We get asked this question on a regular basis. Without going into legal differences and technical terminology that varies from area to area, I’ll give you my definitions.
Canceled means that the seller and the broker* have agreed to end the listing agreement before the original expiration date. Sometimes this is conditional, on a fee being paid, or signatures on a cancellation agreement, or something else. But basically both parties agree to end the legal agreement prematurely.
* The designated broker of the office is the ultimate owner of the listing. A listing should never be canceled without the authorization of the broker.
Temporarily Off Market, often also called Temporarily Withdrawn, means that the listing agreement is still in effect, but the seller has requested the property to be off the market for a specific period of time.
We very often see where Temporarily Off Market is used instead of Cancelled. This causes two things to typically happen.
- Other agents think you still have a listing agreement.
- The listing will expire when the expiration date to come around, sometimes causing the seller to get solicitation phone calls and emails well after they thought they had canceled the agreement.
Both situations can cause uncomfortable and sometimes difficult questions to come up unnecessarily.
Keep in mind that the MLS rules and NAR Code of Ethics require you to be honest in all your dealings. Putting the wrong status on the listing to avoid something you don’t like, could be a violation of both.
There are a lot of other twists that can come along with cancelling or withdrawing a listing, and we, as always, recommend calling the Florida Realtors Legal Hotline, to get legal advice on what’s the right steps to take. Conditional Cancellations or Withdrawals can have some tricky requirements and you want an attorney to help you with these, NOT MLS staff. None of us are Realtors® nor lawyers.
Please also remember that not every location or document is going to use the exact same terminology. Whether you call it Temporarily Withdrawn or Temporarily Off Market or something else, the intended meaning is the same.
If you have a Conditional Cancellation that requires something to be done before the cancelation goes into effect, we recommend using Temporarily Withdrawn, but ONLY until the conditions are met. Then change it to Cancelled.
Do you want to see another opinion on the Cancel vs Withdrawn debate? Click the link below to read an article published in one of the Florida Realtors Legal Update posts.http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=1&id=343413
Questions? Call us at 850-244-2411, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Beck, MLS Director
Emerald Coast Association of Realtors®
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Santa Rosa Beach, FL