Know the New Listing Statuses on the Greenwich MLS in 2024

 Know the New Listing Statuses on the Greenwich MLS in 2024

Know the New Listing Statuses & a Humorous Look at Real Estate Terms

If you don’t know the multitude of today’s listing statuses, you are at a disadvantage in the marketplace and may be wasting your time. In the old days, the old days being only five years ago, we only had 3 listing statuses and one had two sub-statuses. We now have all four of those statuses and three more new statuses and 4 non-listing statuses. ­To make things more interesting the terminology that our MLS software provider uses is not what the other MLS software provider uses in the rest of Connecticut. If you know these statuses, you can do a better job of selling your house and buyers can find opportunities and maybe save time.

The Original Listing Statuses

Right now, we are using the FlexMLS system, which was founded in Fargo, ­­North Dakota. With the Flex system you had, and have, four options; Active, Under Contract (Contingent or Pending) and Closed. When you list your house, it is mostly likely in Active status, but there are now three other pre-Active options.

Private Withheld Listings

Realtors used to be able to sign a listing agreement and market it publicly or privately.  Listing that weren’t “Active” on the MLS were simply an off-market listings. Now, if it’s pre-Active it’s either in or Withhold or Delayed Activation status. Withhold status is the new name for an off-market listing. If the homeowner doesn’t want their house, and all its contents plastered all over the internet, they can go for Withhold status.

Since it’s a private listing, their agent can’t publicly market the listing. It’s phone calls, a limited number of emails and word of mouth. In this market with low supply and active buyers, it’s surprising how often withheld listings get sold and even over their list price as we found out.

What happens if the withheld listing isn’t selling, and you want to put it active? If the listing has been withheld for more than 120 days, you pay the $70 listing fee, and your house goes Active. The listing is live on the internet, and newspaper ads, and postcards, and open houses. If the house has been withheld for less than 4 months, then you need to pay a $1,000 listing fee to make it active.  

Delayed Activation Listings

If you don’t want to try to sell it privately, but your property is not ready for prime time, you can use the Delayed Activation status. This means that that it will go active in the future on a specific date, but until then the house can’t be shown, it can’t be advertised and if a buyer were to make an offer for the house sight unseen, the listing agent can’t tell the owner about the offer and the owner can’t accept an offer until the listing is active.

Delayed activation is mostly used while the house is being fixed up, decluttered and staged for listing. The good thing is that you can put the activation date months in the future and then when it is ready to show, the listing agent can submit a request from the seller to go Active immediately, rather than wait until the specified listing date. You can also extend the original delay period, if you need more time to get the listing ready.

Coming Soon Listings

Let’s suppose the house is in show ready status, the first time you meet your listing agent, but you have to get professional pictures done, drone photography, brochures, postcards, a cop to direct traffic at the open house and you want to build some excitement. That’s what Coming Soon status is for.

Coming Soon listings can be marketed immediately with the listing on the internet, ads in the Sentinel and email blasts. What you can’t do is show it, have an open house, or receive offers until after the listing goes active. Listings can only be in Coming Soon status for 7 days or less.

When this status was originally proposed, I was on the MLS committee and I thought it wasn’t going to be very useful, but it turns out to be very useful in creating demand for the house. My brother, Russ, put 27 Stoney Ridge on in Coming Soon status on Monday with a Thursday start showing date. He scheduled 17 showings in the next two days. (If you want to see it, I’d call your agent now or come to the open house on Sunday. The Coming Soon activity shows it to be a hot house.) Our Coming Soon status at 15 Clover Place shows similar activity.

Active status and IDX feed

Active means everyone, agents and buyers can see it on the Greenwich MLS/portal. The listing is fed to all the real estate sites like Zillow, and ads are put in the Sentinel. Showings are allowed and offers can be made and delivered to the seller.

Sellers do have the option of turning off the IDX feed (Internet Data Exchange). If the listing agent turns this off, then the listing won’t feed to the internet and will not appear on Zillow and, nor will it appear on other brokers’ public websites. The listing agent can still advertise it however she or he wants. Turning off the IDX feed can be useful when the seller doesn’t want everyone to see the listing and interiors.

Under Contract: Contingent Contracts

Once there is a signed contract of sale it’s either in contingent or pending status. “Contingent” means that the buyer can get out of the sales agreement and get their 10% deposit back. As a result, the buyer has the power as to whether the contract will go forward or not.

Most times the contingency is a mortgage contingency. The buyer is trying to get a mortgage and is waiting for the bank, its appraiser and the bank’s underwriting department to approve the mortgage application. Contingencies, however, are only limited by the parties’ imagination. Contingency clauses can be about title issues or what kind of pets are allowed under the homeowners’ association rules. (I once had a llama contingency. It was backcountry and the neighbors were never going to see the llama, so the deal closed, and the buyer and his llama moved in.)

Contingency provisions usually have an expiration date. If the buyer does not exercise the contingency before that date, then contract goes binding or Pending. Buyers can also waive the contingency earlier, if say the bank approves the mortgage sooner than expected. If the buyer exercises the contingency, e.g., they can’t get a mortgage, then the buyer gets their 10% downpayment back. The sales agreement does provide that the seller is entitled to keep $450 dollars of the deposit for the cost of preparing the contract.

Non-Contingent Contract: Pending Contract

If the buyer and seller sign a contract without a contingency, then the contract is pending. Contingent contracts can also go Pending when the contract contingency waived or expires.

Personally, I like “non-contingent” as a status, but much of the rest of the country including North Dakota uses “pending” so Greenwich does too. Pending means that all contingencies have been satisfied and the contract power is back in the seller’s hand.

If a buyer doesn’t close when the contract is pending, the buyer loses their 10% deposit. In a combined 29 years as a real estate attorney and a real estate agent, I’ve only had 3 buyers walk away from their downpayment. In each case, I represented the seller. In each case the seller ended up with more money than the amount of the original contract. Your mileage may vary.

Withdrawn & Cancelled & Expired

 Sellers can ask their agent to withdraw their listing. This is a temporary pause in the listing. Sellers often do this during the holidays or for other major family events. Sellers can withdraw the listing at any time for any reason. Sellers also have the right to cancel a listing. This means that the contract was terminated before the end of the full term of the listing agreement. The standard GMLS listing agreement provides that if the seller wants to cancel the listing agreement early, then the seller will pay a “service fee” to cancel the contract early. This amount is negotiable. Some brokers have their own listing agreement form with much tougher terms for early cancellation, so read it carefully.


 If the house doesn’t sell after the full term of the listing agreement, then it becomes an Expired listing. Listing agreements are automatically extended if the house is under contact at what would otherwise have been the end of the listing.

In Greenwich, if the same agent signs a new listing after their expired listing, the GMLS days on market is not reset, unless more than 90 days have passed since the last listing expired or was cancelled. This used to be a good way to bring a “new” listing on the market with zero days on market. Today, most of the major websites use days on website to calculate days on market.


The final status is “Closed”, which just means title has transferred from the seller to buyer. A few years ago, busy agents might not file the change form for days, or even weeks for one OG agent. Now, the MLS fines you if you don’t file change forms promptly, so we rarely see sold properties where the listing is not in Closed status.

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