Translating Real-Estate-Speak

You’d think it would be simple — a property is either available, under contract or sold. But of course, we have to complicate that just a bit.

In MRIS (Metropolitan Regional Information Service, Inc), which is our proprietary computer system for posting properties listed by REALTORS®, we have several ways of describing properties that are under contract.

CONT/KO (contingent with a kick-out clause) This is the least-firm type of contract. It refers to a real estate contract contingency that’s often used when a home buyer places a house under contract with the understanding that he must sell his current house before he can move forward with the new purchase.

Sellers holding a contract with a kick out clause continue to market the home. If they receive another offer, the buyer has a number of days or hours (determined by the contract itself) to remove the contingency and move forward to buy the house, whether his existing house is sold or not. If the buyer cannot move forward, the seller can back out of the original contract and sell to the new buyers.

Another type of “kick-out” might be when the buyer is waiting for money to be received from outside the USA, or perhaps the buyer has some other contingency where the outcome is uncertain.

CONT/NO KO means that there are contingencies to be met, most commonly home inspections, third party approvals, document review, etc. Once these contingencies are met, the status is changed to CONTRACT.

CONTRACT describes a property that is firmly under contract with no contingencies like home inspections, appraisals, or selling other properties.

© 2006 Susan Pruden.

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