What Does “Pending” Mean In Real Estate?
If you find the home of your dreams but it is listed as “pending,” you might find yourself discouraged. However, it is possible that not all hope is lost — you may still be able to purchase the home. For this reason, it is important to understand exactly what the pending status means.
Selling and buying a home in today’s world of technology is different than it was years ago. It was easy to know when a home was for sale because there was usually a sign in the front yard that said “for sale” in big red letters. Today, homes can be searched through online listings. Many times after looking at pictures and discovering that you have found the home of your dreams, you will see the status is “pending” or “sale pending.” Then you realize that the home is no longer available to you.
When a home is listed as “pending,” it means that there is a closing date set and that all contingencies have been met or waived. At this time, the lender and the escrow company are busy working with the loan and title documents to be sure that everything will be ready by the closing date. During this time, it is possible that the sellers will still accept offers on the property as back-up offers just in case the other deal falls through.
This may leave a potential buyer wondering if it is still possible to put an offer on the table to the sellers. The answer to this commonly asked question is “yes.” The seller has not sold the property until it has closed and the deed has been recorded. For this reason, another contract is similar to a back-up plan. Oftentimes, the original buyer will encounter an emergency and will need to back out of the contract. This leaves the door open for a new buyer to walk through. (Of course, the original buyers will possibly lose the earnest money deposit.)
What it all comes down to is this: If you find a property but it has a status of pending, it is still possible that it could become yours. The real estate agent you are working with can find out more about the status, such as whether the inspections were completed or if there were any issues during the process. Once you understand this, you will know for sure if the home is even a possibility for you to pursue.
If you find the home of your dreams but it has a “sale pending” status, you should not get your hopes up. Put the home on the bottom of your list and watch the activity on it. There are many things that could change the sale, and you should show your interest in it just in case the original contract falls apart and you are up next.
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