MLS Tip of the Week

Weekly Blog by Susan Beck, ECAR MLS Director.
Questions? Call 850-244-2411, or email

Tip of the Week – Active or Pending with Contingency?

by Susan Beck | Aug 18, 2016
 One of the eternal dilemmas of being a real estate agent is balancing what’s correct with what your seller and buyer want. One of the most common scenarios for this battle is what to do when a property goes under contract.

 Situation: The buyer and seller both sign the purchase contact, and both agree to allow the property to stay active in case something goes wrong. Does the listing stay Active, or does it have to be changed to Pending?
           Answer: could be either.

 That’s no answer, is it? The true answer depends on what’s in the contract, so there is no one right answer.

 If the contract includes a 72 hour (or less) first right of refusal kick-out clause, the listing can be left as Active in the MLS, as long as the very first comment in the Public Remarks field indicates that the property is under contract with this condition.

 If there is a contingency of any other type, the listing must be changed to Pending, and the contingency noted. The first right of refusal clause is the ONLY exception to this rule.

 That means that even though the buyer and seller agree to leave the listing active, you must still follow the rules. Their wishes do not override your responsibility to your fellow Realtors and the general public.

 We have recently expanded the Contingency field to include Bank Approval (B), Financing (F), Inspection (I), Reserved (R), Sale of Home (H), and See Sale Notes (S). Because the field was created as a single option list (back when we only had one option to choose from), it will only allow one selection. Please choose the primary contingency from the list, and add any others to the Sale Notes field. Or if you have a contingency that is not on the list, choose See Sale Notes, and enter the contingency information in the Sale Notes field.

 Contingencies should be removed as they are completed. Any left on the listing will automatically be removed when the listing is closed.

 When you select from the Contingency field, the listing will display a red C near the Pending status to indicate a contingency. When you hold your cursor over the C, you’ll see the initial for the selected contingency.

 Speaking of Contingencies and Reserved, please allow me to divert for just a second. The Reserved contingency is intended for Preconstruction Reservation properties only. While it was the only available option, many agents used it incorrectly to indicate any contingency. If you have Reserved selected on listing that is not Preconstruction Reservation, please change it as soon as possible.

 Questions? Call us at 850-244-2411, or email

Susan Beck, MLS Director
Emerald Coast Association of Realtors®
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Santa Rosa Beach, FL