What Does Sale Pending Mean & Should You Make an Offer?

sale pending sign

Although “sale pending” does not happen often but does not mean it never happens either. Sale pending front lawn signs have become obsolete but are making an appearance online. Often there is a confusion that the property is no longer available always there are a few other things that have to be considered keeping in mind the local market and the real estate agent.

Understanding ‘subject to’ and ‘contingent upon’

To understand what “sale pending” means, it is very important to understand the basics of a real estate transaction. While making an offer generally as a buyer it is subject to” or “contingent upon” which is fulfilled on the completion of a full mortgage approval, property inspection, bank appraisal. Sometimes the buyer plans to close on the home but wants to be sure that the property is in the promised condition. Also if financial arrangements are not finalized or the inspection does not go as planned the buyer may have the right to exit.

Available For Sale

Often homes are available for sale under the term “active with conditions” or “active contingent.” Typically if everything is planned appropriately a sale transaction can be completed in a few weeks following a successful inspection, appraisal, mortgage and the local market conditions. This is the time when the seller is bound into a contract and cannot seek another buyer however it is not a “done deal”. In simple words even now there is a chance for a “backup” offer. This is just as it sounds a contingency plan in place in case the offer falls it serves as a backup offer and the deal is ready to go.

Pending Sale

When all the contingencies are removed in a sale than it is a pending sale in the true sense. In such a situation all inspections, property is appraised, mortgage has been done and the sale and be processed successfully. In this situation the buyer cannot step back from his decision and has to close the deal in a few weeks. Keep in mind in this situation the “sale is pending” until final closing.

Losing A Deposit

There can always be unavoidable circumstances in the real world and if a buyer decides to walk away from a deal they may lose the deposit. As the buyer does not hold any legal ownership unless the deed is recorded and the deal is closed.  

Pursuing A Pending Sale

If you find out that a property is a “sale pending” it does not hurt to get the information on the reasons for the status. Your real estate salesperson can ask the questions to understand whether there’s a potential opportunity or not. Particularly in changing markets, deals tend to fall apart; so if you are a serious buyer they have a backup offer ready if any situations differ.

If you any more questions are looking to make an offer click here for more information. 


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Gurcharan Garry Bhaura

Gurcharan Garry Bhaura

Broker of Record
CENTURY 21 President Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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