What Does “Pending” Mean in Real Estate?

What Does “Pending” Mean in Real Estate?

In the world of real estate, the term “pending” often pops up, leaving many prospective buyers and sellers curious about its exact meaning. When a home is listed as pending, it signifies that an offer has been made and accepted, but the sale is not yet final.

Importantly, this stage indicates that there are no contingencies left on the deal.

Two homes listed for sale, one with a pending status and the other with a contingent status.

Why Are Homes Listed as Pending?

Homes are listed as pending after the seller has accepted an offer from a buyer, and all the contingencies have been met or waived. This change in status is significant as it signals that both parties are moving forward towards closing.

However, this does not mean the sale is guaranteed, as unforeseen issues can still arise.

For example, a home that is pending the buyers may have already waived or passed their:

Can You Make an Offer on a Pending Home?

Technically, you can make an offer on a home that’s listed as pending, but it’s less likely to be considered. Since the seller has already accepted an offer, they are contractually obligated to work with the current buyer. However, in rare cases where the initial deal falls through, backup offers can come into play.

Can I View a Pending Home?

This is up to the home seller and the listing agent.  They may be ok with continuing to show the home “just in case”, or they may feel like the deal is so close to the finish line that its not worth anyones time to show the home.  There is no set rule.

How Long Does It Take for a Pending Home to Close?

The time it takes for a pending home to close varies but generally ranges from a few weeks to a couple of months. This timeframe depends on various factors like mortgage approval processes, inspections, and legal requirements.  In Florida a typical residential real estate transaction will take about a month to close, and the pending status will usually be around 2-3 weeks of that.

What Issues Could Cause a Pending Home to Go Back to Active Status?

Several issues can cause a pending home to revert to active status, including:

  • There could be issues that come up with the title of the home.  For example, maybe there is an unexpected lien on the property which will prevent the same.
  • Either the seller or the buyer could default on the contract and fail to execute the sale.
  • The HOA could deny the buyer’s application to purchase in the community.

What is the Difference Between “Pending” and “Contingent” in Real Estate?

  1. Contingent: When a property is listed as contingent, it means that an offer on the property has been accepted by the seller, but the sale is not final. The completion of the sale is contingent upon certain conditions or contingencies being met. These contingencies could include things like the buyer obtaining financing, the home passing an inspection, or the sale of the buyer’s current home. If these conditions are not met, the sale may fall through.
  2. Pending: A property is listed as pending when the seller has accepted an offer, and all contingencies have been met or waived, but the sale has not yet been finalized. During this phase, the deal is more secure, and it’s less likely that the sale will fall through. The pending status lasts until all legal work and paperwork are completed and the sale is officially closed.

In essence, while both terms indicate that an offer has been accepted, a contingent listing is still subject to certain conditions being met, whereas a pending status is further along in the sales process, with all conditions satisfied and just waiting for the final closure.



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