The Multiple Listing Service Property Information Network (or, just MLS) in Massachusetts uses status abbreviations such as UAG, EXT, CAN, EXP, BOM, RAC, and WDN, to let other real estate agents/brokers know the current status of property listings. The general public may also come across some of these abbreviations while searching for online listings and I thought it might be useful to explain what these abbreviations mean and why they are used.
The most common status abbreviations that you will come across while searching for homes online are ACT, and NEW. These are fairly descriptive as a NEW listing is fresh to the market and an ACT status shows that the property is actively being marketed for showings and for sale. EXT (extended), BOM (back on market), and RAC (reactivated), are also Active status designations.
When you see EXT next to an MLS listing, consider that the original contract to sell and market the property by the listing agent/broker was “extended” or amended so the listing agent could continue to market and show the property. A real estate sales contract between a seller and their seller agent (a.k.a., the listing agent) might have a duration of 90 or 120 days. With this data in mind, you could look at the “Days on Market” for a specfic listing and see whether the listing is close to the end of its contract. If the seller’s agent has not sold the property or put it under agreement (UAG) within 90, 120, 150 days, then they the listing will either be expired (EXP) or the seller’s agent will be given another 30, 60, 90 days or whatever, to sell the property and the status will be extended (EXT) and then after a few days the listing goes back to ACT.
Back on market (BOM) is a status you may have come across several times while searching property listings. This status is primarily used when a property listing was previously under agreement (UAG). Brokerage office policy may determine exactly when a listing goes UAG. If the boss says that all office listings are to be placed in UAG status as soon as an offer is accepted by the Seller of one of their sales listings, then the agent or broker who has that listing will follow that policy. Other agents may place their listings UAG only when a buyer’s main contingencies are met, such as completion of the home inspection, signing of the Purchase & Sale (P&S) contract, or once the buyer gets a Commitment Letter from their lender stating that their financing is all set and the lender will be ready to close by the closing date set in the P&S.
Active (ACT) with a note. That is what I call an Active listing that has not changed its status to UAG after the Seller has an accepted offer. The listing remains as ACT with a side note to the listing that states “Seller has requested the listing remain active to encourage back up offers and allow showings until the buyer’s contingencies (home inspection, P&S signing, commitment letter/financing) are met.” The other option that a seller agent has is to put the listing UAG, but then the property cannot be shown for possible other buyer interest. Have you come across properties online from Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, zipRealty, or other online search platforms that are ACT, but when you inquire about the listing further, your agent or some agent tells you that the property is ACT, but they have an accepted offer and are just showing for back up offers?
Note: when searching online sites such as Zillow.com and perhaps Trulia.com, you may find listings that expired (EXP) or (SLD) and show up on these sites as active listings. I have learned that Zillow.com’s policy is to have the listing real estate agents be in charge of changing the status of their listings when the status is changed to inactive. EXP, CAN, and SLD are also inactive listing status designations.
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