Warren County Ohio Real Estate News and Observations: It's On The Menu But You Can't Have It

It's On The Menu But You Can't Have It

menuYears ago I was on a business trip to Connecticut and my group went to a seafood restaurant.  I go through the menu and make my selection and get told "sorry, we're out of that!".  Now it wasn't an item that would be hard to get, but fact is there wasn't going to be any more of that tonight.  What the menu said and what I could have were two different things.

Well the same thing can happen pretty regularly when you're shopping for homes.  Just because a home appears to be on the menu, doesn't mean it's actually available.

How can that happen?

Basically in our market there are two major statuses for MLS listed homes for sale:

Active:  There's no accepted contract on the home OR it's a contract with a contingency that allows the home to continue to be marketed for a better offer.

Pending:  The home DOES have an accepted contract and typically this means you can enter a backup contract, but as long as the first contract complies with terms, it's going to sell to that first buyer.

If you're looking in person and driving the neighborhood, you may see a brokerage sign in the yard.  That doesn't mean the home is NOT under contract. It's very common for listing agents to NOT put a Pending rider on a home under contract.  Why not?

A)  To hopefully attract a backup offer for the home

B)  To have unrepresented buyers contact them so PERHAPS the listing agent can sell them another home.

As far as online, there are quite a few possibilities for seeing a home as ACTIVE and then find out the home is not actually available.

Per our MLS rules, an agent has three days to update the status from ACTIVE to PENDING.  Normally it doesn't take that long, but most agents cannot directly change the status of their listings and that responsibility may fall to the brokerage staff.  So a home that goes under contract late Friday may very well not a have a status change until Monday.

There can also be a lag from when MLS status updates until the website you're viewing actually updates.  Depending on a site's feed (once a day vs. every 15 minutes), the listing status may be almost 24 hours stale.

Now even worse potentially?  When you search sites that are not frequently and automatically updated from  the MLS, you may find homes listed for sale that are significantly out of date.  They may have been sold weeks or months ago, or may be no longer offered for sale at all.

And another category of homes "for sale" that often aren't?  Sites that list preforeclosures.  These are homes that may have started the foreclosure process, but aren't actually for sale.

As you can see, it's possible to see homes on the "menu", but then find out you can't have them.



Give us a call at 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com and we can discuss how we can best help you.   


We look forward to hearing from you!

Bill of Bill & Liz aka BLiz


Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

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Comment balloon 1 commentLiz and Bill Spear • March 29 2019 02:45AM


Yep yep yep and yep! 👍

I would add to reasons for not putting up a Pending rider (initially, anyway): 'superstition'. Agents and sellers not wanting to jinx it! LOL

Also, if it goes back on the market, possible concern of stigmatizing the property:
("why'd it fall out?").

I love a Pending sign, once contingencies have all been cleared, though! It shows that we can get it done.

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) 3 months ago