ACTIVE or AWC - Clarifying the Gray Area

Real Estate Agent with Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC

What does it all mean?  An ACTIVE listing in the MLS means that the property listed is available and the seller is taking offers.  AWC means Active With Contingency.  AWC is the gray area that confuse people who are searching the multitude of MLS Search websites out there for the exact availability of the property.  AWC can be used for a variety of reasons and the situations change as the climate of our market changes.  What are the Contingencies?  Here is the most updated uses:
1.  In a Short Sale situation, a sellers agent will change the listing from Active to AWC when a purchase contract has been accepted by homeowner.  It will stay as AWC in the MLS while the contract is being processed by the owners bank.  When Short Sale approval of the buyers offer is agreed upon  by the bank, an agreement notice is issued to the seller.  If all parties are in agreement with the terms of the notice and the buyer hasn't walked, the listing goes into Pending.  If the buyer withdraws, the listing returns to Active status.  Another buyer may place a back-up offer on a Short Sale property while in AWC.  In fact, the sellers agent would love to have a back-up offer because so many Short Sales fall through.  There is a good chance that a back-up offer will become the primary offer.
2.  Any other type of sale whether it be a foreclosure (bank-owned), traditional or investor-owned, a sellers agent may use AWC rather than Pending when they receive an accepted contract by the buyers and sellers until the 10-day inspection period is over.  They do this because a buyer can withdraw his offer during the inspection period.  Not until the buyer issues the seller a Buyers Inspection Notice and the seller agrees to the terms of that notice is the purchase contract solidified.  Then the status is changed to Pending.
3.  A sellers agent will also use AWC if a listing has an over abundance of offers and the sellers need time to select the best offer.  In that case, again the buyer may change his mind after his offer is selected and want to withdraw.  Then the status in the MLS is changed back to Active to open up to receive more offers.  BTW:  A seller can look at as many offers as he wants before accepting one.

4.  The buyers financing also plays a factor in AWC.  Some sellers agent will keep a listing open after the 10-day inspection period, if the buyers have not been fully approved and all loan conditions have not been met.  This could also involve a low appraisal by the buyers lender.  In our volitile market, a pre-approval does not hold much weight.  Rather than waste valuable days on market only to have the buyers financing declined right before close of escrow, some agents keep the listing at AWC to keep the listing attractive for a back-up offer.

The only way to really know is to work with a Realtor who can give you the exact status of a property.  A Realtor is worth their weight in gold in helping to navigate through our complex real estate market.  Timing is everything!  A Realtor can help you be at the right place at the right time to secure the home of your dreams.

Barb Merrill Works 4 U!


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Barb Merrill Works 4 U!

Regina P. Brown
MBA Broker Consultants - Carlsbad, CA
M.B.A., Broker, Instructor

Barb, those were great tips and I definitely agree with you.  They should work with a Realtor who is an expert in these transactions.  We're here to guide and assist them.

Thank you.

Regina P. Brown

Jun 08, 2012 04:25 PM