Pending, Contingent, Nada – What’s right?

Pending versus Contingency:  We had a plea to please explain the pending / contingency options once again so that all are clear.  Buckle up, here we go…  First, if a Purchase and Sale Agreement is executed for a property listed in the MLS, the listing agent has 2 business days to mark the listing with this indicationIf your seller doesn’t want his property marked as “pending”, there is another option.  The alternatives vary depending on what you and your seller intend to do about showings:

  • If the seller will continue to show the property and take back up offers you can leave the listing active but add a contingency to the MLS database (go to:  change | add/remove contingency).  A property that is active with an u/a show contingency added will continue to show up in search results and be sent to syndication sites such as, and the ListHub sites, including Trulia and Zillow.
  • If the seller will NOT continue to show the property then the status must be changed to pending in the MLS database.  Please remember that you act in the best interest of your seller but this does not allow for violation of rules and regulations or policies to accomplish their requests.  All status changes must be reported to the MLS within two (2) business days of obtaining all required signatures.

The practice of leaving a listing as active, without a contingency added, when there is a signed purchase and sale contract in place is in direct violation and the MLS Board of Directors will review repeat offenders for potential disciplinary action. This is one of those “self-policing” issues that exist in our business.  The staff has no way of knowing when a listing has been placed under agreement nor do we know if your colleagues are failing to report status changes or refusing to show properties that are still marked as active.

  • Note: If you have a contingency on the property that is OTHER than a purchase agreement (such as a right of first refusal, bank approval required, probate certificate required, for examples)  you can mark it contingent Y and explain when asked or in the Realtor-to-Realtor remarks.

If you run up against this issue, it is in everyone’s best interest to contact the Board Office so we can rectify the status displaying in the database.  We do not use your name when contacting the listing broker and/or agent nor will we disclose it if asked and we can take the opportunity as a learning tool to remind specific brokers about the correct policy.  If we have repeat offenders that can be addressed as well.  While we understand that it is frustrating, we do want to help all brokers to be on a level-playing field and to assist those who may not be familiar with the policies or the rules and regulations.  We request that you take the moment to contact us if you need assistance!