Why do some homes still show up on the national websites, but when I call about the house, I'm told the house is actually sold?
This is a very common question! Most Multiple Listing Services (MLS's) have several statuses for listings during different stages of the contract process. A property that has just received a contract on it may have several contingencies that are open such as financing, inspection, attorney review of the contract, review of condominium documents, and a myriad of other contingencies.
Most MLS's are designed to properly give notice to other Realtors in their market area as to the status of the property and any contracts, and the reporting to other websites like Homes.com is a secondary function. And very often, this early contingency period is considered an "active" status - meaning that another buyer could, possibly, submit a better offer, with fewer contingencies.
This really depends on the customs in your market area, but can be challenging and rare. This is why it is possible to see homes here on Homes.com that may have contracts on them already.
As the contingencies are satisfied, the property is said to "go PENDING" - meaning that the contingencies are satisfied, and everyone is simply waiting for the property to close (the sale to be finalized.) Most MLS's consider a PENDING status to be a non-active status, and in this case, the property will stop showing up on the website and in search results.
If this is a problem that you are experiencing on a regular basis because you're in a "hot" market and properties are going off market, you should ask your real estate professional to set up a search from directly within your local MLS so you have access to the most up-to-date property information available. Contact me if you would like me to do this for you.