If it was a short sale, it would be properly listed as Active Capa, which means Can Accept Purchase Agreement. Active Contingent, by defination here in Arizona means when a home is listed as active contingent, the seller has already received an offer from a buyer. However, the buyer may need to meet certain conditions (IE financing) before the purchase can be completed. These conditions may include the buyer securing financing or completing an inspection of the home.
In certain areas, this status is also used when a buyer must sell his own home before being able to complete the purchase of a new home. In other areas, this specific situation is covered by a different listing status:
Active with Contingencies (usually invoves a 3rd parties acceptance, like a bank who owns the loan)
Active with Contingencies The seller has accepted an offer on the home, but certain conditions must be met by the buyer before the sale can be finalized.
Other terms you may see: Bumpable The seller has accepted an offer on the home, but certain conditions must be met by the buyer before the sale can be finalized.
Hope this helps. If you have questions like this and are looking to buy, you really should find yourself a local experienced Realtor to help you with all your questions or concerns.
Best of luck.