Updated: May 29
Image courtesy Rein.com
In this article, I wanted to go over some various aspects of buyers/buyers' agents seeing my listings that are under contract.
Showings Typically Allowed Until Closing
I typically encourage my seller clients to continue showing my listings until the property is "cleared to close" soon before closing following appraisal (if applicable), the release of the closing disclosure, etc. Especially if the property is still contingent on something like a home inspection, even properties in excellent shape can fall through due to buyers looking to take advantage of sellers. Also in some cases, a buyer will simply get cold feet or have a change in life circumstances and use a contingency as an excuse to walk.
I have had at least one agent abuse the ability to show after a contract was ratified, where they left the door between the garage and the interior open, leading the sellers to request no more showings on that property, but typically the buyers' agents & buyers that come through my listings are respectful and courteous.
Back Up Offers
I encourage my sellers to consider backup offers prior to closing on another offer. Especially in the event that a buyer under contract starts making unreasonable or overbearing requests, it's great for my sellers to have a fallback option.
If a 1st right of refusal/kick-out clause is present, backup offers are even more encouraged.
Inspections: Those Currently Available & Performing New Inspections
In the event that we have receive authorization from buyers to share inspections they purchased with other buyers, I typically encourage my sellers to be willing to share those. When I represent a buyer, my templates for release/termination typically include explicit authorization from the buyer to allow the contents of inspections to be shared with other prospective buyers as a courtesy to the seller & future buyers.
In the event that the sellers have purchased inspections (i.e. well, septic, termite/moisture, etc.) I typically encourage those to be disclosed to buyers including those who haven't seen the property yet.
In the event that a prospective buyer would like to perform an inspection on a property prior to offer to strengthen the offer on an already contingent property, I highly encourage my sellers to allow such inspections. Inspections like that can greatly strengthen the chances of a seller accepting their backup offer in the event that the offer is not contingent on home inspection, even if the offer includes that the seller perform some work on the home that is less than that of another contract.
How Buyers Can Tell if a Property is Under Contract
Most of my active listings can be found in Rein.com
There you'd see the property was under contract upon a search by seeing where it says "Contingent" or "Pending" at the top left immediately after you conduct a property address search:
Typically my sellers list in REIN MLS. When a listing of mine is in Hampton Roads, whenever in a location where REIN is dominant (most of Hampton Roads), that's the case. Typically even outside of Hampton Roads, it will still be in REIN, but that depends on the commission option the seller chose and the prevalence of REIN in that location.
How Agents Can Tell if a Property is Under Contract in REIN
MLS policies can vary, but you'll most often see active listings that are under contract in REIN out of CBRAR, CVR, WBG MLS, & REIN in SE VA. Within Reinmls.com, you can see a contingency listed in a few ways:
If looking on a 360 property view, you'll see a contingency listed like the one highlighted in blue:
You can also see it in 1 line search results, like part of the 1 line results I have created for showings for when I am a buyer's agent and looking at the prospect of showing an agent's listing:
Image courtesy REINMLS.com