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Real Estate Jargon: The Listing Status

January 11, 2017

"I just found a listing for a home that I like, but the Status says "CONT/NO KO"...What does that mean?"


Here in Northern Virginia, our MLS system, also known as MRIS, categorizes home listings in different ways and for different reasons.  Understanding these different status categories will help you to know what is happening with any  home listing in the system.


"ACTIVE" Status


The first and easiest to understand is ACTIVE, which simply means "For Sale" or that the Seller has yet to accept a contract.  However, be careful, because an Agent has up to 48 hours to update any listing in the system from ACTIVE to being Under Contract once an offer is accepted by their Seller client.  (As a side note, the yard sign in front of a home may still say Active despite actually being Under Contract until the Listing Agent switches out that signage.)


"CONT/NO KO" Status


The most common change in status for an Active listing occurs when the property has gone Under Contract and the status is updated to "CONT/NO KO" (Think of this status as an 'early contract').  CONT/NO KO is short for "Contingent with No Kick-Out".   "Contingent" status means that the home is Under Contract but that there are upfront unresolved contingencies - - almost always being a Home Inspection Contingency and perhaps a Radon Testing Contingency.  The "No Kick-Out" aspect means that while the upfront contingency or contingencies are being addressed between the Buyer and the Seller, no additional contracts are being accepted that could take the place of ("kick-out") the current Buyer's contract with the Seller.  The Buyer and Seller are committed to their contract at least until any contingencies are satisfied or resolved.  If these are not ultimately resolved, the home will likely return to Active status and the Seller will try again.


Because of this mutual commitment of the Buyer and Seller, this listing status effectively 'shuts the door' on further showings of the property by other Agents while the contingencies are being resolved.  If the upfront contingencies are satisfied and the contract is continuing towards settlement, the listing status will be updated to "CONTRACT" status.




Think of "CONTRACT" status as a firm contract that is expected to go to closing.  At this stage the only obstacles that typically remain are the Buyer's Financing and/or the Property Appraisal.  While the majority of homes that reach full CONTRACT status ultimately do go to settlement, it is possible that an unforeseen issue arises with the Buyer's Financing or the professional Appraisal of the Property comes in lower than the Sales Price and a resolution cannot be negotiated between the Buyer and Seller and their contract falls apart.


"CONT/KO" Status


"CONT/KO" status is a little used, but important to understand category.  In this case, the home has gone Under Contract, however there IS the opportunity for the Seller to accept any additional offer(s) that may become a "back-up" contract and have the potential to "kick-out" the original contract that was accepted.  This status is almost always used only in the case of a Buyer needing to sell their existing home in order to purchase the Seller's home, and their contract with the Seller includes a "Kick-Out" Clause. 


For example, if the Seller does receive another (back-up) offer, then they must notify the original Buyer, and the Buyer then has a prescribed period of time, such as 72 hours, to remove their contingency (sell their house) or have their contract kicked-out and the back-up contract would become the new primary contract with the Seller.  As you can see, most Sellers will avoid accepting these house-to-sell contingencies, but if they do they can continue to market their property For Sale ("CONT/KO") in the hopes of finding a Buyer who doesn't need to sell an existing home.


We at The Art of Real Estate Team deal with the ins and outs of our marketplace and MLS system every day.  And we are here to help you when you are ready to purchase a home or sell your existing property.  Remember:



"We Sell Homes From A Fresh Perspective...YOURS!"


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