Here’s a quick primer on how to read Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and alternate real estate listing sites.
Most of my clients “web around” to sites like Trulia and Zillow to look at images of properties for sale. We create customized searches with our database, but the raw data is out there for everyone now. This list will help you read the data and understand why some property disappears and sometimes reappears on the lists.
Here is the way it is supposed to work:
Properties for sale that buyers can see and make offers on:
ACT means active.
NEW means just listed. (These include properties that were listed before under a different MLS number.)
PCG means price change.
Properties marked BOM have come back on the market after the active marketing has been suspended by being UAG, WDN, CAN, or EXP. Sometimes, I see this marked as RAC, which means reactivated.
Properties that buyers can see, but are already spoken for:
Properties that have CTG have an Offer accepted, but there are still contingencies. Some sellers want to show their houses right up to closing day, in case something goes wrong.
Properties that have ACT with a little clock icon have an Offer accepted, but there are still contingencies with a specific deadline. Some sellers want to show their houses right up to closing day, in case something goes wrong.
Properties that have ACT in red are the same as CTG above. This marker is being used less now.
Properties that read UAG are under sales agreement and not actively being marketed. In most interfaces, they disappear from view.
Properties that have the designation CAN have a cancelled contract between the agent and the owner before the contract period ended. Those that read EXP had the listing contract expire. The seller may have chosen not to sell. Or may be selling now as a for-sale-by-owner. Or may list again with the same agent or different one. Look for the house again as a “for-sale-by-owner” or as BOM or RAC or NEW.
Properties that have WDN are withdrawn from the market. This could mean the seller needs a week off from showing it, or a month. However, the agent is still under contract with the seller. These may come back as BOM or RAC or NEW.
Properties that were never for sale:
Some of these sites have lists of places that are “pre-foreclosure.” Because of the way these lists are compiled, many of these house are not for sale and will not be for sale.