Property Status on Sites Like Realtor.com and Zillow.com – Is the Property Still Available or Not?

A property status can sometimes lead to confusion and frustration when a property shows as sold or under contract on one site and active on another, or simply does not appear at all.


I am sometimes asked about the meanings of the status categories in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and appearing on various home search tools such as ListingBook, Realtor.com, and Zillow.com. The MLS is the system that serves as the primary database for Saint Louis area real estate buying and selling activity and is also the primary source of listing data for Internet sites such as Zillow, Realtor.com and dozens of others (thousands if you count agency and individual agent websites).  

Once a property goes under contract, depending on the specific status, it does not necessarily disappear from these websites.  This leads to confusion and frustration when a property shows as sold or under contract on one site and active on another, or simply does not appear at all.  Even if the timeliness and accuracy of these sites were perfect, something nobody can individually control, there is also confusion about the status categories.  For example, what are the differences between “Contingent w/Kickout” and “Contingent No Kickout” or “Option” versus “Pending?” 

Following are the “official” definitions:


ACTIVE – for properties that are offered for sale and have no accepted contract on them.

CONTINGENT W/KICKOUT – for properties that have an accepted contract that includes contingencies and includes a kickout clause. (A kickout clause usually involves a contract that has a house sale contingency.  The kickout is usually 48 hours and this allows the seller to go back to the buyer who is under contract and give them 48 hours to release the house sale contingency.  This usually happens if the seller is interested in accepting another contract from a buyer who does not have a house to sell.  This status is the one that generates the most questions.)

CONTINGENT NO KICKOUT – for properties that have an accepted contract that includes contingencies but does not include a kickout clause.

CONTINGENT SHORT SALE – for properties that have a contract accepted by the owner subject to lender approval.

PENDING – for properties with an accepted contract. Properties will remain in this status until they close or until 9 months past the expiration date.

OPTION – for properties with an accepted contract and in the initial inspection period. Properties in this status will move to the Pending status when the inspection contingency expires.

TEMPORARILY OFF MARKET – for properties that have been temporarily removed from Active status and are still listed with intention of returning to Active status in a short period of time. You may NOT solicit these listings.

WITHDRAWN – for properties withdrawn from the system prior to expiration, but still subject to some listing broker rights. You may NOT solicit these listings without calling the original listing Broker to determine their rights. Listings will remain in this status until they expire and move to the Expired status.

EXPIRED – for properties for which the listing period has expired.

SOLD – for all properties entered in the MLS that have been sold and closed.

CANCELLED – for properties that have been withdrawn from the MLS and the listing agreement has been terminated. These listings will NOT expire.

If you have questions about a particular area, neighborhood or property, please feel free to contact me for additional information.  314-283-7590  srobb@robbpartners.com

Please follow my weekly Real Estate blog every Wednesday for the latest on Unique, Distinctive and Historic properties!   To see more and to keep up with the latest real estate news and most sought after homes for sale, please visit my website at www.robbpartners.com

About this Column: The market data is puller from the Mid America Regional Information System.  All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. 

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