Listings Temporarily Off Market

Real Estate Lawyers Advising Boston Residents

Before a home is listed on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the seller and the listing broker execute a Listing Agreement. This is a mutually binding agreement that specifies what a broker is supposed to do to market the property for sale during a particular period. When a seller or a broker wants to terminate this agreement before it expires or suspend it, they need to create a writing agreeing that they will do so. Temporarily off market refers to one status on the MLS that conveys the circumstances of this termination. At Pulgini & Norton, our Boston real estate attorneys can help you list your home if you are a seller or understand the status of a listing that interests you if you are a buyer.

Listings Temporarily Off Market

Your listing broker is obligated to market your home for sale for a certain time period. However, there are many reasons why a property may not get sold within the time frame that you initially imagined. Sometimes it is because the market takes a turn for the worse, while at other times it is because your sense of the property's value is not in line with the market. If either you or the broker decides not to let the agreement expire on its own, or you want to suspend marketing, you will need to agree and use an accurate status on the MLS listing. There are two statuses that are often confused with each other: "withdrawn" and "temporarily off market."

The former is used if there are no conditions that must be met to terminate the listing agreement. This is an appropriate status if you and the broker agree that both of you want to end the relationship, and it serves you both to do so. It is a status that releases you as a seller unconditionally, such that nothing must be done before you are excused from performing your end of the agreement. The status shows that the listing is terminated and lets other brokers know that they may contact you directly.

In other cases, you may have some obligation to the listing broker that exists until the listing expires. For example, a broker may have spent a certain amount of money handling things for you. The broker may ask you to repay those costs and suspend marketing until that happens. In that case, the accurate status would be "temporarily off market."

Alternatively, a seller may need a broker to suspend marketing for a particular stretch of time. For example, a seller may unexpectedly decide to go away for the Christmas holidays and need marketing to be suspended through the holidays. This would make it appropriate to use a "temporarily off market" status. This status tells other brokers that a binding contract between the broker and seller still exists, so the listing should not be solicited, at least not just yet.

Hire a Real Estate Attorney in Boston or Beyond

It may be important to understand the differences between statuses of listings on MLS, as well as other aspects of real estate transactions. At Pulgini & Norton, our Boston lawyers can advise you on your next move when a listing is temporarily off market. Our firm handles property transactions in Quincy, Newton, and Cambridge, as well as other Massachusetts cities. For a consultation with a property transaction attorney, contact us online or call us at 781-843-2200.