Do It Yourself Real Estate and Phoenix Listing Statuses

This morning I woke to a new property inquiry from my home search waiting in my inbox. The prospective buyer indicated he wanted to see the property this evening; a quick check of the Arizona Regional MLS showed this was a short sale sitting in Active with Contingencies status. In other words, the seller’s already accepted an offer and is just waiting for the bank to get off its tuchas and make a decision.

At this point, I made the standard offer … let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll be happy to send you a list of actual available properties that can be purchased today. No thanks, I was told. This buyer had thought I was the listing agent and had decided he had no interest in working with an agent of his own.

Setting aside the obvious, that he’s wrapping himself in Lady Gaga’s meat dress and walking into a kennel of hungry dogs, here’s what I couldn’t help but think: if you can’t correctly read the status of a property online and know whether it’s available, you probably ought not be making your purchase a do it yourself project.

It’s okay that he didn’t understand what AWC means. It’s not his job, it’s mine. But when he wants to make my job his, it’s in his best interest he actually know such details. Not to mention all the pitfalls that are covered in the AAR contract that a buyers’ agent can point out to you, just in case you don’t understand them all.

Oh well …

In any event, lest this be venting without knowledge shared, here’s the rundown on statuses in ARMLS:

Active – yeah, do I need to explain this one?

Active with Contingencies, Seller Instructions (AWC-I) – we see this most often with short sales when the seller has accepted an offer and forwarded it to the bank for approval. It also can be used if a seller wants the listing agent to actively market a property after an offer has been accepted.

Active with Contingencies, Contingent Sale (AWC-C) – the buyer needs to sell his or her home before buying this one.

Active with Contingencies, Option – there’s someone holding an option to purchase. Frankly, I’ve yet to see this status in its five years of existence except for when I’ve gone searching for it.

Pending – seller has accepted an offer and isn’t looking for backups

Closed – um, yeah. Self-explanatory again.

Now, if you feel like going it completely alone, at least you have one of the dozens of pieces of information and knowledge you’ll need.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at