Deciding Whether to Pursue a ‘Sale Pending’ Home

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Many buyers assume that ‘sale pending’ means the home is no longer available for making an offer.  However, ‘sale pending’ can mean a variety of things.

Here is some information to help you decide whether a ‘sale pending’ home is still worth pursuing.

Buyers generally make an offer on a house that is contingent upon one or more of the following things:  a property inspection, a bank appraisal, and a loan approval.  The buyer intends to close on a home but needs make sure the home is in good condition and that they can secure financing.  If there is an inspection issue that cannot be resolved, or there is a problem securing financing, the buyer has the right to terminate the contract.

In some cases, a home may be labeled as ‘active with conditions’.  The buyer is typically given a week or two to complete the inspection and few weeks to get an appraisal and loan approval.  Assuming there are no issues that arise with inspection and financing, the buyer will move forward with the sale.  During this time, the seller is unable to enter into agreement with another buyer.  This means that there is an opportunity for a ‘backup’ offer, if the first offer falls through.

A ‘sale pending’ is when all contingencies have been removed, and the buyer has completed inspections, the property appraised appropriately, and their loan has been approved.  The final step is the actual closing of the home, which can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

If you are really interested in a certain home that is labeled ‘sale pending’, it is best to have your agent ask the listing agent some questions to get a better idea of whether it’s still worth pursuing or not.  Has the inspection been done?  Any major issues with the inspection?  Let your interest in the home be known so that if the deal falls through, the listing agent may contact you about your backup offer.


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