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What Does Pending Mean in Real Estate

Pending mean in real estate

You have been looking for the perfect home for months and you finally found it. It’s within your budget, its surrounded by great schools, the neighborhood has a lot of amenities, its close to your job.

But there is a catch, there is always a catch, right? The sale of the home is in pending status and all the wind has left your sales. Don’t hang your head too low there is still a chance you can land that sweet deal you have been waiting for.

You start to feel some optimism and you ask yourself can you buy a home that is pending? Great questions, glad you asked. To answer your question. yes, you can.

Go ahead and breathe your good, that house you love isn’t out of reach yet. So let’s dig in and find out how you can get that dream home. 

What Does Pending Mean?

A pending status on a home means, that an offer has been accepted but the deal hasn’t been finalized. Pending status isn’t the same as contingent, although some people tend to use the terms interchangeably.  

If you would like to know more about what a contingent status means, read my blog on what does contingent mean in real estate 

The realtor changes the status of the listing on the multiple listings service or (MLS) to pending after an offer has been accepted on the property. 

Pending status isn’t the end of the transaction far from it. For the home to close, many other factors must be met. According to Trulia, 3.9 percent of sales fall through. This could be for any reason, here are some common ones below:

  • Low appraisal 
  • Home inspection contingencies 
  • Title issues
  • Financing 
  • Sale contingencies
  • buyer remorse

How Long Does It Take for a House to Go From Pending to Sold?

In other words, how long do you have to wait before you get a shot at buying your dream home? It depends on the situation. If a buyer is purchasing with cash, you could close in a few days.  However, if they are buying the traditional way with a loan it could take 30 to 60 days to close. 

As we discussed above, the time to close will depend on several factors including the contingencies in the contract.

Don’t be discouraged if the home has been pending for months. Have your realtor reach out to the listing agent to find out what the situation is.

Note: Don’t be surprised if the agent forgot to update the listing from pending to active for sale, it happens we all make mistakes. 

Can You Put an Offer on a Home That Is Pending

You can definitely put an offer on a home that is pending. Actually, your realtor should encourage you to do so. Remember the sale isn’t finalized yet, so you still have a chance.

Many homeowners would rather get multiple offers for their home, so just in case the accepted offers fall through they have a backup. 

Get with your realtor to find out whether the listing has a contingency or status as ‘active continue to show’ This will let you know that the seller is open to hearing other offers. 

What Does Under Contract Mean 

Under contract means that a buyer has made an offer that was accepted by the seller but the sale isn’t final yet. When the transaction is complete, the listing will be updated to show the home has been sold. 

Properties under contract are considered off-market but the buyer has a set time period in which to satisfy all contingencies and requirements per the contract. 

If the buyer doesn’t execute their contractual obligations, the contract will be canceled and the home will be back on the market for sale. 

Can a Realtor Show a Home That Is Pending

Realtors can and will continue to show homes that are pending. As a realtor, you are trying to maximize your chances of getting the house sold for your client.

Therefore, having more that one offer is ideal. 


Whether the home you are looking for has a pending or contingent status, you still have a chance of buying it.

Around 3 percent of homes in pending status fall through. Don’t get discouraged, ask your realtor to find out more information from the listing agents.

That way you can gauge your chances of getting your offer accepted. 

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