What does Pending, Under Contract, and Contingent mean?

Jun 14, 2019 7:21:00 AM / by Mark Gorman

Can you schedule a showing for a home in Pending status? Does the Under Contract status mean that there is a chance the current offer on a home may fall through? Will the seller consider a back up offer from you in the case that the current buyer is unable to sell their current home soon? These are all fantastic questions and each property status requires these questions to be addressed in different possible ways.


Every professional industry has its own language, and real estate is no exception. There are probably more terms and acronyms in the housing and mortgage businesses than most. When you are viewing real estate properties online you undoubtedly will start noticing different property statuses and wonder what each one means. While a local professional will always be the most beneficial to help navigate each situation, the following are the definitions of statuses according to the local MLS (multiple listing service) to give some background.


  • Active. For properties that are offered for sale and have no accepted contract.
  • Active Under Contract. For properties that have an accepted contract with contingencies or circumstances that would or could cause the contract to be removed and/or replaced.
  • Pending. For properties that have an accepted offer without a kick-out that establishes a process to remove the current offer outside of normal contractual conditions (i.e. inspections, financing, etc.).
  • Closed. For properties that have sold/leased. For the purposes of updating MLS status, ‘closed’ references the legal transfer of property and is not dependent on broker compensation being received.
  • Hold. For properties that are not being marketed for a period of time but are still subject to a brokerage agreement.
  • Withdrawn. For properties withdrawn from the system prior to expiration, but still subject to some listing broker rights. Listings will remain in this status until they move to the expired status.
  • Expired. For properties for which the listing period has expired.
  • Cancelled. For properties that have been withdrawn from the MLS and the listing agreement has been terminated. These listings will not expire.


    • Must be submitted to the MLS within 5 business days
    • Cannot be shown (including previews and open houses)
    • Only in the Coming Soon status up to 14 days. At 14 days, it automatically rolls to active. Although, it can manually be made active at any time
    • Days on market do not start until the property goes to Active

Topics: listing, home showings, option, pending, home tours, cancelled, contingent, expired, kick out, short sale, status, temporarily off market, active, sale pending, sold, withdrawn

Mark Gorman

Written by Mark Gorman

Co-Founder of HomeTraq. 30 years mortgage & real estate experience.

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