When does the sold sign go up?

The question of when to hang the SOLD sign on a property can be answered in different ways by different real estate agents… and that is part of the reason buyers are so often confused about whether a property is still available.

My answer…

The sold sign goes up when you have a fully executed purchase, earnest money is received, and inspection, association and any other contingencies except financing have been removed. It is the same time that the listing is pended in the MLS.

Of course a property is never really sold until closing, but waiting until then would frustrate buyers (and sellers) even more… and since buyers in our market have pre-approved financing it is more unusual that agreements are cancelled due to financing. This is part of the reason some agents never put up a sold sign… often the bigger reason is they like to keep getting calls from the sign.

I recently pulled townhomes listed as ACTIVE in the MLS for a client and got 41 active listings… but all but 15 weren’t truly available because they had some sort of contingency!

  • A,i (17 listings) – sold subject to inspection (the most common)
  • A,r (6 listings) – sold subject to right of rescission (10-day period to review association documents)
  • A,t (2 listings) – sold subject to third party approval (usually bank short sale approval)
  • A,o (1 listings) – sold subject to other undefined contingency (often waiting for bank signatures in a foreclosure)
  • A,s (0 listings) – sold subject to sale of another property (when buyers must sell another property before qualifying to buy) – this is the only contingency which can be removed by receipt of another offer

When your Realtor sets up a search for you in the MLS you will get the most current and accurate information, and properties with contingencies can be filtered out if you wish… just ask!

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results –  Minneapolis-St. Paul Buyer’s Agent

The HomesMSP Team – Sharlene, John, Angela – Twin Cities Realtors



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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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The HomesMSP Team is committed to meeting you where you are and listening… really listening to understand you so we can use our extensive knowledge of the market and local neighborhoods to give you personalized service.