Arizona MLS

**On December 5, 2012, ARMLS® renamed the Active with Contingencies (AWC) status to Under Contract – Backups (UCB) in an attempt to more accurately describe its purpose. For more information about this renamed status, click on “In Arizona MLS, what does UCB mean?”**

Currently in the Arizona MLS (the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, that is), a home for sale can be listed and placed in one of seven different statuses.

Arizona MLS Statuses

  • Active
  • Active With Contingency (AWC)
  • Temporarily Off Market (TOM)
  • Expired
  • Cancelled
  • Pending
  • Closed

To help you understand why and when you might see a listing in one of the statuses above, I’m going to write seven posts describing each status in greater detail.

Yeah! Everyone loves a good seven part series!

Today, I’m going to skip ahead to discuss the most asked-about status of them all: Active With Contingency (AWC).

If you search the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service’s website, you might find this:

“AWC status will continue to be used when a listing is under contract, but the Seller wishes to continue to market the property or as outlined in the Short Sale Policy. As before, if the Seller does not wish to continue to market a property that is under contract, then place the listing in Pending status.”

and this…

“Listings accrue Cumulative Days On Market (CDOM) and Agent Days On Market (ADOM) while in either Active status or AWC status.”

But what does AWC mean?

Putting a listing in AWC status means the seller of the home has accepted a buyer’s offer, but would like to continue to show the property to prospective buyers in the hopes of collecting backup offers. However, putting a listing in AWC status does not mean the seller is allowed to receive a new buyer’s better offer and immediately cancel the current buyer’s contract. I explained why not a few weeks ago in the article, “Can Phoenix Home Sellers Accept Backup Offers?”

Home sellers often have a hard time debating whether to place their listings in AWC status or Pending status after they’ve accepted a buyer’s offer. For better or worse, here are two statistics I’ve noticed about AWC listings.

1. More sellers ask to place their listings in Pending status than AWC status. As of the writing of this post, there were 7,720 listings in AWC status compared to 12,208 listings in Pending status. I can’t be sure, but I’ll bet many sellers choose the Pending status because the Days on Market counter on the Arizona MLS stops while a listing is Pending. This way, if a seller’s listing ever goes back on the market, the Days on Market counter will display the same number it did the day before the seller went under contract.

2. The sellers of short sales tend to put their listings in AWC status more often than the sellers of traditional sales do. As of the writing of this post, 6,725 of the 7,720 listings in AWC status were short sales.

Differentiating Between AWC and Active

The most important point to understand about the AWC status is that most of the big name home search websites (e.g., Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com, etc.) do not differentiate between listings in AWC status and Active status. This, in turn, is creating the illusion that there are almost 22,000 Active homes for sale in the Greater Phoenix Area today, when in actuality, there are just over 14,000. As helpful as these websites can be when you’re just trying to learn more about an area, the best, most reliable source of Active listings for sale is still your local REALTOR®.

Now I’m curious to hear what you think of the AWC status. Do you like the fact that we have two statuses for sellers to choose between after they’ve accepted a buyer’s offer? Or, would you rather we had just one status indicating the home is off the market with a contract in escrow?