1st Time Homebuyer Guides Real Estate

What Does Pending Mean In Real Estate?

House hunting can be a puzzle — especially when you come across the term pending on a property listing. 

A pending status means an offer has been made and accepted, but the sale isn’t final yet.

This blog will guide you through what ‘pending’ involves and how it differs from other real estate terms, helping you make informed decisions in your home search journey. 

Stay tuned to find out whether pursuing a pending property is right for you!

Key Takeaways

  • A pending status in real estate means a seller has accepted an offer but the final sale is not yet complete due to upcoming tasks like inspections or finance approval.
  • Pending differs from contingent; contingent sales have conditions that need resolving, whereas pending deals are closer to completion with fewer hurdles left.
  • Homes can be pending for several weeks to two months, depending on various factors like mortgage complexity and inspection results.
  • Pending home sales may fall through because of financing difficulties, low appraisals, inspection issues, or buyer’s remorse.
  • It’s possible to make an offer on a pending property; however, success depends on the first deal falling through and seller consideration.

What does pending mean in real estate?

Diving into the nitty-gritty of home-buying, you’ll often encounter properties listed as “pending.” This status indicates that a seller has accepted an offer from a buyer, but the deal hasn’t closed yet.

During this period, the sale is almost at the finish line but several key steps still need completion before keys change hands. Common tasks include finalizing financing, conducting home inspections, and going through any remaining legal reviews.

In real estate terminology, “pending” signals to prospective buyers that while an offer is in play, there might still be opportunities if that deal falters. However, unlike active listings openly seeking offers from potential buyers, pending sales are typically winding their way through the transaction process.

While these homes are not officially sold yet, they’re on course for transfer to a new owner provided all conditions of the sale are met satisfactorily.

Difference between pending and contingent in real estate

A home marked as contingent is still up for grabs to some extent; the seller has accepted an offer, but certain conditions must be met before the sale is firm.

These can include passing a home inspection, the buyer selling their current home, or obtaining financing.

On the other hand, when a property is listed as pending, this means that all contingencies have been met and the deal is closer to being completed. The only steps left are typically those related to closing paperwork and final approvals.

It’s important for prospective buyers to recognize these distinctions because while you might still put in an offer on a contingent house, making one on a pending property would be less likely to succeed since it’s further along in the transaction process.

How long can a home be pending?

The time frame for a home to remain pending can vary widely. Typically, this stage lasts anywhere from a few weeks up to two months. The duration hinges on several factors like the complexity of the mortgage process, whether there are contingencies to fulfill, and how quickly both parties move things along.

Some transactions may stretch beyond this window if unforeseen issues arise that require additional negotiation or resolution.

Sellers and buyers should communicate regularly to ensure they meet all deadlines during the pending period. A smooth transaction usually depends on prompt responses from everyone involved and careful attention to detail in paperwork and requirements set by lenders or inspectors.

If everything goes according to plan, the pending status concludes with a successful closing where ownership officially transfers from seller to buyer.

Reasons a pending home may fall through

Financing troubles, appraisal issues, home inspection problems, and buyer’s remorse are common reasons why a pending home may fall through. These factors can cause delays or even lead to the cancellation of the sale.

Financing troubles

Financing troubles can lead to a pending home falling through, causing disappointment for both the buyer and the seller. When a buyer encounters issues securing financing, such as being unable to obtain a mortgage approval or having their loan application denied, it can result in the termination of the pending status on a property.

In these situations, prospective homebuyers should work with reputable lenders and ensure they meet all necessary financial criteria before making an offer on a property to minimize the risk of financing troubles derailing their real estate plans.

It’s important for prospective homebuyers to have their financial documents in order and work closely with trusted lenders throughout the process. By doing so, they can reduce the likelihood of encountering financing troubles that could jeopardize their ability to close on a pending home successfully.

Appraisal issues

Appraisal issues can affect a pending home sale when the appraised value comes in lower than the agreed-upon purchase price. This situation may lead to renegotiation between the buyer and seller, or potentially cause the deal to fall through if they cannot reach an agreement.

Prospective homebuyers should work closely with their real estate agent to understand how appraisal issues can impact their pending purchase, and be prepared to navigate potential solutions if this challenge arises.

When facing appraisal issues, it’s crucial for prospective buyers to stay informed and proactive throughout the process. By understanding the possible outcomes and collaborating with their real estate agent, buyers can effectively address any appraisal-related obstacles that might arise during a pending home sale.

Home inspection issues

After navigating through any potential appraisal issues, homebuyers should also pay close attention to home inspection concerns when considering a pending real estate transaction. Home inspection issues can range from minor repairs to significant structural problems that may impact the safety and functionality of the property.

