When is a home for sale not quite a home “for sale”? Surprisingly often. If you’re just starting your search for a new home, you may have noticed the numerous terms used to describe a home’s status on the market. To the uninitiated, this industry jargon can be a source of confusion and frustration, making it unclear which homes are actually available to make offers on. Here’s a simple list of what the most popular real estate listing status terms mean. (Note: different real estate markets may use differing terms or abbreviations.)


Active

This is a property that is on the market and available for sale. Such homes may have received offers, but none have been accepted yet. This means you’re free to make an offer of your own.

Closed (CL)

This is a property that is sold and is no longer on the market.

Active with contract (AWC)

This type of listing has an accepted offer, but the seller is seeking backup offers in case the primary offer falls apart.

Under contract (UC)

Listings that are under contract have an agreed-upon contract with a potential buyer, but the transaction has not been finalized (closed).

Contingent

A contingent property has an accepted offer, and the home is under contract, but the sale is subject to certain conditions being met. These conditions can include home inspections, attorney review, the buyer’s financing, appraisal, title search and others. You may still be able to make an offer on a home that is contingent.

Deal pending (DP)

This status indicates that the seller has an accepted offer and an executed contract, all of the contingencies have been fulfilled and the sale of the home is pending. The transaction is now in the escrow period where both the buyer and seller are moving toward the closing. Though a sale is very likely at this stage, some sellers may still entertain backup offers.

Pending, showing for backup

This means the sellers are actively seeking backup offers should the current offer fall through.

Pending, subject to lender approval

In this case, the seller has accepted an offer but is waiting on the buyer’s lender to agree to it. If the financing does not go through, the home will go back to active status, so the seller will likely be accepting additional offers.

Back on market (BOM)

This is a property that has returned to the market after a pending sale failed and the home fell out of escrow.

Expired

An expired property indicates that the owner’s contract with their real estate agent has expired. This is often the case when a home fails to sell. In these cases, the seller may still be open to accepting offers.

Temporarily off the market (TOM)

This status is used for homes that have been taken off the active market for an unspecified period of time. Usually this is done when work is being performed on the house or the home is temporarily unfit to be shown. As the home will likely return to the market, you should feel free to inquire about it.

Withdrawn

A withdrawn property has been taken off the market without a sale. This may be because the sellers changed their minds about selling or did not receive a satisfactory offer. It may still be possible to get them to consider an offer at this point.

With these terms mastered, you’ll be ready to peruse real estate listings like a pro without wasting time on homes that are off the market or proceeding with other offers.