What Do Active TC and Backup Status Mean on the MLS?

We don’t all speak Realtor-ese, much to our chagrin. Let me help you with some basic understanding on the MLS (multiple listing service) with a few terms that might not make sense.

If you are looking at a home that says backup, it means that the seller has already accepted an offer on their home, but they are allowing others to make an offer on their property in case the first offer backs out. This sometimes occurs when the seller is concerned that their first offer isn’t committed. If you do make an offer, contracts are typically 30-45 days long, so you may have to wait for that entire period to see if the original offer actually goes through before the seller would even consider your offer. Another reason you might see ‘backup’ on a property is because the agent wants potential buyers to walk through the property in hopes that they might be able to snag them as their own clients to buy a different home.

Now, let’s talk about ‘active TC’. If you see active TC on a home on the MLS, it means ‘active time clause’. This means that the accepted offer has a buyer who still needs to sell their own home before they can close on their new home. When that is the case, you can put an offer in on the home and the first buyer has typically 48-72 hours to remove that condition (saying that they will sell their own home first) from the contract before their contract is void and the home is available for someone else.

Should you be on the MLS and come across a term you don’t understand, feel free to contact me for help!

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