to have properties incorrectly categorized. I think the new category is a good idea, so there is a way to convey the real status of a property.

What I object to is when agents keep listings active to keep the phone ringing so they can troll for new clients, ie the bait and switch routine of "I'm sorry that one is not available, but I do have another property you may be interested in...." I've had one good deal collapse under the weight of this practice by an agent local to my market. I wish the MLS woud crack down on this type of behaviour as it is primarily in the interest of the agent rather than the sellers or buyers we serve.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:
0 votes
Andrew Mooers, Agent, Houlton, ME
Sat Oct 9, 2010
Continue to show is the term we use in Maine. It is never sold until everyone sits at the long genunine imitation closing table with all the chairs around it.
0 votes
Francesca Pa…, Agent, Manasquan, NJ
Sat Oct 9, 2010

With the Monmouth/Ocean County MLS, an agent is required to place designate a property as "under contract" within 24 hours of the completion of attorney review. However, if the seller requests a property remain as active so that it may stil be shown to other prospective buyers until all of the contract contingencies have been met, the "Agent's Notes" should say something like "contract accepted, backup offers only."

A seller is not obligated to respond to an offer. As a courtesy, the listing agent most often advises the buyers agent that the seller will not be countering.

Hope this helps.

Francesca Patrizio, ePro, Sres
Web Reference:
0 votes
Helen Cocuzza, Agent, BayHead, NJ
Thu Sep 2, 2010
Hello Jm,
Having had a couple deals actually go through this I can understand your frustration. Nowadays right up until even days before a closing, the deal can fall apart- it is unfortunate for someone in your position since you obviously seem to want that home-- but the seller will choose what they & their Realtor feel will be the best deal, run it by the lawyer & get into contract. Then if any unforseeable actions happen ex: the bank/financer pulls the deal, buyers finances change due to job, personal issues, etc. , the homeowner is still able to have a secondary offer since they remained showing.

I'm sorry for your contract not going the way you desire, but keep in mind- everything happens for a reason!
Well Good Luck, & if you have any other questions feel free to contact me.

Helen Cocuzza Realtor Associate
Professional Staging ~ Relocation Council
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Mary Holder
Direct: (732) 232-1614
0 votes
Joan Congilo…, Agent, Freehold, NJ
Thu Sep 2, 2010
If you know your offer was less attractive than the other then that is why the sellers accepted the other offer. In NJ a home is typically allowed to stay on the market & be shown until attorney review is complete. In Monmouth County MLS multiple listing service listing agents have the option to mark a contract as pending & select continue to show ? Y or N option. These days mortgages can be questionable sometimes sales go through & sometimes they don't so it is up to the seller if they want their house to continue to be shown until all contingencies are satisfied. If you know the home is still marked as active & you really wanted it, .you can still submit another offer & tell them you'd like to be the backup contract. You never know they may be open to your offer as 2nd best.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Holmdel Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more