Ask Technical Terry: Withdrawn Versus Cancelled Listings


Ask Technical Terry is a series RMLS™ aims to offer once a month. RMLS™ subscribers will drive the content—submit any question about RMLS™ to Technical Terry in the comments or by emailing Don’t be shy—we won’t identify you by name.

Dear TT,

I am SO frustrated! Twice in the past week, I’ve had two clients call and tell me that they’ve been contacted by REALTORS® offering to list their property. These are both properties I’ve recently put into withdrawn (WTH) status, but we still have a listing contract. Do you know why this is happening?

Aggravated on Alberta

Hey, AA, I feel your pain! We’ve heard a lot of discussion about withdrawn versus cancelled listings over the years. There are a few potential issues at play when a RMLSweb listing is marked as withdrawn (WTH).

It sounds like you already know that WTH listings are not being actively marketed! The listing is still under contract, the listing just isn’t being actively marketed at that particular time. WTH is often used for special circumstances where the seller, for whatever reason, does not want their listing marketed but wants to retain the contract with the listing broker.

Of course solicitation of listings in WTH status is a violation of RMLS™ rules and the NAR Code of Ethics. It seems that perhaps some REALTORS® are confusing a WTH listing with a cancelled (CAN) or expired (EXP) listing. They’d probably best refresh their memory by reviewing Document #1213, Listing Status Definitions, on RMLSweb.

In our current market of historic-low inventory, REALTORS® are looking for leads where they can, contacting homeowners before doing due diligence through a full history review of the property. We can’t control that aspect of the situation, but we can encourage RMLS™ subscribers to be familiar with the proper use of listing statuses and the rules.


Technical Terry,

I’m confused! My sellers have been getting calls from REALTORS® offering to list their property. The sale closed weeks ago! Why is this happening?

Unknowing on Upshur

Thanks for the question, UU. Did you perhaps create a second listing on RMLSweb, complete with a new ML number, after putting the first into WTH status? This is a scenario our Data Accuracy staff hears about with some frequency.

What’s going on is that your first listing, because it was marked WTH, keeps ticking down until the expiration date you entered originally. In the meantime, your second RMLSweb listing (for the same property) may have been published and already sold. Once the expiration date for that first listing rolls around though, your sellers may begin getting calls from other RMLS™ subscribers.

This scenario creates problems for others as well, including a messy property history that could cause some unwanted phone calls like the ones Aggravated on Alberta’s clients experienced above.

That’s why RMLS™ recommends cancelling that first listing if you’re planning to create a second record with a new ML number on RMLSweb.


Hello Technical Terry—

Our listing contract was signed months ago, but things just aren’t working out with this client and I’m about to fire him. (I’ll spare you the detailed drama of the situation.) Should I mark the listing as CAN or WTH in RMLSweb?

Tense on Terwilliger

Wow, TT, sounds like a pretty unique situation! Two pieces of advice for you. First, have a look at Document #1213, Listing Status Definitions, and get to understand the dramatic difference between CAN and WTH. The details of the situation may be crucial to which status you go with.

And if you’re still unsure about which status to choose for your particular situation, contact RMLS™ via phone, email, or chat! We’re here to help.


3 Responses to “Ask Technical Terry: Withdrawn Versus Cancelled Listings”