I used to work in Littleton and lived in Stow, Lancaster and Nashua NH and drove through Groton many times. I escaped those harsh winters 15 years ago and have no regrets.
I agree with the answers already given, like Brian said regarding Short Sales needing to be signed off (or countered) by the bank it is not "In Contract" till that occurs.
This new "Active with Contract" came about because of these 3rd parties (banks) needing to sign/agree.
Now agents "Active with Contract" for any contingency that comes up.
It is definitely frustrating, and from my experience these are generally going to close with the first buyer, and I would rather see them be posted as "Pending" then they wouldn't show up on these other websites.
Anyway if you want to get only ACTIVE listings I could set up a search for you in my MLS system (like everyone is saying is the best) and send you listings that really hit the nail on the head for you and will actually be available to buy.
Hope to hear from you!
Albert Wooster, P.A.
Allen Real Estate Services, Inc.