Common Listing Terms in Real Estate

Real estate jargon can often be confusing and hard to understand. Whether you are buying or selling, it is important to understand each potential status of a listing to put your best foot forward. Here is a breakdown of each of the individual listing statuses, to help you throughout your buying or selling process.



A listing is classified as active when it is currently available for sale. This means the listing is actively on the market, ready to be shown, and Sellers are open to receiving offers but have not yet negotiated a mutually agreed upon offer between the Buyer and Seller.



A pending status on a listing means that the Seller of the listing has accepted an offer on their home, but the transaction has not yet been finalized. A listing changes from active to pending as soon as a contract has been negotiated (both Buyer and Seller agreeing on all terms of the contract), serving as the waiting time between the acceptance of an offer and the finalized closing of the sale. Pending is its own formal status, but can be classified in several different ways:


  • Pending Feasibility indicates that Buyer and Seller have reached mutual agreement, and a Buyer wants to conduct a ‘feasibility’ study, to verify that they are able to do what they would like to with the property. A Buyer might want to know if the property and/or surrounding area are capable of withstanding or allowing for potential changes or development, and thus they need time to verify.
  • Pending Inspection again signifies that an offer has been accepted, but the Buyer is conducting an inspection of the home before going forward with the transaction. This classification allows for the Buyer to assess the state of the property and any potential issues it may have before finalizing their offer.
  • Pending BU Requested allows Sellers to consider other offers if an original offer falls through. Should the original Buyer back out, another existing offer can be contractually bound as next in line.
  • Pending Short Sale implies that a Seller has accepted an offer on their listing that  is less than the amount due on their current mortgage, and thus are waiting for the bank to approve the deal.



When a sale is classified as contingent, an offer has been accepted by the Seller and that offer to purchase is contingent on the Buyer selling another property before they can proceed with the purchase of the Seller’s property.


Sale Fail Release

Sale Fail Release means the property has failed to close and the property has been removed from the market. A property may fail to close for several reasons including financing issues, a failed home inspection, missing details, or simply Buyer’s cold feet!


Temp. Off Market

When a home is temporarily off the market the Sellers are currently not accepting offers on the listing, and the property is not available to be shown at this time. A Seller may temporarily take their property off the market for a variety of reasons from going on vacation to needing time to conduct renovations or home repairs before re-listing.



A listing will be marked as ‘canceled’ when the Seller has canceled their listing contract before the contract’s legal expiration date. This could mean the Seller no longer wants to sell their property at this time, or will be re-listing the same property with a different agent or agency.



A listing expires on the market when the contractual expiration date on the listing has passed without the property being sold, and the Seller has not renewed the listing contact with their current real estate agent. Although the listing has expired, it can be re-listed on the market and given a new expiration date.



When all conditions of the offer have been met and the contract has been finalized a home is considered sold! The transaction is officially closed when the deed to the property is transferred via recording with the County, and escrow releases the funds to all involved parties.

In order to find the most success within any real estate transaction, it is important to educate yourself. Whether you are buying or selling, understanding each individual listing classification will help you to reach your goals with confidence. To further your real estate knowledge, talk to one of your expert Brokers at (360) 376-8000, or visit our website.