Active Listings: Listings that are listed as "active in the Sandicor MLS." An active listing may or may not have received offers from potential buyers. An active listing is still actively being marketed for sale. In some cases, a listing agent may forget to change the listing status from "active" to "pending," but most often active listings are available to purchase. Some have tenants or owners living in them, while others are vacant. Contact your exclusive buyer agent to schedule showing appointments of the active listings you want to see.
Contingent Listings: The "contingent" status was recently created due to the high volume of short sales that have flooded the San Diego real estate market in the last couple years. "Contingent" is supposed to mean that there has been an offer accepted by the seller of the property that is now waiting on lender approval from the short sale lender. The transaction is contingent on actually receiving a short sale approval from the short sale lender. Properties may be listed as contingent for several months if the lender is difficult to work with. In some cases, you could potentially write a back-up offer on a contingent listing. However, many sellers of contingent listings don't allow showings, since they already have an accepted offer. Some non-short-sale listings are sometimes marked as contingent for a short period of time if there's an offer that has been verbally accepted that's simply waiting for all signatures.
Pending Listings: A listing that is marked as pending is supposed to be one that has all necessary signatures on the purchase contract and can close quickly. In San Diego, we also call pending listings "in escrow." You might hear someone say, "I'm opening escrow today." This means that his/her offer was just accepted and signed by the seller, and the listing will now be changed to "pending" in the MLS. Pending listings don't always close (sometimes the buyer or seller cancels the purchase contract), so they are not considered "sold."
Sold Listings: Listings that have already closed escrow (the loan is funded, the money and title are transferred, and the transaction is complete) are considered sold listings. Some agents may say they sold a certain amount of listings this year (they could be referring to listings that have accepted offers that haven't closed yet as well as closed listings). However, in the MLS stats, and in my blog posts, sold listings will refer only to transactions that have actually closed.
Keep in mind that San Diego real estate agents are human beings. They make mistakes. Some are not educated on how to properly label their listings (especially when trying to decide whether to label the listing as contingent or pending), and some just simply check the wrong box. However, most of the time these definitions will apply to the listings you are looking at. You want to know the marketplace and know what works best for you before looking at homes to buy. Discuss this in depth with your exclusive buyer agent.
Justin Gramm is the founder and principal broker of Globella Buyers Realty, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer Brokerage. He also writes this blog, "For San Diego Home Buyers."
Exclusive Buyer Agents do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. They have no "inventory" to try to sell you. They can represent you in purchasing any home. They are specialists at representing buyers only on the buyers' side of the transaction. Exclusive Buyer Agents work to get buyers the best price and terms when they buy a home.
If you have excellent credit and plan to buy a home or condo in San Diego County within 90 days, contact Justin Gramm to hire an agent on your side of the transaction. Call Justin at (858) 437-2662 or E-mail.
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