Homes on the market are considered ‘active.’ This means they are listed in the MLS and are currently available for sale. Potential buyers can come see the home and decide if they would like to put a bid on it. At this time, there aren’t any ‘active bids’ on the home. If there are bids, then the seller has yet to accept one yet. Active under contract means the home is still listed in the MLS, but a bid has been accepted. The sale has not completed or closed yet, so the home is technically still active, but the seller doesn’t have to accept any more bids.
Active Under Contract Means There’s a Written Offer
If a buyer makes a written offer and the seller accepts it, the home is active under contract. This is how the listing will show in the MLS. This lets other realtors know that the home is under contract and has the potential to be taken off the market.
The written offer is a contract between the buyer and the seller. Technically, it takes the home off the market, but sellers don’t have to remove it from the MLS listing until the home closing. The seller cannot enter another contract with another buyer, though. The only way this would be possible is if the sale fell through, which does happen occasionally.
If the contract has contingencies that favor the buyer, the seller may be willing to take ‘contingent offers.’ This way the seller has a backup plan should the current buyer’s plan to buy the home fails. It’s up to the seller if they want to continue accepting bids or if they would rather wait to see if the sale goes through.
Can you See Active Under Contract Homes?
There isn’t a written rule stating that you can or cannot view homes that are active under contract. It depends on the seller. Some sellers still welcome views on the off chance that their current bid falls through. It may depend on how likely it is that the sale will close. For example, if there are a lot of contingencies on the contract or the financing seems ‘iffy’ the seller may want to gather some back up offers to make sure they still sell the home.
Should You Make an Offer on a Home Active Under Contract?
Again, this is up to personal opinion. Can you make an offer on a home active under contract? It’s possible. Not all sellers will accept more offers, but some might. Are you wasting your time, though? It is possible that you are wasting your time. If you do decide to put in a bid, find out from the seller how many bids are in front of yours. You may even ask how likely they think it is that the sale will go through.
We don’t recommend that you put all of your eggs in this basket. If you really want the home, you can put in a bid, but don’t give up your home search. If the sale does go through, you are left back at square one without a home to buy because you banked on a sale that might or might not go through.
In short, active under contract homes are not off the market completely, but there is a decent chance it will be off the market in the next 30 to 45 days. You can keep a close eye on the home and see if its status changes or have your realtor let you know if it becomes available again. You can even put in a backup bid should the sale fall through, but you should try to look for other homes on the market as well.