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Why Are The MLS Listing Codes and Abbreviations Important to Know?

By Bill Gassett | November 28, 2023

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a vital resource in the real estate market. It provides a comprehensive database of properties available for sale, maintained by real estate brokers.

Understanding MLS abbreviations is crucial when navigating property listings.

Additionally, MLS codes indicate property status, pricing, and sales information. We will explore the meanings behind MLS abbreviation codes and how to utilize this information effectively in your property search.

Maximum Real Estate Exposure is an excellent resource that breaks down the meaning of each MLS listing status and the corresponding code.

From three decades of experience selling real estate, I know many buyers and sellers have no idea what the MLS listing statuses mean. Let's see if we can clear that up.

Understanding Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

MLS Abbreviations

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) plays a crucial role in the real estate market, providing a comprehensive database of available properties. Understanding the MLS and its significance in property buying and selling is essential.

What is the Multiple Listing Service?

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a centralized database that collects and shares property listings among real estate brokers. Created and standardized by real estate boards around the country, the MLS aims to simplify the process of finding properties for buyers and facilitating sales for sellers with the assistance of real estate brokers.

Importance of MLS in the Real Estate Market

The MLS is a powerful tool for real estate professionals, providing access to an extensive range of up-to-date property listings.

Brokers use the MLS to search for properties meeting their clients' criteria, enabling efficient and targeted property searches.

Additionally, MLS listings provide valuable information such as property details, pricing, and availability, helping buyers make informed decisions.

Role of MLS in Property Buying and Selling

For buyers, the MLS offers an extensive selection of properties in a specific area, providing a centralized resource for exploring available options. The MLS allows buyers to filter their search based on various criteria, including location, price range, features, and property type.

For sellers, listing their property on the MLS expands its exposure to a larger pool of potential buyers. MLS listings are accessible to all participating brokers, maximizing the property's visibility and increasing the chances of a successful sale.

Furthermore, the MLS provides brokers with crucial market data, including recent sales and pricing trends, allowing them to accurately assess property values and guide clients through buying or selling.

By understanding the role and importance of the MLS, buyers, and sellers can make the most of this valuable resource to navigate the real estate market effectively and achieve their goals.

Decoding MLS Abbreviations

Understanding the various abbreviations used in Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings is crucial for deciphering the critical details of a property. These abbreviations provide concise information about the property's specific features, characteristics, and other essential aspects.

We will provide an overview of the standard MLS status abbreviations grouped into different categories for easy understanding.

MLS Codes and Their Meanings

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) utilizes specific codes to convey important information about properties in its database.

These codes provide insights into various aspects, including property status, pricing and sales, and property withdrawal and expiration. Understanding these codes is crucial for buyers and sellers in the real estate market.

Property Status Codes

Property status codes indicate the current condition or availability of a property. These codes offer valuable information to potential buyers and enable them to identify properties that align with their specific needs.

Some standard property status codes include:

  • ACT: This code signifies that the property is actively available for purchase.
  • NEW: Properties marked with this code indicate that they are new listings on the market.
  • BOM: Stands for 'Back on Market,' indicating that the property was previously under contract but has returned to the market due to a failed sale.
  • UAG: This code implies that the seller has accepted an offer and the property is under a pending sale agreement. Under contract homes can fall through for various reasons.
  • CTG: Refers to properties with an accepted offer with contingencies in place. Real Estate agents refer to a property as being "contingent." Many potential buyers ask if they can buy a contingent house. Unless the sale falls through, the answer is no.
  • PND: The MLS listing status before a property closes is pending. When homes are marked pending, no more contingencies are left to satisfy.
  • WDN: This code refers to a home being "withdrawn" from the MLS. The contract with the listing agent remains in effect.
  • EXP: The abbreviation here is for "expired." The contract between the seller and the listing real estate brokerage is no longer active. Buyers and sellers should know there is a difference between expired and withdrawn listing statuses.
  • CLD: When you see this listing status, it means the listing has been "canceled." It often means the owner no longer wishes to sell their property.

Pricing and Sales Codes

MLS codes related to pricing and sales provide insights into price changes, sold properties, and other relevant information. These codes assist buyers and sellers in understanding the financial aspects of a property. Here are some commonly used pricing and sales codes:

  • PC: Stands for 'Price Change,' indicating that the property's listing price has been modified.
  • SOLD: This code signifies that the property has successfully been sold.

Property Withdrawal and Expiration Codes

MLS codes related to property withdrawal and expiration provide information on listings no longer available for sale. These codes offer insights into properties temporarily or permanently removed from the market. Some commonly used withdrawal and expiration codes include:

  • WDN: Stands for 'Withdrawn,' indicating that the property has been pulled from the market temporarily.
  • EXP: This code signifies that the property listing has reached its expiration date and is no longer active.

Understanding these MLS codes empowers buyers and sellers to navigate the real estate market more effectively, allowing them to make informed decisions based on the current status, pricing, and availability of properties.

These statuses are essential for sellers to grasp. Sometimes, a seller wishing to cancel their listing will have their listing withdrawn instead. Other real estate agents are prohibited from contacting the seller when this happens.

Something a seller is likely not going to be happy about.

Using MLS Information in Property Search

When searching for a property, understanding and leveraging MLS information can significantly enhance the efficiency of your search process. Buyers and sellers can streamline their search and make well-informed decisions using MLS abbreviations and codes.

Here are some essential tips and strategies to make the most of the MLS resources:

Leveraging MLS Abbreviations for Efficient Property Search

By familiarizing yourself with these abbreviations, you can quickly filter and identify properties that meet your requirements. Use the following strategies to leverage MLS abbreviations:

  • List desired property features and corresponding MLS abbreviations to narrow your search.
  • Include important abbreviations in your search filters to refine the search results.
  • Use MLS abbreviations as keywords in your online property search to find relevant listings.

Tips for Interpreting MLS Codes and Abbreviations

Interpreting MLS codes and abbreviations correctly is crucial for understanding the finer details of a property listing. Consider the following tips to ensure accurate interpretation:

  • Familiarize yourself with commonly used MLS codes and abbreviations in your local area. They may differ slightly from state to state.
  • Refer to the MLS code and abbreviation guides the local real estate association provided to understand their specific meanings.
  • Consult with a real estate professional if you encounter unfamiliar codes or abbreviations.

Maximizing MLS Resources for Buyers and Sellers

MLS resources offer valuable insights and opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Here's how you can make the most of these resources:

  • Buyers can refine their search by utilizing advanced MLS search filters like property status, pricing, and specific features.
  • Sellers can gain insights into current market trends by analyzing MLS data on similar properties in their area.
  • Both buyers and sellers should consider working with a real estate agent who has expertise in navigating the MLS and can provide personalized guidance.

By effectively using MLS information in your property search, you can save time, narrow down options, and make informed decisions. Understanding MLS abbreviations and codes is essential for successfully navigating the real estate market.

Bill Gassett is an authority in the real estate industry with 38 years of experience. Bill is well respected for his informative articles for buyers, sellers, and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, the National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Newsbreak, Credit Sesame, Realty Biz News, and his own authoritative resource, Maximum Real Estate Exposure. He has been on of the top RE/MAX agents in New England over the last two decades.
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