Active Under Contract vs Pending

Active Under Contract vs Pending: What Does It Mean?


What’s the difference between “Active Under Contract vs Pending”?

Active Under Contract

Has to do with the statues of a real estate listing.

For example, the seller of the home has accepted the offer from the buyer, but the deal is not yet closed.

When searching for what does active with contract mean it’s important to remember that his applies to single family homes, townhomes, condos, etc that are listed for sell.

Pending Listing Statues

Is when the agreement has been negotiated and agreed upon by both the home buyer and home seller.


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Property Under Contract is Only One (Of Many) Statues Codes

During a real estate deal, you will notice several stages that a home goes through once listed on the MLS.

In this article, we break down the common real estate statues codes, apart from active under contract vs pending, so that you have a clearer picture of the process and avoid confusion.


What Is A Listing Status?

In real estate, the “listing status” refers to situation that the home or listing is currently under (if it’s for sale) or was under (if it already sold).


MLS Statues Definitions

Below we cover various property status terms you will encounter when buying a home.

Coming Soon

When a real estate agent accepts a home listing, there are usually some items that need to be addressed with the home before making it go Active.

  • Real estate agents have a total of 2 weeks to keep your home under the Coming Soon listing statues (also known as a “flag”).

For example, items that may need addressing include

  • re-painting the home
  • laying down new grass
  • cleaning up the oil spilled drive way

Therefore, during this stage the real estate agent will set your home under this “Coming Soon” listing statues on the MLS listing.

From there, this statues will alert other agents that your home will be coming on the market soon.

Real estate agents are the ones who can see this Coming Soon listing statues therefore it tends to generate interest and buzz within the real estate community.

For example, real estate agents who see this “coming soon” statues and have clients who may be interested in your home will be able to present it to them before it hits the full open market.

Pro Tip

The above scenario is why you should work with a Realtor®.

Regardless if you’re planning at buying homes or selling homes in Los Angeles, working with an experienced real estate agents in Los Angeles CA could be the key to winning the house of your dreams.


Once your home is ready to be presented and go live on the market, the real estate statues will change to “Active Listing”.

Your home will now be available to the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and your home listing will be available on the MLS before it propagates to other real estate websites.

When this happens, the goal is to start generating (even larger) interest on your home.

For example, even now during these turbulent times, homes are in demand and flying off the real estate market.

Home buyers want to jump in and buy with the current low interest rates. Inventory is exceptionally low as well.

A local real estate colleague listed a home for sale and within 24hours they had over 28 offers!

Active Under Contract

What does it mean when a home is under contract?

Once an offer has been accepted by both parties (the home buyer and home seller) your home listing will change to “Active Under Contract”.

This MLS statues codes means we are under contract.

However, we still have some items to get in order.

For example, there are contingents in the offer that will have to be cleared before we can move out of this home listing statues/flag.

So What is Active Under Contract?

In other words, when you see active with contract real estate listing, the buyer will have a certain amount of days to get their loan in order.

For instance this includes getting an appraisal, finishing the inspection, etc.

Once all the contingents are cleared and removed, your home will now move to the next stage.

One common question is How Long Can a House Be Under Contract?

The truthful answer is that there is no concrete timeline for how long a home can be under contract.

A real estate transaction has a lot of moving parts, making this question hard to answer.

Pro Tip

There is a major contingency that you may run into when a house active under contract!

There are times when the home buyer must sell their home first, in order to buy yours.

Likewise the home seller may need to find a place to live before they let their home go to the buyer.

These scenarios can be tricky and complicated.

I know you, like me, want your dreams to come true.

So be sure to find a good realtor near you who is experienced.

Situations like these are what makes a good realtor handy.

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A Hold statues indicates that the seller has decided to put a hold on selling the home.

This can include numerous reasons, but from my own experience, it is usually related to personal reasons.


The pending statues is where the majority of the paperwork happens.

You go into a Pending statues when the agreement has been negotiated and agreed upon by both the seller and buyer.


This statues listing flag is the one everyone dreams of getting too.

Both the home seller and home buyer have checked off and completed everything stated within the contract.

From here the title is transferred to the buyer.

You can now breathe a sigh of relief!

Welcome to you new home!


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Expired, Cancelled and Withdrawn


The 3 home listing statues that want to be avoided are Expired, Cancelled and Withdrawn.

Let’s break them down below.


A home is considered Expired when it comes on the market but does not sell before the listing agreement expires.

The main cause of this is when the seller and their listing agents are not on the same page.

For example, on the price of the home.

Either the listing agent is not seasoned and cannot accurately price the home.

Or the seller thinks their home is worth more than it really is.

From experience, if the home expires due to price, your home will then typically sell for less.


Because potential home buyers will assume something is now wrong with your home.

The take away here is to make sure your home is priced right, from the get-go.


The Canceled listing statues is when both the seller and agent decided to part ways and cancel the listing agreement.

This can be due to various factors.


The Withdrawn listing statues normally happens when something personal happens in the seller’s life.

Thus deciding they need to pull the house off the market.

For Home Sellers

One of the many things performed by the title company during this phase include the title company doing research on the house.

This is done to make sure that no one other than the owner has claim to title of the home.

For instance, in the state of California, if you hire someone to perform work on your home and do not pay them, that person can put what is known as a “Mechanics Lien” on your home.

As a result, this will result in that person also having an interest in the title of your house.

Which is not something you want.

Also during this Pending statues is when the seller will complete any repairs and will start packing their belongings so they can be out of the home before the stated time frame on the contract.

The time will vary contract-to-contract.

For Home Buyers

This time signals your clock to start inspections on the home.

Get your loan through final approval, get your appraisal finished, and prepare to move into your new home.

There may be more or less that happens in this Pending statues.

All transactions are unique so it will vary.

It’s important to remember that if either party fails during this point, they will be in breach of contract.

As your Los Angeles agent, I have systems in place to keep all these items running smoothly.

Pro Tip

Don’t forget to transfer your mail, magazine subscriptions, drivers license and any other important information to your new home address.


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Conclusion on Active Under Contract vs Pending


You now know the answer to “what does under contract mean”?

You’ll be more confident when browsing through real estate listings or before planning your move to LA.

People may use slightly different variations of the same terms.

For example, active under contract vs under contract mean the same thing.

Have additional questions about active under contract vs pending?

Email your questions below.

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