Here is the breakdown. There are several statuses of properties that are in the Multiple Listing service
Active is where my gripe enters this post. Those properties that are showing active are in the "public's" view. The "searching for real estate" public can see "active" listings on Redfin, Realtor.com, Homes.com, RealEstate.com, Trulia, Zillow, and others. If it is showing active, then it is showing up on those sites as being available for purchase.
Some Back-up status listings show up as active on some of these Large Real Estate Lead Generation systems also (that is another story for another time). Just use Local Resources so you don't have your personal information sold or traded to the "hungry agent" bunch. :-)
Each of these terms above - active, backup, pending, sold, and the others are all MacBoX capable. Below you will see our MacBoX - type anyone of those terms into it to see what they specifically mean.
Here is the video I did that further explains the frustration that the "good" agents have against those that are not updating the MLS when their sellers properties are no longer "active".