It’s crucial for prospective buyers to be aware of these issues so they can make informed decisions before finalizing their purchase.

When it comes to home inspection troubles, it’s essential for buyers to work closely with a qualified home inspector who can thoroughly assess the property and provide detailed insight into its condition.

Buyer’s remorse

After the home inspection, it’s common for buyers to feel a surge of excitement about their potential new property. However, sometimes this emotion can shift to doubt and regret once the offer is accepted.

This phenomenon, known as buyer’s remorse, may stem from fears about making such an important financial decision or from discovering unexpected issues with the property after agreeing to purchase it.

Be sure to carefully weigh your options before committing to avoid experiencing buyer’s remorse down the line.

Pending in real estate: FAQs

What are the implications of a pending status on a home? Can you still make an offer on it? Find out the answers to these common questions and more in our FAQs section.

Can you make an offer on pending real estate?

Prospective homebuyers often wonder if they can make an offer on a pending property. The answer is yes, you can still make an offer on a house that is pending. However, the success of your offer will depend on various factors such as the seller’s willingness to consider additional offers and whether the initial deal falls through.

It’s essential to work closely with your real estate agent to strategize and craft a compelling offer in case the pending status changes.

If you find a pending property that meets all your criteria, there’s no harm in expressing interest and submitting an offer. Keep in mind that even though it’s possible, making an offer on a pending property requires careful consideration and preparation.

Should you make an offer on pending real estate?

If a property is already pending, you might wonder whether it’s worth making an offer. While some buyers may shy away from pending homes, it’s not uncommon for pending sales to fall through.

If you have your heart set on a particular property and are prepared to act quickly in case the current deal falls apart, then making an offer on a pending home could be worthwhile.

However, keep in mind that each situation is unique. It’s essential to work closely with your real estate agent to understand why the home went pending and assess if it’s still worth pursuing.

What’s the difference between pending and under contract?

When a property is under contract, it means that the seller has accepted an offer from a buyer, but certain conditions must be met before the sale becomes final. The buyer and seller are both legally bound to move forward with the transaction.

On the other hand, when a property is pending, it means that all contingencies have been removed, and the deal is in its final stages. The home is essentially off the market and waiting for the closing process to be completed.

It’s important for prospective homebuyers to understand these terms since they indicate different stages of the purchasing process. Knowing whether a property is under contract or pending can help buyers gauge their chances of making an offer or continuing to pursue a particular home.

Will a real estate agent show a pending home?

A real estate agent may still show a pending home, as it could aid in securing backup offers or provide potential buyers with an understanding of the process. If you are interested in a pending property, your agent can contact the listing agent to inquire about its status and whether they are still allowing showings.

This proactive approach can keep you informed and possibly position you as a backup buyer should the initial offer fall through. It’s always worth asking your real estate agent for advice on how to proceed.

If interested in a pending property, consider discussing with your realtor whether showing is possible or if there are any circumstances that might allow for making an offer.

Is it worth it to pursue a pending home?

If you’re considering pursuing a pending home, it’s essential to act swiftly and decisively. Pending homes can sometimes fall through due to financing issues, appraisals, or inspection problems.

Before deciding whether to pursue a pending home, carefully consider your own circumstances and the reasons why the property became pending. If you’re interested in becoming a first-time homebuyer on a pending home, you’ll need to act promptly if you believe it is worth pursuing.

Remember that making an offer on a pending home may still be possible but should be approached with caution. Engage with your real estate agent for insights into the specific situation of the property in question.

Whatever you decide, be prepared to act quickly and weigh your options before taking any decisive action.


1. What does it mean when a house is pending in real estate?

When a house is pending, it means an offer has been accepted, but the sale isn’t final yet.

2. Can I still make an offer on a house that is listed as pending?

No, you cannot make an offer on a house that is already under contract and listed as pending.

3. How long does a house usually stay in pending status before the sale is completed?

The length of time a house stays in pending status can vary but typically lasts from 30 to 60 days until closing.

4. Is there any chance the deal can fall through on a pending home?

Yes, deals on homes listed as pending can sometimes fall through due to various issues like financing problems or failed inspections.

5. Does ‘pending’ mean the sellers have stopped showing the property to other buyers?

Usually yes, when property status is changed to ‘pending’, sellers generally stop showing it since they are moving toward closing with a buyer.

Buying a pending home is complicated even in ideal circumstances. Instead of going through the process on your own, partner with an experienced real estate professional who can walk you through the ins and outs of these kinds of transactions to help you determine whether pursuing a pending property makes sense for you.


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