Discover what PENDING means in Real Estate

What does PENDING mean in Real Estate?

Last week we started our very own Real Estate IQ’s glossary with the word “Contingent.” As you may remember, it meant that the property owner had accepted an offer, but it came with conditions. Now, what happens after all those contingencies are solved? Yes! The listing status changes from contingent to “Pending.” And that is this week’s word.

“Pending” means that the sale is one step closer to conclude. In this case, the buyer accepted an offer with conditions, and they were met, so both parties agreed and signed the contract. What’s left to do is all the paperwork involved in the transaction. At this point, several entities make an appearance. For example, banks –if the buyers need a loan to buy the house– and an escrow company –in charge of assuring everything is signed and holding the funds for the purchase in an account–.

How long does a pending sale take?

Typically, this status lasts for about 30 to 45 days. However, there are a few exceptions that can hurry or delay the exchange:

  • some loans require more processing time;
  • if the buyer pays in cash or if it’s a vacant listing, the paperwork can be done quickly;
  • considerable repairs to the property could also slow the process.

In some of those cases, both parties can agree on on a more extended period from 45 to 60 days. While on this topic, it’s essential to keep in mind that more than 60 days is considered unusual. Therefore, these factors need to be considered if the house you want to purchase for your client is listed this way. While this status doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance to get the property, it might be a little one, so it’s better to be alert.

Can you buy a house that is listed as pending?

As we’ve been hinting, pending is not sold. And that means that all hope is not lost. The first thing you should do is find out if the buyer is still taking back-up offers. Some of them do, just in case the deal falls through. So this might be an excellent opportunity to show interest in the property. Remember that it’s critical to beat the current offer (with more money or fewer conditions, for instance), customize your message to the buyer (maybe appeal to an emotional factor), and, why not, be a little aggressive so your interest shows.

There are different statuses to take into account, such as:

  • Pending – Taking back-ups: the seller is still accepting offers.
  • Pending – Release/Continue to show: the seller accepted an offer and requirements are met, but there’s still something to sort out (the seller can receive other offers).
  • Pending – Do not show: the process is almost done; there’s nothing to do in this case.
  • Pending – Over four months: that’s the length of the sales process, and it has to include a tentative closing date.

If the house has been pending for a while, you could also inquire about the reasons for this. Are there problems with the funding? Or is it the loan? Having these insights will help you assess the real situation and decide whether it’s worth giving the property a chance. Sometimes, deals can’t be completed because the buyer doesn’t get the mortgage he or she needed, or even out of remorse.

Of course, as we told you when talking about the contingent sale, keep searching the market for other properties, just if this one’s title is recorded at the county registrar to make the selling official.


Disclaimer: The blog articles are intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing in the content is designed to be legal or financial advice.


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