Like most real estate “shoppers” across the country, my clients here in Northern Virginia use smartphone apps from Zillow, Redfin and Trulia to keep tabs on the market. It all comes down to which one works best, but often they have a two or three real estate apps so they don’t miss anything.
The most common questions I get are to help explain a home’s online status.
Since all of these apps get their data from MRIS (our MLS), insider real estate jargon is used which can generate understandable confusion.
What is the real Status?
ACTIVE: The property is fully available for sale.
CNTG/NO : (Contingent/No Kick-Out) There is or are contingencies that have not been satisfied such as a home inspection or appraisal. The buyer’s contract is not contingent on the sale of another property.
Although this sounds like the buyer is in control here, there are deadlines established for completing the appraisal or for providing a financing approval letter. If those deadlines are missed, the seller can still take action to potentially “KO” the buyer. Yes, “No” doesn’t always mean “No” in real estate ~ consult with your agent to understand more.
CNTG/KO: (Contingent/Kick-Out) In this case the seller has accepted a contract but the buyer needs to sell their place first. The Seller can accept another offer but must give the first buyer typically 72-hours to remove the “home-sale” contingency. If the buyer is unable to remove the contingency by the deadline then their contract is declared void and they can get the Deposit returned.
CONTRACT: All of the contract contingencies have been removed. This may appear all wrapped up, but, if the buyer loses their job before closing then the lender can still kill the deal ~ hey, it’s complicated stuff here!
Contingency Deadline: While we would all prefer “hard deadlines”, some real estate contingencies can actually extend automatically. For example, often a third party like a mortgage lender can’t provide a financing approval letter by the deadline in the contract. In this case, the contingency typically states that the contingency automatically extends unless the seller gives the buyer proper Notice demanding removal of the contingency (typically 72 hours).
If that is the case (Notice has been given) and the buyer can’t remove the contingency, then the seller can declare the contact void.
Real Estate Between the Lines
To be a smart real estate buyer it is important to understand the complexity of the offer or contingencies that are included because you may need to exercise an option to keep a deal together or get out of one. If you have questions about Virginia real estate then I can help, but if you are out of my area then track down a good Realtor ~ or send me an email and ask me to refer a good one to you in your area.
REMEMBER: On October 23 2013, Route 123 will be closed at 7:00 for the Annual Vienna Halloween Parade!